This, right here, is the England packing list you didn’t know you needed.
England is a magnificent vacation destination filled with majestic castles, regal artifacts and brilliant architecture. However, the weather can be surprisingly deceiving, which makes packing difficult.
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What I expected to be a pleasant British spring vacation quickly turned into an freezing cold, unbearably windy, gotta-get-back-inside kind of trip.
(England was definitely still worth it, but it would have been much more enjoyable if it came with a warning label.)
Needless to say, I learned how to pack for England the hard way. Now, you don’t have to! Follow this ultimate, foolproof England packing list for any season, and you’ll be more than ready for your English travels.
What Do You Wear In Spring In England?
While in England in spring, fall or winter, you will definitely need to wear layers. Even in summer, error toward packing for cool weather.
Although England is coastal, don’t be fooled by the 50-and-60-degree-Fahrenheit weather predictions (10-15 degrees Celsius). Because of the strong British winds, weather in the 50s and 60s feels more like the 30s (0 degrees Celsius).
So, plan to pack plenty of warm clothes.
1. Winter Coat
If there is one article of clothing that my entire group wish we would have packed, it’s a winter coat.
Everyone I was traveling with brought a light jacket, and they regretted it. (We were in England in March and April for this particular trip.)
I was the warmest of the group with this long, calf-length wool coat. I, unfortunately, learned that I’m allergic to wool on this trip, but, besides the rash I got, I absolutely loved this coat.
Note: if you’re packing for England in the summer, you can be a little more lenient — maybe substituting a winter coat for a lightweight jacket like this iconic GAP denim jacket.
2. Scarf (England Packing List)
Furthermore, you’re probably going to want a warm scarf while in England, particularly if you’re in England in spring, winter or fall.
If you forget to pack one, I found a ridiculously soft cashmere scarf from a local London souvenir store for only 15 pounds. While it was probably a cheaply made cashmere scarf, the same style scarf would have sold for 70 pounds in an English cashmere store!
You will be able to get away without a scarf (or hat or gloves) in the summer, but, as for the other seasons, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
3. Gloves Or Mittens
Guess what? We didn’t bring gloves or mittens either.
So, we ended up buying overpriced gloves from a souvenir store to help keep our hands from freezing. You can avoid this rookie traveler mistake by simply packing your own.
Trust me, gloves really make all the difference — especially when you’re trying to snap a photo of Stonehenge!
4. Hat Or Ear Muff
I think I’ve made my point well enough to demonstrate that you should pack for brisk weather.
If you prefer a hat or eat muff over a scarf, pack it!
5. Sweaters (England Packing List)
Similarly, the clothes you wear under your winter gear should also reflect the potentially cool temperatures.
My best tip: pack layers.
Sweaters and turtlenecks (my favorites are from Gap, Zara or thrifted from Goodwill) will not only keep you warm, but they will also fit in with local English style.
(I paired this Gap sweater with wide-leg jeans and a basic white dress shirt underneath. So cute!)
6. T-Shirts And Blouses
Once again, if you’re packing for England in the summers, you’re probably safe to swap sweaters for t-shirts or blouses.
I still recommend bringing a lightweight jacket for evenings and rainy days, though.
These blouses would match traditional English aesthetic perfectly.
As for bottoms, bring trousers (AKA dress pants or nice wide-leg pants) if you want to really take part in European fashion.
I love that these tan trousers and will go with any outfit, and these plaid bottoms will add an extra English flare to your vacation photos.
8. Jeans (England Packing List)
Unlike some countries, jeans are perfectly acceptable, and even worn by locals, in England.
Go ahead a pack your favorite jeans! I’ve personally been living in these wide-leg jeans from Forever 21.
This England packing list item should go without saying, but it’s still an essential.
Consider this a reminder to pack enough outfit-appropriate bras and underwear for the duration of your trip.
10. Cute, Comfortable Walking Shoes (England Packing List)
During your European adventure, you will be walking upwards of 10 miles per day.
Seriously, 10 miles every day.
Comfortable walking shoes are vital in England, especially if you’ll be exploring London or any other big cities.
My go-to cute walking shoes for travel are currently:
- These white Nike Air Max tennis shoes.
- Chunky black boots or Dr. Marten’s (these black Docs are my favorite at the moment) that have been broken in.
