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British Summer Time

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

In 2016 BST runs from Sunday 27 March 01:00 GMT - Sunday 30 October 01:00 GMT (02:00 BST)


Fall (Autumn) BACK

This means that in the spring we turn our clock forward one hour to GMT+1. In the autumn (fall) we turn the clock 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.

Dates for British Summer Time

In 2016: the Sundays of 27 March and 30 October
In 2017: the Sundays of 26 March and 29 October
In 2018: the Sundays of 25 March and 28 October
In 2019: the Sundays of 31 March and 27 October
In 2020: the Sundays of 29 March and 25 October

Check here for BST dates since 1950


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. it 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?

British Summer Time was introduced in the UK in 1916

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 (see below).

Do all European countries have Summer Time rules?

All european states except Iceland (GMT), Belarus (GMT+3) and Russia use summer time

When do the clocks in Europe change to Summer Time?

From 2002 the rule has been:

  • 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.

The schedule of dates is published every 5 years in the Offical Journal of the European Union. The next notification is due in March 2016.

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

Is Summer Time used in other Time Zones?

Daylight Saving is used at latitudes where it can make a useful difference to daylight hours. Find more information about International Daylight Saving

Find Out More

BST has a fascinating history

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