British Summer Time

During British Summer Time (BST), civil time in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Portugal is advanced one hour forward of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) (in effect, changing the time zone from UTC+0 to UTC+1), so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less. [1] [2]

BST begins at 01:00 GMT on the last Sunday of March and ends at 01:00 GMT (02:00 BST) on the last Sunday of October. Since 22 October 1995, the starting and finishing times of daylight saving time across the European Union have been aligned [3] – for instance Central European Summer Time begins and ends on the same Sundays at exactly the same time (that is, 02:00 CET, which is 01:00 GMT). Between 1972 and 1995, BST began and ended at 02:00 GMT on the third Sunday in March (or second Sunday when Easter fell on the third) and fourth Sunday in October. [4]

The following table lists recent past and near future starting and ending dates of British Summer Time: [5]

Year Start End
2014 30 March 26 October
2015 29 March 25 October
2016 27 March 30 October
2017 26 March 29 October
2018 25 March 28 October
2019 31 March 27 October
2020 29 March 25 October

Instigation and early years

Early history

British Summer Time was first established by the Summer Time Act 1916, after a campaign by builder William Willett. His original proposal was to move the clocks forward by 80 minutes, in 20-minute weekly steps on Sundays in April and by the reverse procedure in September. [6] In 1916, BST began on 21 May and ended on 1 October. [7] Willett never got to see his idea implemented as he died in early 1915.