When do the clocks go back for autumn 2019 in UK, will we gain an hour and why do they change?

22 October 2019, 12:16 | Updated: 22 October 2019, 12:19

The clocks will go back this weekend
The clocks will go back this weekend. Picture: PA Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

Clocks will go back in the UK this weekend, but why do they change and will we get an hour back?

As the cold, rainy weather continues to sweep across the country, the hotter months seem like a world away.

But this weekend marks the official end of British Summer Time as the clocks are set to go back an hour.

And to make sure you don’t end up arriving an hour early to your Sunday afternoon plans, here’s when everything you need to know about the change.

When do the clocks go back this weekend and will we gain an hour?

While the clocks always go forward on the last Sunday of March, they are due to go back again on the last Sunday of October.

This year, daylight saving time ends at 2am on Sunday, October 27, which means the hour “repeats” at 2am, when the UK will revert back to 1am again and we’ll gain an hour.

Make sure you turn your clocks back this weekend
Make sure you turn your clocks back this weekend. Picture: PA Images

The UK clock is currently on British Standard Time (BST), but when the clocks go back, it marks the end of BST, and the beginning of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

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Your phones and laptops should update automatically, but analog clocks and other digital clocks - in cars and on the microwave - may need to be changed.

Why do the clocks change?

The system of changing the clocks dates back more than 100 years and started in the early 20th century.

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In 1916, parliament passed the Summer Time Act, which was the result of a campaign started by William Willett to save energy and stop people wasting natural light in the summer months and save fuel.

Germany was the first country to adopt it in April that year while the UK followed a month later in May.

During the Second World War our clocks were brought forward for two hours ahead of GMT as an experiment, and between 1968 and 1971 the clocks were kept one hour ahead of GMT all through the year.

When will the clocks go forward again?

The clocks will go forward again on Sunday 29 March 2020.