British Summer Time

British Summer Time (BST) is the UK name for Daylight Saving Time (DST)

BST is currently GMT+1 from March till October

Remember the Time Change Rule: Spring Forward, Fall Back

This means that in the spring clocks are turned forward one hour to GMT+1. In the autumn (fall) clock are turned back back one hour to GMT. This gives an extra hour of light at the start of the day in winter and at the end of the day in summer.

When BST is in use, you can compare your local time with what the clocks show in the UK.

Otherwise, try the GMT converter that takes into account Daylight Saving Time all over the world.

Convert Local to London

GMT Time converter, compare London and Local. Enter your location or any placename for more comparisons.

Check here for BST dates since 1950

British Summer Time FAQs

Why is Daylight Saving Time (DST) called Summer Time?

Daylight Saving Time maximises the benefit of daylight at latitudes where summer days are long. Society does not need daylight at 3am but it is useful for work or play at 9.00pm. DST allows a later dawn in summer when dawn comes early and lengthens the evening. This enables people to do more in the evenings without artificial light. The benefit tapers with latitude as day-length gets more extreme near the poles.

When was British Summer Time (BST) introduced?

BST was introduced in the UK in 1916. It has a fascinating history.

When was Year-Round British Summer Time Used?

British Summer Time was in force all year during the Second World War from February 1940 until October 1945 and again from February 1968 until October 1971. Double summer time (GMT +2) was in force in the summers from 1941-1947 except for 1946.

What are the date rules for BST?

Since 2002 the UK has followed the harmonised European Union rule:

  • the summer-time period shall begin, in every Member State, at 1.00 a.m., Greenwich Mean Time, on the last Sunday in March.
  • the summer-time period shall end, in every Member State, at 1.00 a.m., Greenwich Mean Time, on the last Sunday in October.

UK has ceased being a member of the European Union on 31 January 2020. So far there have been no official announcements regarding any changes in the Daylight Saving Time schedule.

The schedule is published every 5 years in the Official Journal of the European Union.

The Directive was implemented in English Law by 2002/262 The Summer Time Order 2002.

Do all European countries have Summer Time rules?

All European states except Iceland (GMT), Belarus (GMT+3) and Russia use Summer Time.

Is Summer Time used in other Time Zones?

Daylight Saving is used at latitudes where it can make a useful difference to daylight hours.

Explore the History of Daylight Saving Time as it happened in the UK.

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