Long sunny days relaxing on the beach, punctuated by sprints into the sea for a refreshing dip. Balmy evenings watching the sun drop with a cold beer in hand and dinner on the barbecue. Sunshine beating down on high cliff paths, fringed with wild flowers humming with insects. Cloudless skies revealing dazzling views stretching as far as the eye can see. These are a few of our favourite things about summer in the South West.
Yet summer isn’t always as sizzling as we’d like it to be. Although the South West peninsula is surrounded by the sea on three sides and benefits from a milder microclimate than the rest of the UK, especially in summertime, you can never guarantee sunshine on holiday.
However, you can try to coincide your holiday with a period that has historically been the warmest time of year. It’s not an exact science, but we thought it would be fun to look back at some weather data from previous years to see when you’re most likely to enjoy a scorcher of a UK holiday. This is what we found…
Warmest time of year for a South West holiday
Unsurprisingly, the highest number of hours of sunshine have consistently been recorded in May, June and July, when the days are longest, particularly in the period from around 10th July to 22nd July when the Azores high builds and extends over the UK.
The South West of England has a favoured location with respect to the Azores high pressure when it extends from Portugal towards the UK, particularly in summer. This results in reduced cloud cover, especially in coastal areas, which leads to high amounts of sunshine.
When it comes to rainfall, the months from April to July are the driest, when the sea is relatively cool compared to the air temperature, so less cloud forms around the South West coastline.
With regards to temperature, average maximum temperatures are 15 °C in May, 18°C in June and 20°C in July and August. However, the extreme maximum temperatures range from 26°C degrees in May to 31°C in June, and 30°C in July and August. May 2018 has been particularly warm, but is too recent to be included in the data patterns.
So, to sum up, July and August are the warmest time to visit the South West – when you can expect to enjoy average daily temperatures ranging from around 19°C in coastal areas to 21.5°C inland. Not as hot as the South of France, but very pleasant for a UK family or dog-friendly summer holiday, just a short(ish) drive from home.
Of course, if you do get some rain on your holiday, all is not lost. There are plenty of amazing rainy-day activities in this part of the world that will keep the whole family entertained.
Find your perfect holiday cottage in the South West – whatever the season.
Weather data source: Met Office
Data related to the period from 1981 to 2010
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