The United Kingdom is one of the best-known destinations for tourists from around the world. Its flag is instantly recognisable, as are its red phone boxes, double-decker buses, and the people’s love of tea. The country is also known for its changeable climate and regular rain.
In fact, to an outsider, it seems to be a given that rain is ever-present over Queen Elizabeth II.
In reality, that isn’t quite the case. In fact, the United Kingdom only ranks 72 on the list of wettest places in the world, behind many tropical countries and even several European nations including Norway, Switzerland, Albania, and Iceland.
Anyone thinking of visiting the UK may wonder when the best time to visit is, when to limit the chance of being caught in a downpour, and when you’ll get to see and do the most. In reality, there’s never a bad time to visit, but here are some factors you may want to consider.
Of course, the weather may be a deciding factor for you. Precipitation is almost always a risk, even during the summer months but you can maximise your chances of enjoying some British sun by visiting in the months of May, June, July, August and early September.
The climate is very mild though, rarely going much higher than 30 degrees Celsius and only just dipping below freezing during the winter. These temperatures can feel a little more extreme than they actually are due to the high humidity.
Snow isn’t very common in most parts of the country, though you’ll be shocked at how poorly the transport infrastructure copes with even the slightest sprinkling.
The cold winter may be worth enduring though if you want to enjoy the festivities in December.
Britain is a country of sports lovers. It’s the nation that gave us football (soccer), rugby, and cricket. American sports like the NFL and famous international events like the Formula 1 British Grand Prix, Wimbledon, and The Open Championship are also held in the UK each year.
It’s also home to several of the world’s most famous horse races, including the Grand National and Royal Ascot.
So if you’d like to watch a game you’ll want to come at the right time. For example, the Cheltenham Festival is held in early March and marks the start of the horse racing calendar. And believe it or not, horse racing is wildly popular in the UK with the entire nation looking for tips and tuning in to the biggest races. The other major sport here is, of course, football with the season usually running from August/September through to May/June.
You’ll want to check what’s on and when before booking your trip.
The biggest holiday in the UK is Christmas. Brits celebrate it on 25th, so 24th is usually a normal working day, though they do take the 26th off as well.
The whole of December is usually a very festive month. Towns and cities are decorated with lights, Christmas markets appear in many cities, stores play festive music, and there’s a buzz about the place wherever you go.
Cities like London are very beautiful around this time, though hotel costs are often inflated to capitalise on the demand. So if you’re prepared to pay the price, you can immerse yourself in the Christmas magic.
Guy Fawkes Night, which is more commonly known as “bonfire night” is an annual celebration held on 5th November each year. Brits set off fireworks and light bonfires to commemorate Fawkes’ foiled plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Wherever you’re staying, you’ll see the sky lit up with colourful explosions.
Most people in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland take their summer holiday in August, while those in Scotland do it in July. This coincides with tourists from all over the world also descending on the country, meaning these months will often be the busiest.
If you want to visit when it’s a little quieter, try visiting in the spring or autumn, though be sure to avoid the Easter period as many people travel during this time as well.
Whatever time of year you visit the UK, you’ll have a great time. But if you use these tips, you can plan ahead and get the most from your trip.