Packing for a week in London
When planning your summer packing list for a week in London the clothes you are going to need will depend largely on the activities you have planned and type of holiday you are planning. Our packing list will give you some ideas of what to wear in London in summer.
We plan a casual, relaxed holiday, staying in reasonable hotels. We tend to have counter meals at local pubs, or less expensive restaurants with the occasional meal in the hotel dining room and do a lot of walking to take in as many attractions as we can.
If you are planning dinners in five star restaurants and visits to the opera, or an adventure holiday with lots of outdoor activities, your London packing list will probably be much different to mine.
Summer weather in London
Even in the summer months, London can have cooler climate than Australia, with an average July temperature of 13-21 C (55-70F), however you can experience some days around the 28C (82F) mark. The weather can be changeable and wet.
The single most useful items of clothing on our packing list for London were lightweight rain jackets. They did not take up much room in our day packs, and were readily available for sudden showers, or even to stave off a chilly breeze.
You will want to look smart, but comfortable during your visit to London.
Multi functional wardrobe
You will need a multi-functional, interchangeable wardrobe – items that can take you from a day’s sightseeing to dinner at a restaurant or cafe. Ideally a few items you can “mix and match” to create a number of different outfits.
You will want lighter clothing, with a jacket for the cooler evenings, and a light jumper if you have a cooler day. If you are planning trips to churches and smaller villages, revealing dresses and singlet tops are not appropriate.
You will also want clothes that can be washed and dried quickly and easily and require little or no ironing. Irons are not normally available in European hotels and accommodation and in-house laundry is exhorbitantly expensive.
I love the “capsule wardrobe”, which simplifies your holiday packing. Basically it comprises of a number of pieces that you absolutely LOVE and will mix and match together.
Planning your wardrobe
Before I bring out the suitcases I start by laying what I think I am going to need out on the bed and cull from there. We found packing cubes helped to keep things organised when we travel.
Pick a colour theme – black, white, red and taupe was my theme last trip. Start with black pants and skirts with white tops and shirts, as these can easily be dressed up or down with scarves, necklaces and accessories. I also tend to choose tops, pants, shorts and skirts over dresses for their versatility.
So, based on our experience last year, here is my packing list for two weeks in Burgundy, France.
Lesley’s packing list:
- 5 sets of underwear – these can be washed out in the bathroom every couple of nights.
- One night gown.
- Two pair black pants. These can be teamed with shirts by day for sightseeing or dressed up with a blouse and accessories at night for dinner.
- One pair of comfortable casual pants or jeans.
- Three short sleeve T shirts – white, red, taupe and black
- Two long sleeved T shirts – white, and black
- One lightweight jumper. -As well as saving space in your suitcase, a lightweight jumper can be layered over a long sleeved T-shirt and won’t be a nuisance if you need to take it off and pop it in your day pack.
- One light cardigan – taupe
- 3 shirts- red, white and black. Can be dressed up with accessories over black pants or skirt for dinner.
- one iron free skirt – can be worn day or night
- Two iron free dresses that can be worn to dinner, or sightseeing on warm days
- Two non-iron evening tops- can be worn with any pants
- Taupe leather jacket – can be worn over every outfit in wardrobe, my most used piece of clothing.
- white “foldable” sunhat
- sturdy walking shoes, black “ballet flats”, white sandals and one pair black evening sandals.
- necklaces, scarves and earrings to accessorise outfits.
- lightweight rain jacket, which can easily be folded up in your daypack
Ian’s packing list
Ian’s packing list is devised along similar lines – his clothes are mostly grey, navy, green and taupe.
- 5 sets of socks and underwear
- one pair of PJs
- Two pair of jeans
- three pair of casual pants
- One “good” shirt and tie in case we go to a fancy restaurant.
- Two T-shirts
- Three”polo shirts”
- three long sleeved shirts
- One lightweight jumper
- One light jacket
- two belts
- walking shoes or joggers, casual shoes (will “pass” in a nice restaurant), sandals.
- Cap or hat
- lightweight rain jacket
You will need comfortable walking shoes such as joggers. Sandals may be cooler on hotter days but are not really kind to your feet on the cobblestoned streets. You may want high heels for dinner, but not for sightseeing.
- portable phone charger, which will give you five full charges on your phone.
- A universal Travel adaptor
- lightweight backpack that can fit jumpers, rain jackets, tourist leaflets, water bottles and snacks
- We found these clear toiletery bags really simplified getting through customs.
- A larger scarf or pashmina can live in your tote bags, and is great if you need to cover up to enter a church, or to ward off a slight chilly breeze
We hope this has helped you to plan your summer wardrobe for London