As recent weeks have shown, the weather can be unpredictable in the UK, in fact it could well be the wettest “drought” on record! but the changing weather and its affect on the landscape is what makes the UK so special.
Wherever you go on holiday in the world, you are not guaranteed of good weather as we once discovered when we went to Greece for our summer holiday in June. We thought we were certain to have a week laying on the beach in the sun, only to find it rained everyday during siesta. Not only could we not lay on the beach but everywhere was closed and there was very little to do on this beautiful island when the beach was off limits and the heavens opened!
The UK has some of the finest beaches in Europe for when the sun shines but it also has more to offer than many other countries when it rains. Whether you enjoy shopping, history, culture, culinary delights, natural beauty, wildlife, architecture or clubbing, you will not be disappointed. A diverse landscape provides the perfect playground for outdoor enthusiasts; world famous landmarks such as Stonehenge, Buckingham Palace, Hadrian’s Wall and The White Cliffs of Dover attract visitors worldwide; and an incredible number of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) provide natural attractions including the Lake District, The Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland, Dartmoor National Park and The Giant’s Causeway to name just a few.
It is often said that England is the country of castles, ancient cities, impressive cathedrals, museums, stately homes, royal palaces, glorious gardens and rolling countryside dotted with pretty villages – all just waiting to be explored with incredible attractions to make the rainiest of days bright and cheerful!
With a little planning, preparation and creative thinking, you can have an enjoyable holiday in the UK whatever the weather. Before you set off on your holiday, do your research to find out what attractions are of interest to you and your family and have some suitable options for rainy days up your sleeve. These can include local museums, places to eat out, shopping centres, bowling alleys, art galleries and cinemas. It is better to plan before you go, than waste valuable holiday time sitting around discussing your options. Many cottages provide information on local attractions but not all have internet access, so do your planning before you set off.
If you live in the UK, it is likely you will travel on holiday by car so you have the advantage of not being restricted to suitcase space and can pack clothing /outdoor gear for all weathers. Our trip to the Lake District last autumn showed how undeterred outdoor enthusiasts and sightseers could be by the weather. Armed with the correct outdoor clothing, people were out in numbers even on the soggiest of days – walking, cycling, visiting museums and family attractions. Some were positively embracing the wet weather and partaking in adventurous activities such as white water rafting and canoeing, whilst others enjoyed some warming food in a welcoming pub with a log fire.
Self-catering accommodation in the UK offers a practical and comfortable holiday solution, particularly in wetter weather when many cannot bear the thought of camping or being shut up in a hotel room. You have your own “home from home” with space to watch a film, enjoy a glass of wine in front of the fire, play games with the family or source local ingredients to prepare a special supper. Whilst many cottages offer games, books etc, take some from home, as they may prove to be a good source of amusement (and relaxation) if the weather is not kind to you.
Some holiday cottages have facilities to keep the children occupied when the weather is wet including swimming pools and games rooms but find out where your local swimming pool is so that children can get their water fix. If you have planned a seaside holiday, see what water sports are available locally – a drop of rain rarely dampens the spirits of sailors or surfers!
Don’t let the wet weather put you off a holiday in the UK. As a country we get more than our fair share of sunshine and when the weather is wet, there are plenty of great things to do and see.