When do the clocks go back in the UK in 2022, time and date of change, why does it happen?

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Everything you need to know about the clocks change as the days are becoming shorter and colder.

The days are becoming shorter and the temperatures are dipping further, both of which are indicators that it will soon be time to set your clocks to comply with Daylight Saving Time, but when does it start?

The clocks in the United Kingdom go forward by one hour on the last Sunday of March, and then go back by the same amount on the last Sunday of October, leaving people wondering what dates the clocks will change and what time the sun is meant to rise.

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Even though the second half of the year is typically the least favourite period of the year due to the less amount of daylight in the mornings and evenings, there is one thing that we might maybe all look forward to: an additional hour of sleep on the day the clocks change.

So when do we change the clocks and what is the reason behind it? Here is everything you need to know.

When do the clocks go back in the UK?

Clocks go back in October every year. (Pic credit: Gary Longbottom)Clocks go back in October every year. (Pic credit: Gary Longbottom)
Clocks go back in October every year. (Pic credit: Gary Longbottom)

The clocks will go back by one hour at 2am on Sunday October 30, 2022 in the rest of the UK as we move onto Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). They last went forward on Sunday, March 27, 2022, which moved us into British Summer Time (BST).

Next year, we will put the clocks forward an hour at 1am on March 26, 2023 - when the days are meant to begin getting lighter before putting them back again on October 29, 2023 at 2am.

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When does the sun rise and set in the UK?

As we progress deeper into autumn and winter, you may have noticed it’s darker when you wake up now than it was a few weeks ago.

It is still quite dark when most people wake up for work, as the sun does not rise until between 7.25am and 8am. According to the Time and Date website, each day this week, it will rise two minutes later, until it reaches its latest time of the year on Saturday, at 7.48am.

After Sunday’s time change, however, the sun will rise at 6.50am, providing us with nearly an extra hour of daylight. However, this will soon alter as the sun rises later each day this week.

The bad news is that while sunrise and sunset will be significantly earlier, nightfall will arrive much sooner than it does now. The sun will set at 4.37pm on Sunday, an hour and two minutes earlier than it did the previous day, and it will stay that way for the rest of the week.

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Why do we need to change our clocks twice a year?

The original intention behind British Summer Time (BST), also known as Daylight Saving Time, was to increase the amount of time that people spent outdoors in the sunlight.

The Summer Time Act of 1916 was created as a result of a campaign started in 1907 by British builder William Willett, who wrote about his proposal in a pamphlet called ‘The Waste of Daylight’, which was published in 1907.

Willet (who happens to be Coldplay frontman Chris Martin’s great-great-grandfather) proposed the idea to keep days longer in the summer so he could get in more rounds of golf.

In the pamphlet, Willett wrote: “Nevertheless, standard time remains so fixed, that for nearly half the year the sun shines upon the land for several hours each day while we are asleep, and is rapidly nearing the horizon, having already passed its western limit, when we reach home after the work of the day is over.

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“Under the most favourable circumstances, there then remains only a brief spell of declining daylight in which to spend the short period of leisure at our disposal.”

Not only was the new system intended to help the avid golfers, it was also thought that maximising natural sunlight would save energy, which was critical during World War I when coal was scarce.

After much lobbying Willett’s suggestion was finally implemented in the UK a year after his death, soon after Germany and Austria had implemented Daylight Saving Time.

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