The UK is often associated with rain, but this is because the weather can be unpredictable. The rain doesn't come all in one season – it can come at any time of year, and on any day. You might experience beautiful sunshine, blustering winds and drizzling rain – all in one afternoon!
But with the right clothes and the right attitude, you can enjoy the UK, whatever the weather. There’s not much better than lazing by the river in the sunshine, dancing in the mud at a music festival, or heading out for a snowball fight.
So what should I expect?
Although UK weather is unpredictable, it is rarely extreme. In summer, the average temperature ranges from 9–18 degrees Celsius (48–64 degrees Fahrenheit). On occasion, it can reach around 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) in a heatwave.
In winter the average is between 2 and 7 degrees Celsius (36–45 degrees Fahrenheit), but temperatures often drop to just below 0 degrees Celsius (36 degrees Fahrenheit). Thankfully, most houses, buildings, trains and buses have good heating systems.
In general there is little difference between the regions of the UK, but you will experience more snow, rain and wind in northern and mountain areas.
We have seasons
- Spring (March, April and May) is a time for sudden rain showers, blossoming trees and flowering plants.
- Summer (June, July and August) is the UK's warmest season, with long sunny days, occasional thunderstorms and, in some years, heatwaves.
- Autumn (September, October and November) can be mild and dry or wet and windy. It's the season when the leaves fall from the trees and the temperature dips.
- Winter (December, January and February) is the UK's coldest season, with freezing temperatures, icy conditions and sometimes snow.
What are the daylight hours?
There is a big difference in daylight hours throughout the year in the UK.
- The longest daylight hours are on 21 June each year. On this day, the sun rises just before 05.00 (5am), and sets just after 21.00 (9pm).
- The shortest daylight hours are on 21 December. On this day, the sun rises around 08.00 (8am) and sets around 16.00 (4pm).
On the last Sunday in March, the clocks go forward by one hour (at 1am), and they go back again on the last Sunday in October (at 2am). The period when the clocks are 1 hour ahead (meaning there is more daylight in the evenings) is called British Summer Time (BST).