Daylight savings: When do clocks go back in 2023? All you need to know

Clocks to go back this weekend in Edinburgh and across the UK
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Edinburgh residents will get an extra hour in bed this weekend as the clocks go back for winter to comply with Daylight Saving Time protocols.

When do the clocks go back?

The clocks go backwards one hour in the UK at 2am on Sunday, October 29. This will mean a lighter start to the day to begin with, but darker evenings with the sun going down an hour earlier.

The evenings are set to get darker in Edinburgh after the clocks go back on Sunday at 2am. Photo by Getty.The evenings are set to get darker in Edinburgh after the clocks go back on Sunday at 2am. Photo by Getty.
The evenings are set to get darker in Edinburgh after the clocks go back on Sunday at 2am. Photo by Getty.

Why do the clocks get changed?

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The clocks change twice a year in the UK. Clocks go forward an hour at 1am on the last Sunday in March, and back an hour at 2am on the last Sunday in October. Moving our clocks forward an hour in spring and back an hour in autumn is called Daylight Saving Time. It lets us enjoy more daylight hours during summer and winter. In the summer we get an extra hour of light in the evenings, and in the winter sunrise arrives earlier.

The history of changing our clocks

The official world reference for time is Coordinated Universal Time, formally known as Greenwich Meantime (GMT) until 1972. Twice a year, about 70 countries, including the UK, the USA and all the countries in Europe, except Russia, observe Daylight Saving Time. The UK has followed this model since 1916, apart from The British Standard Time experiment, a period of permanent BST in the UK between February 1968 and November 1971.

In Europe, the start and the end of DST were standardised across the European Union in 1995, where all the clocks change at the same time, ensuring the UK is always an hour behind most of Europe. So, when the UK switches to British Summer Time most of Europe switches to Central European Summer Time.

When will clocks go forward?

The clocks won’t go forward again until Sunday, March 31, 2024.

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