Walking Across Europe is superb so get on your walking boots to see the region at its very best and really get away from it all.
England, Scotland and Wales are commonly referred to as Britain and formally as Great Britain. In 1927, six northern counties of Ireland became part of this union and the name was changed to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, formally known as the United Kingdom and abbreviated as the UK.
Britain is the birthplace of great people: Newton, Darwin, Shakespeare and the Beatles. The Queen is Head of State, however, she has no political power and her main duty is to fulfill important ceremonial and formal roles with respect to Government. Visits to meet people throughout the United Kingdom, Commonwealth and overseas are an important part of the Royal Family’s role.
Due to the UK’s location – being completely surrounded by the various branches of the Atlantic Ocean, the weather in the UK can be influenced from any direction at any time, though the weather can be generally placed into four categories:
1. Tropical Maritime, wind SSW-W (weather is mild to hot and can be wet.)
2. Polar Maritime, wind W-NNW (cold, wet and often windy weather, snow is a distinct possibility in winter and spring)
3. Polar, wind NNW-NE (almost always occurs in winter, this influence will bring some snowfall across most of the country; accumulations are highest in Scotland and North-East England)
4. Continental, NE-SSW (a mixed bag really, in summer, this is a pleasant airflow and brings hot, dry weather. In winter, it is very cold and dry, although the eastern coast will see snow flurries)
Winter in the UK is generally cold and wet. It is unadvised to fell walk or mountain climb in this season as temperatures drop sharply at higher altitudes and daylight is at a premium with dark early evenings. Storms, with torrential rain, the occasional blizzard and winds up to 70mph (110kmh) occur most winters, usually in January. Besides, heavy snow fall tends to come as a bit of a surprise and generally brings the country to a halt. Many trains do not run, cars have no winter tyres and slide all over the place, schools can close when there is heavy snow! Some northern areas are subject to avalanches and fatalities may occur.
Spring in the UK is often wet and mild, but in between the rain showers, things can get warmer. Typical temperatures range from 5C to 20C. May tends to be the most settled month of the year, a good time to visit too, with nature in full swing and the tourist season still a couple of months off. So, go walking across the UK in May!
For the most part of the UK, summer should be warm, quite dry and the best time to visit the UK if you are after reliable weather and an outdoor holiday. Temperatures stay above 15C by day (usually dipping no lower than 10C by night) over the entire UK and can exceed 35C in a heat wave. However the past five summers have generally been poor even by British standards with a lot more rain than normal. You should also keep in mind school holidays. They finish for summer mid July in England and at the end of June in Scotland. Most universities finish by mid to late June. To avoid the crowds and still get warm weather, early to mid June to mid September are your best bets, they may be cheaper too. Daylight hours are long too with early daybreak and late sunsets.
Autumn is a changeable season, but it is the UK at its most picturesque. The colours of the leaves are on a par with those seen in New England. Weather from the south west is generally not great news at this time of year as it brings remnants of hurricanes from the south-east USA and Caribbean, winds of 60mph (100kmh) and heavy rain being the situation.
There you have it! The UK’s weather in a nutshell! Basically, April to early October is the best period to visit. If, however, you want some exciting weather, any other time of the year is good too.
There are 2 units of currency in the United Kingdom (UK), and those are the pound and the penny. There are 100 pennies in 1 pound. While credit and debit cards have made currency exchange automatic, many travelers still need to exchange cash and checks while in the country. You can easily do that at banks, airports, tourist centers and other financial institutions in the UK.
The official language in the UK is British English. So, you won’t have problems in communicating with locals if you can read this article. However, if you’re exploring Wales, you’ll hear Welsh language more often than English, but don’t worry some of the words you might understand. Also, you might hear several other languages spoken by recent immigrant populations such as Polish, Lithuanian or Russian.