- These Teva sandals for the summer months.
If you opt for tennis shoes or boots (good choice), you’ll definitely need to bring socks.
Even if you’re planning on wearing sandals for the duration of your trip, I suggest bringing a few pairs of socks anyway because European hotels and homes traditionally have slate or tile flooring, which can be chilly on your bare feet.
These are my favorite, cheap, basic white socks right now.
12. Sunglasses (England Packing List)
Moreover, despite the gray rain clouds that frequent this English sky, it’s advisable to bring sunglasses with to keep your eyes protected.
I swear by Zenni Optical prescription sunglasses. Zenni sunglasses are so cute and even more affordable. (I’m talking under $10 for my favorite frames with a prescription.) I’m a loyal repeat-buyer!
13. Lightweight Backpack
Next, consider packing a lightweight backpack for daytime use.
Because you’ll likely be out of your hotel room for the majority of everyday, packing a lightweight backpack will allow you to pack everything you’ll need while out and about (sunglasses, camera, phone, portable charger, mittens, scarf, snacks, etc.).
This midsize Fjallraven Kanken backpack (my personal favorite) is perfect for the job. It folds nicely, packs easily, is super lightweight, looks great in photos and comes in a variety of colors.
14. Fashionable Fanny Pack
Instead of a backpack, you could also opt for a fashionable fanny pack. When worn according to trend (across your chest, not around your waist), you’ll certainly fit in with the British locals.
Plus, keeping your valuables close to your body will prevent pickpocketing.
This fashionable Tommy Hilfiger fanny pack holds everything you’ll need, yet it’s still easy to pack in a suitcase or wear through the airport.
15. UK Outlet Adaptor (England Packing List)
Moving on, in addition to clothing and accessories, there are also some necessary electronics you need to pack for England.
You may or may not know this, but not all countries have the same outlet shape. This means that, when you travel abroad, you often have to bring an outlet adaptor so you can charge your electronics on your trip.
In England, you will need this UK outlet if you are coming from the United States. (I love that it also has built in USB ports so you can charge multiple devices at once.)
16. Camera Gear
Obviously, you’ll want to document your trip to England.
If you’re interest in buying any new camera gear, I’ve conveniently laid out all of the best budget camera gear for travel for you to peruse, which is the exact same camera gear that I use for all of my travel photos.
17. Portable Phone Charger
It will be vital for you to keep your phone charged throughout the day while in England, especially for GPS directions, and taking photos or videos.
If you do not plan to have internet/phone service outside of Wi-Fi, this England packing list item doesn’t really apply to you. You should have your phone in airplane mode all the time anyway, which will be a huge battery saver.
But, if you will have roaming data (whether via your phone carrier or English SIM card), you will want to bring a portable phone charger like these.
18. Citymapper App (England Packing List)
Speaking of phone usage, I highly recommend you use the Citymapper app whenever you are navigating public transportation.
Public transportation can be stupid hard to figure out in a foreign city, but Citymapper practically eliminates every problem. All you have to do is plug in your desired destination, and the app will tell you exactly which bus stops to to walk to, which buses/subways to take, which subway platforms to be on, etc.
You do need internet service (data or Wi-Fi) to get Citymapper directions, but after the directions load, they will work without service.
19. Passport And Passport Copies
Lastly, I have a pro travel tip for you.
Of course, you’ll need your passport if you’re visiting from a country outside the UK. But, you should also bring printed copies of your passport in case your passport gets lost or stolen on your trip. It will make dealing with the US embassy to get a replacement in England a lot faster.
All you have to do is make a color copy of your passport on your home printer and always keep the copy separate from your actual passport. So, if your passport will be with you in your backpack during the day, keep your color copy tucked into your suitcase back at your hotel.
I do this for all my trips abroad, just in case.
What Should I Wear In London In Spring?
In London in spring, you should plan to wear warm layers (sweaters, trousers, winter coat, etc.) just like in the rest of England.
Just because London is in the southern region of Great Britain doesn’t mean you should plan for warmer weather!
To make it even easier for you, I have an entire blog post about what to wear in London in spring publishing later this month.
Do you have any questions or concerns about these England packing essentials? Let me know in the comments below or send me a DM on Instagram.
More On England And The UK
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