As we currently swelter in a ‘heatwave’ here in the UK with temperatures in the early-mid 30s Celsius, we had to think about how it is to walk through the area in the Summer and what kind of conditions people might expect with the weather, trails underfoot and other things you may encounter during the peak season.
We often get asked questions like: When is the best month for weather? When are there likely to be crowds? What should I bring in terms of kit? The answers are not always straightforward, and there are some unexpected answers.
One thing that often surprises visitors to the UK, especially if they are from countries further South, is the length of the days during the Summer. The UK is surprisingly far North in latitude and the daylight hours are long, particularly in June and July, with darkness not arriving until after 10 pm, so there is plenty of time in the evenings to explore if you wish.
Another topic that very frequently comes up is that of the weather. There is no getting around the fact that the weather is changeable in the UK and therefore there are no months during the Summer where you will be guaranteed dry and sunny conditions like you might be in Southern Europe for example. It could be dry and sunny or you could have a wet and windy day. Perhaps you might have some afternoon showers with sunshine at either end of the day. The key is to come prepared for both: light and good breathable waterproof jackets, layers that are easy to take off/put on (zip-off trousers that turn into shorts are great!) as well as good footwear. You could very easily have a week where the temperature is up at 26 degrees and sunny and then drops by 8 degrees and becomes wet.
It is also easy to assume that unless the weather is anything than perfectly sunny you won’t have a good time. Actually, this most often is not true, sometimes the rain can give excellent visibility after it clears leading to fantastic views, there can be almost a meditative quality to the rain also with quieter trails and villages, and you really feel grateful and earn your rest at the end of the day if you’ve had a bit of rain along the way! Of course, without the rain we wouldn’t have the beautiful green fields that make this island and area so special.
When it comes to the crowds, well some of the villages can get busy, especially at the weekends. But it really depends on things like the School holidays, national holidays or the weather and rarely does it get unpleasantly crowded. However, away from the villages and on the trails you can expect it to be nice and quiet, especially once you have walked some distance into the countryside.