Travelling To The UK – How To Handle The Weather

I’ve been living in the UK for two years now and I get questions from friends or other travellers about the weather a lot. Is it always rainy there? Doesn’t it make you feel sad? How come you’re not depressed already? Do you ever get to see the sun?… and so on.

While I do appreciate people’s concerns over my mental and physical well-being, I have to say that the British weather is not too bad. It is definitely better than what people who have only visited London over a (rainy) weekend may think.

This post contains affiliate links, for more details, see my disclosure here. 

What you need to understand about the weather in the UK is that it should be called  ‘the weathers in the UK’ instead and that’s because no day is like the other and you never know what to expect.

The weather here is lovely, crazy, unpredictable and sometimes extreme.

And you will always hear people complaining about it (too cold, too hot, too windy).

And then you have the weathermen. Useless, the lot. They have as much of a chance of getting the weather right as me ascending to the throne. Why do they even bother? What weather should I expect? Oh, I know the answer: all of them.

Here’s an example. Today’s forecast, from BBC: ‘Rather cloudy at first, with outbreaks of rain. These easing during the morning, with brighter spells, and some sunny intervals developing. Some further cloud is likely later, perhaps with the odd spot of rain, however most places should remain dry. Tonight: Clearing skies and light winds, will lead to a cold overnight period, with the risk of patchy frost. The odd pocket of mist and fog is also possible by dawn.’

I’ve done a lot of travelling in the UK and many times I was expecting sunshine and light winds but I got a bit of sun, loads of rain and gusts of wind. I had to adapt.

But how to deal with all these ‘weathers’? Dressing in layers did not help, carrying all sorts of equipment in order to be ready for both rain, wind, fog and sun was a big no-no for me as well as I hate carrying stuff with me.

Also, if you’re not prepared, don’t expect sympathy. Oh, you went hiking Hadrian’s Wall without packing emergency rain and wind equipment in April? Sorry, you’re on your own. British people don’t find it polite to stare or get in your business, so they will not even notice you or come to your rescue.

I’ve tried umbrellas, but they were definitely not comfy for a hike, I’ve tried rain jackets, but most of them failed to properly shelter me from rain and wind, and then I’ve found my perfect rain-mate:

A rain poncho that not only protects me (and my behind) from the rain and the wind but looks stylish as well.

‘A poncho?’ Yes, a poncho! But not the ones you would get in Mexico! This one is a rain poncho, from November Rain and I’m absolutely in love with it.

Browse rain poncho styles in the UK

Browse rain poncho styles in the US

Here is why I love my poncho from NovemberRain:

  • it’s light and it comes in a lovely pouch so I can easily take it with me for walks, hikes and trips overseas
  • it’s waterproof and wind-proof
  • it has a detachable hood
  • the stitching, the zipper and the staples are of really good quality
  • it has pockets (don’t know about you, but I wish everything had pockets!)
  • it covers me perfectly and I can wear pretty much anything under it, so I can wear it in any season
  • it has a lovely design and looks super stylish (made of satin polyester)

how to handle british weather novemberrain

Here is what’s missing:

  • a pair of rain boots to match – think about it, November Rain! (until then my hiking shoes and/or Hunter boots will have to do).

british weather novemberrain

Browse rain poncho styles in the UK

Browse rain poncho styles in the US

 

 

 

 

All in all, I’m quite adapted to the British weather and as I’ve said, I’ve embraced it. It’s also down to where the UK is (it’s actually a quite northerly country – think Canada). Yes, the gulf stream does bring warm air from the south (sometimes it feels like Spain, during summer) but it also brings a lot of rain, as the islands are surrounded by seas.

So, if you plan to visit soon, come prepared. And trust me, this rain poncho from NovemberRain and a pair of good shoes can save your trip.

How do you feel about the weather in the UK? Which was your experience with it so far?

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