It’s a truism that the British are obsessed by the weather, but that’s a distinctively handy piece of information. If you’re seeking to break the ice or have run out of anything else to say, bringing the weather up is a guaranteed way of avoiding awkward silences. Claim that the weather just can’t seem to make its mind up, follow it up with a knowing ‘tch’, and you’re well on your way to being a native.
Britain’s weather is changeable, that’s the constant, but it is so within fairly tolerable limits. Washed by the Gulf Stream, Britain is warmer than it ought to be, and the mildness of its winters is balanced by that of the summers. It’s much like the national characters, varying in each of the nations but generally not going to extremes. Britain has a temperate climate, then, and visitors will need to be ready for rain, sun or cool greyish days. Any week, and sometimes any day, in summer can combine glorious and radiant sunshine with drizzles or more sustained rain, and then back to evening sun. About a third of days in England (concentrated in winter, naturally) have some rain, though showers are often brief and not really making the effort. It does ensure the countryside is beautifully green, though.
The south-east has the mildest climate, relatively warm and dry and can have long and golden summers. The north and west are colder and usually wetter – particularly on the coasts and in Wales, with its cloud-gathering mountains, as well as on the west side of the Pennines in the north-west of England. The contrast can be marked on a given day, with the unworthy south-east basking in warmth or lovely winter sunshine while the north, west and Wales have weather that will produce excellent crops of grass or boost the weatherproof clothing industry. Being further north and possessed of a more adventurous landscape Scotland in general is colder and more prone to snow in winter, particularly in the Highlands. It makes up for it with longer summer days and shorter winter ones.
Overall, then, Britain’s weather is moderate and changeable, and if you don’t like the weather at one point, don’t worry, it’ll be different in a minute.