When do clocks go back in the UK to mark the end of British Summer Time?

Weather Presenter Becky Mantin reports from the London Eye, which was reversed temporarily to remind people that the clocks are set to go back

The end of British summer time is nigh - meaning it's time for the clocks to go back.

This Sunday (30 October), at 2AM, the clocks will go back by one hour - resulting in an extra hour in bed.

The switch from British Summer Time (BST) to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) marks the beginning of daylight saving hours.

The UK's shortest day - when the sun is shining for the least amount of time - is expected to be on December the 21st.

Why do clocks go back?

In 1916, an act of parliament was passed setting the new times, on the advice of a man named William Willet, who thought it would stop people from wasting the lighter evenings and mornings of the summer.

Tonight, to mark the occasion, the London Eye will rotate counter-clockwise to remind people to put their clocks back - although, clocks on smartphones should roll back automatically.

The London Eye Credit: NHS England/PA

All four faces of Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament’s clock tower, will be put back to GMT this weekend for the first time in five years, as the country starts to head towards winter.

The clock’s original Victorian mechanism was renovated as part of a huge restoration project, and the scaffolding surrounding the tower has gradually been brought down since December 2021.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said the clock change “will herald a new beginning” for the central London landmark.

US Senate votes to end clock changes

While other countries around the world also operate on daylight savings time, clocks don't switch back everywhere.

In the United States, the senate has approved a Bill that would make daylight saving hours permanent, meaning that the routine of clocks changing twice a year will end.

The measure, called the Sunshine Protection Act, passed unanimously.

“No more switching clocks, more daylight hours to spend outside after school and after work, and more smiles – that is what we get with permanent daylight saving time,” the Bill's co-sponsor Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, said in a statement.

The change won't come into place until November 2023, and needs to be approved by President Joe Biden.