Cairngorms National Park
Cairngorms National Park
Sara and John say...
This is a wild and wonderful part of the world! The weather can be harsh at times, with heavy rain, strong winds and, in wintertime, blizzard conditions in the hills. So dress for the elements, as they can change quickly. But it’s worth it! When the sun comes out there’s no better place to be; and occasionally, when southerly winds blow, these Highlands can be blessed by some of the warmest weather in the whole UK.
Here’s a wider picture of the UK climate if you’re travelling further afield…
There’s an old saying that “Britain doesn’t really have a climate; it just has weather!”. Conditions vary so much from day to day and week to week that it’s easy for even the locals to get caught out!
Despite the variability, the UK tends not to have extremes of hot or cold, wet or dry. Year-round, the weather tends to be quite mild, thanks to the prevailing Atlantic winds.
Through the winter months, daytime temperatures typically sit a few degrees above freezing. However, this air is often cloudy, bringing with it occasional rain, especially to the north and west of the country, where winds also tend to be strongest.
Infrequently, winds from the north and east cut off the supply of mild air. During these periods, much colder conditions can bring severe frost and snowfall, almost anywhere in the United Kingdom. And the Scottish ski resorts are buzzing during these winter cold snaps.
Spring sees a haphazard transition to warmth; and even in the middle of summer, some days are chilly enough to require several layers. But British summer days typically sit in the comfort zone of the low to mid 20s Celsius in London, whilst further north and west - for Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast - the high teens are more normal.
Whilst unreliable, hot weather does make an appearance most summers. Steamy winds from the Med can send the mercury into the 30s - even in Scotland and Northern Ireland. British beaches can fill up quickly during these heatwaves; but if you head to the countryside, you can enjoy the unique unspoilt landscape at its best.
Early autumn - season of ‘mists and mellow fruitfulness’ - can still bring occasional warmth; but by October, the darker, damper days and lengthening nights usher in a chill, with frost and snow not uncommon as early as November. Not always though - expect the unexpected from British weather!