British Summer Time: When do the clocks change in 2023 and when is the shortest day of the year?

The clocks may have only just changed, but we’re already looking forward to the lighter evenings again!

With the festive period arriving soon and evenings getting darker after the clocks changed from British Summer time to Greenwich Mean Time, the days of summer still feel like a lifetime away, but when do the clocks change to allow an extra hour of daylight after the working day, and what time will the sun set in Sunderland once the changes happen?

Every March and October, clocks across the UK are changed to mark the start of British Summer Time and Daylight Savings Time respectively, and this year the second change came into force on Sunday, October 30.

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The date meant clocks went back by one hour at 1:00am, giving the country lighter mornings and darker evenings. On the day before the change, Sunderland saw the sun begin setting at 5:35pm with sunset the following day starting at 4:32pm.

When do the clocks change in 2023 and when is the shortest day of the year? (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

When do the clocks change back to British Summer Time?

Each year clocks in the UK go forward one hour at 1am on the last Sunday in March and go back one hour at 2am on the last Sunday in October. This means the next change will come at 1am on Sunday, March 27, 2023, giving the UK around five months of dark evenings before British Summer Time begins again.

When is the shortest day of the year?

We still have a while to wait before the shortest day of the year or Winter Solstice, which also marks the date when the evenings begin to gradually get lighter again. This will fall on Wednesday, December 21, this year with Sunderland only getting just over seven hours of full daylight.

In comparison, the longest day of the year falls on Wednesday, June 21, in 2023 when Sunderland will see a total of over 17 hours of full daylight.

Does my phone change the time automatically when the clocks go forward and back?

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Most devices which are connected to the internet such as smartphones, smart TVs, laptops, tablets and smart watches will change by themselves as long as the relevant automatic updates are turned on. This can usually be checked through a device’s time and date settings.