When do the clocks go forward in 2021? Date and time for UK clock change

Spring 2021 holds plenty of hope and optimism for millions of people across the UK as it could spark the beginning of a phased return to normality.

The evenings will remain lighter for longer as daylight hours increase following the winter solstice just prior to Christmas.

This change will mark the beginning of British Summer Time.

When do the clocks change?

The clocks will go forward at 1am on Sunday 28 March 2021.

In the early stages, the mornings will become slightly darker while the evenings get lighter as the number of daylight hours get longer right the way up until the summer solstice.

This will remain the case until 2am Sunday 31 October 2021 when the clocks go back to mark the return of the winter solstice.

A common phrase to help remember the solstice structure is ‘spring forwards, fall back’.

Why do we get more daylight hours in the summer?

The reasoning behind why summer days have more daylight hours than their winter counterparts is due to the Earth's axis.

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In the summer, the axis of the Earth is tilted at 23.4 degrees. This means the hemisphere located closest to the sun will receive more direct light from the sun's rays, as the Earth completes one full orbit of the sun in a year.

This explains why countries located in the northern hemisphere boast longer days in the summer months while countries situated in the southern hemisphere have longer days in the months of November to March.

Why do the clocks change twice a year?

The current structure of British Summer Time has been in place for more than 100 years, due to a campaign led by builder William Willett which resulted in the Summer Time Act of 1916 being implemented in the UK.

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Willett's reasoning was mainly rooted in his own interests, a keen golfer – Willett wanted more daylight hours on the greens, first opting to write his proposal in a pamphlet called The Waste of Daylight.

Though Willett's number one desire was to gain more golf time, he did raise valid points surrounding the fact that changing the structure of British Summer Time would help conserve energy through reduced need for light and heat resources.

The UK's 1916 act came a year after Willett's death and followed Germany and Austria implementing similar systems.

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