UK Climate

The United Kingdom straddles the geographic mid-latitudes between 50-60 N from the equator and  is also positioned on the western seaboard of Eurasia, the world's largest land mass. These boundary conditions allow convergence between moist maritime air and dry continental air. In this area, the large temperature variation creates instability and this is a major factor that influences the often unsettled weather the country experiences, where many types of weather can be experienced in a single day.

Being an island country and having a moderate influence of the Gulf stream gives the UK in general a varied but so called temperate maritime climate, mild and damp and subject to frequent changes. All parts of the country enjoy both milder winters and cooler summers than places of the same latitude in continental Europe.This means that it is not much lower than 0°C in winter and not much higher than 32°C in summer.

Rain is fairly well distributed throughout the year, with late winter/Spring (February to March) the driest period and autumn/winter (October to January) the wettest.

Best Time To Visit Areas Of The UK

There is never a bad time to travel around the United Kingdom, but more reliable weather can be found during the summer months (June-August) when the days are long and warm. Temperatures can nudge 30°C (86°F), sometimes higher, but the threat of rain is ever present - pack waterproofs as well as the sunscreen. The southeast of England is generally sunnier and warmer than the rest of the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom is arguably at its most beautiful during the autumn months (September-November), when rural landscapes take on brown, red and pink hues as the leaves lose their pigment. Scotland and the north of England bear the brunt of winter (November-March), but snow occasionally blankets much of the United Kingdom bringing with it travel chaos. The mercury has been known to dip to -10°C (14°F), but those kind of temperatures are rare.

Required clothing: Waterproofing throughout the year. Warm clothing is advisable at all times, and is essential for any visits to upland areas.

Insider's Tips

Contrary to popular belief, it does not rain every day in England or the rest of the UK. Nevertheless it is advisable to be prepared by bringing some waterproof clothing and carrying umbrellas and/or weatherproof items with you when rain is forecast.

It is often recommended to prepare for ranging temperatures and wind by wearing/carrying layers. One may find that they need sunglasses and an umbrella on the same day. Winters can be damp and cold, but summer days can see abundant sunshine and warmer temperatures. The majority of housing is not equipped with air conditioning, and neither are many of the London Underground tubes or city buses.

July and August are the warmest months but also the wettest summer months in England, while January and February are the coldest. The best months to travel the UK are May, June, September and October. These months generally have the most pleasant temperatures with less rain.


Useful Internet Links

Sources: World Travel Guide;;