It’s the middle of August, and I think It’s fair to say that the British summer is well and truly over. I could be wrong here, but I do not have high hopes. But hey, we had a couple of weeks of glorious sunshine in June with some record-breaking temperatures. Can’t complain, right?
Still, talking to my family in Slovakia and hearing about their heat waves of 30°C+, lasting more than just a few days, in fact throughout all July, I can’t help it but feel a bit jealous. After these much talked about British heat waves, loved and hated at the same time, we are lucky if we get over 20°C for the rest of the summer.
But even when it rains and it’s cloudy quite often during summer months, the great summer in Britain also has some unexpected perks. Here’s what you need to know about the great British summer.
There are things you can do without
If you have a small child like me, you know how important the protection from the sun is during summer. Sunscreen, plenty of water, trying to stay in the shade, especially at midday. Luckily, you won’t have to face these concerns very often in Britain. To be precise, you’ll get a few days of British heat wave each summer, maximum a couple of weeks.
Other than that, there is no need to apply and reapply the sunscreen over and over again. You get one sun lotion tube, and it will last you for ages, no kidding. The chances are that it will expire before you see the bottom of it. Why on Earth do they have a massive section of these in supermarkets when there is hardly any sunshine in the summer? No worries about your child getting sunburnt. It’s next to impossible, as you don’t see any signs of the sun for days on end sometimes.
You don’t need to spend a fortune on your summer wardrobe. Most of the time, you can pretty much put on what you wear during spring, autumn, even winter. Same goes for your children. Thinking about buying cute dresses, shorts, skirts for your little one? Don’t get too excited and think again. How many of these will you really need for these few weeks of summer in Britain?
Bought them in advance? Well, bad luck. I should have known. After all, I’ve lived here long enough to know how short British summer can be. Still, I got carried away a bit with all the sales and totally overestimated the situation.
Weather, the never-ending conversation topic
Yeah, the ever changing, unpredictable weather always gives you the opportunity to strike up a conversation. The weather is always a good topic to talk about if you are ever stuck in a discussion. Whether it’s talking about the unbearable heat waves, rain spoiling your barbeque plans (yet again) or the fact that you’ve not had a chance to unpack your summer wardrobe, and it’s now the end of July. British people just love talking about the weather.
Everyone loves the British seaside
You’ll fall in love with the British seaside. What a better way to enjoy some sunshine than to head to the coast? But don’t get fooled here. It’s not a Mediterranean type of seaside. Oh no. If you are lucky enough to be able to sunbathe, that’s it; you’ve just won the lottery.
Still, I love it. I’ve never swum or sunbathed on the British coast, but there isn’t a lot that can beat a gorgeous day at the beach. Fish and chips and ice cream is a must, children can build sand castles, and there is also a good chance of seagulls nipping at your sandwich or chips. What not to love about it?
And beer gardens
I just love them. You’ll want to visit one of the many great beer gardens when the weather is nice. I can’t really tell what is it about them, but once you experience it, you’ll be back over and over again. Having a pint, or a large glass of wine in my case, and something to bite outdoors while the sun is shining, you’ll soon be drawn into this very British thing.
Not a regular visitor anymore since our baby arrived but we still like to have a drink in a beer garden occasionally on a nice warm and sunny day.
Keep checking the forecast
No, there isn’t going to be another heat wave anytime soon, but at the same time, any day without a spot of rain is a reason for celebration. You’ll be checking the forecast at least 25 times a day, planning your day around the frequent showers and deciding whether you need your wellies and coat or you’ll be okay with just sandals. Yes, weather apps are a necessity.
Make the most of the sunshine
You’ll also want to make the most of sunny days, once you realise how scarce they really are. Head to the beach, make a picnic in a park, have a barbeque, anything that will take you outside. You’ll want to be outdoors like the rest of the British population. Oh, Brits certainly know how to enjoy every single minute of sunshine. I’ve previously written a post about the spring in the UK and all the madness that’s happening as soon as the sun starts to shine after wet, dark and gloomy winters. You can read it here.
Please remember this. Days without rain and clouds are a rare occurrence, so if you miss your chance, you may have to wait for quite some time before you see any signs of sun rays again.
Go abroad, anywhere
My last point, but all the more important. If you struggle to cope with the unstable British summer and you have a chance and some extra finances, please do yourself a favour and have a holiday abroad. Anywhere. There are pretty good chances that even country like Slovakia will have a better summer than Britain. Ok, so we don’t have the seaside, but you can almost certainly enjoy some lovely hot climate at one of our many water park resorts or beautiful lakes.
So, that’s it. You see, it’s not that bad after all, is it?