6th March, 2017
Here at The Carter Company, we’re often asked for our insider advice on the optimum time of year to visit the UK. So much so that we thought we’d put together a handy guide to help you decide when and where is best to plan your walking or cycling holiday in order to get the very most from your Great British adventure.
Shoulder Season (March through May and mid-September through October)
It might be a little more of a gamble to book your vacation in the so-called shoulder period rather than the height of summer, but it can prove well worth it. There are fewer tourists, prices are lower and, on the whole, you’re likely to experience pleasant weather. In between March and May, sunny days are regular occurrences, but come prepared for bursts of sudden rain – April showers in the UK are not just the stuff of Disney soundtracks! While most imagine September and October to signal a distinct drop in temperatures, fairly often they give way to 'Indian summers', replete with glorious mid-summer temperatures and picnics galore.
High Season (June through August)
From June until August, British weather tends to be at its finest. Of course, school summer breaks mean that you will be contending with British tourists, as well as international travellers, so accommodation rates are at their peak. Be sure to book well in advance to avoid disappointment. On top of that, certain areas, such as seaside towns, national parks and historic cities (York, Oxford, Bath et al), become a hub of activity meaning that surrounding roads are usually busy. August is particularly crowded in areas popular with British holidaymakers, like Cornwall, Devon, Kent, Dorset, Scotland and the Lake District, so we recommend heading to the gorgeous Cotswolds or pootling down the Thames, where crowds are smaller and accommodation much easier to secure in August than in May, June and September.
Low Season (December through February)
Unsurprisingly, the low season tends to summon up wind and rain, and, up north, often snow. So for cycling and rambling outside of the cities, it’s best to book your trip to coincide with warmer climes!
So, in conclusion, we recommend you plan your UK vacation for late May, June, July, August or the first half of September to make the most of the good weather, but book early to ensure you secure a hotel as availability is limited, especially this year. If you’re looking to book a British-based exploration in August, our top tip is adventuring in the Cotswolds and by the Thames. Of course, like everywhere in the world, the weather is becoming increasingly hard to predict so take a look at the Met Office's Climate Map for more in-depth info on the annual forecast in specific areas of the UK.