When does summer start in the UK? This is why there are two start dates

Find out when summer officially starts in the UK

A sunhat and deckchair on sand to illustrate 'when does summer start'
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The UK has seen some wonderful hot weather over the last couple of years, so it's no surprise people want to know when does summer start. 

We're all dreaming of the time when the mornings and evenings start getting lighter (opens in new tab). Days spent splashing in the best paddling pools (opens in new tab), the smell of sun cream (opens in new tab), and more time to spend time outdoors with the family - take a look at how to make gardening for kids (opens in new tab) fun.

While the school summer holidays mark the beginning of beach trips and family getaways from many, there is actually an official start date for the warmest season of the year. Keep reading to find out when does summer start in the UK.

When does summer start in the UK?

The Met Office (opens in new tab) reports that summer starts on Wednesday 21 June 2023 and ends on Saturday 23 September - making it a lovely, long three months.

This date is the astronomical summer. The Met Office explain that "the astronomical calendar determines the seasons due to the 23.5 degrees of tilt of the Earth's rotational axis in relation to its orbit around the Sun." In 2022, summer started and will end on the same dates, though they can change from year to year.

When does summer start in the UK?

Credit: Getty Images

There is also a meteorological summer. Unlike the astronomical calendar, these dates are unchanging every year. So, summer will always start on 1st June and end on 31st August on this calendar.

The Met Office explain, "The meteorological seasons consist of splitting the seasons into four periods, made up of three months each. These seasons are split to coincide with our Gregorian calendar, making it easier for meteorological observing and forecasting to compare seasonal and monthly statistics."

Seasons in the meteorological calendar

  • Spring (March, April, May)
  • Summer (June, July, August)
  • Autumn (September, October, November)
  • Winter (December, January, February)

When do the summer holidays start?

Most schools begin summer holidays on 1st July, until, normally, the first week of September.

However, some schools begin their summer holidays earlier in June, and some break up after 1st July. To check the summer holiday dates for your school, you can visit this gov.uk page here (opens in new tab).

So what are your plans for a socially distanced summer?

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Senior Digital Writer

Amy is Senior Digital Writer across Woman & Home, GoodTo and Woman, writing about everything from celebrity news to health, fashion and beauty features. When she isn't obsessing over the latest dress drop from Marks & Spencer, you'll most likely find Amy out running, or with a cup of tea in hand ready to dive into a gripping new Netflix series.