Clocks will be going back in the UK early tomorrow morning as the nation returns to Greenwich Mean Time to prepare for darker days, but when does this happen and why?

Although it happens twice a year, having the clocks go forwards and backwards can get very confusing.

The clocks go backwards in Autumn, giving us a much-needed extra hour in bed. But when will the clocks go back? Here’s all you need to know.

Clocks will go back in the UK on Sunday 25 October at 2amGerd Altmann
Clocks will go back in the UK on Sunday 25 October at 2am

When will clocks go back?

In the UK, clocks go back by one hour on Sunday 25 October, at 2am. This means that the minute after 1.59am will be 1am again.

Will this cause disruption to daily life?

Although it may seem like this could throw clocks, schedules, calendars and appointments into chaos, it’s actually very smooth sailing.

Most technological clocks and timekeepers such as on computers and phones are set to automatically change to the correct time, so the majority of people won’t even notice the change.

However, you will need to manually adjust the clocks around your home, whether they’re on your wall, oven or even your car. Some may change automatically but others will need amending. Alternatively, you can leave less important clocks as they are, as they will be correct again in six months time when clocks go forward again.

Clocks go back to give us an extra hour of daylight in the dark autumn and winter monthsHans Braxmeier
Clocks go back to give us an extra hour of daylight in the dark autumn and winter months

Why do clocks go back?

Clocks go back to give us an extra hour of daylight in the dark autumn and winter months. This time change always happens on a weekend and in the middle of the night to prevent major disruption.

The change always falls on the last Sunday of October, which is October 25 this year. The period when the clocks are one hour ahead is called British Summer Time (BST). When the clocks go back, we call it Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

When do the clocks go forward again?

The clocks go forward again on the last Sunday of March. In 2021, which will fall on 28 March 2021, at 1am. Switching back to British Summer Time (BST) means we get more daylight in the evening but lose an hour in bed.

Who came up with this process?

Although first suggested by inventor Benjamin Franklin in 1784 with the intention of increasing morning daylight to encourage people to get up earlier and save on candles, it was British builder William Willett who brought the practice to the UK in 1907.

He wrote that changing the clocks would encourage people to get up earlier and the practice was later adopted by the Government in 1916, during World War I. The practice had also been adopted by Germany ahead of the UK and was later adopted by many other European countries.

So there you go, that’s why clocks are going back an hour at 2am on Sunday 25 October. Enjoy the extra hour in bed!

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