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British Weather

Because of the way the weather dominates conversation in Britain, people who have not lived here could be forgiven for thinking that the climate is extreme. In fact, the UK’s temperate climate is exactly the opposite and needs little effort to adjust to.

  • Given its position west of the European mainland, Britain tends to have low humidity, warm summers and mild winters.
  • Days are long and bright in June but short and grey in December.
  • Average maximum daily temperatures range from 6°C in January to 19°C in July, while rain can fall at any time of the year, mainly in and close to the hilly regions in the north and west where over 1,200 mm a year is typical. Southern and eastern Britain is drier. Snowfalls occur most during most winters (but rarely accumulate in the south).
  • From sunshine and heat-waves to rain showers and snowfall – the UK gets it all.
  • Many websites offer daily, even hourly, weather forecasts, and the Met Office and the BBC are good places to start.

To make your time in the UK more enjoyable – and to ensure you're well prepared – The Complete University Guide recommends that you budget for the following items in preparation for your stay.

  • Winter coat, hat, scarf and gloves for use from late November to March.
  • Shorts, t-shirts, sunhat, flip-flops and sunscreen for those hot summer days.
  • Suitable shoes for walking through the British countryside.
  • Rainwear.