Going outdoors is probably the last thing you’re thinking of doing on a dreary, drizzly day. Most of us would rather be tucked under a blanket or watching our favourite show.
Although we’re in the business of protecting you from the rain, there’s also something wild and energising about going out in it and taking in the dramatic atmosphere.
As luck would have it, we’re entering into the rainy season in the UK, which tends to fall between the months of October to February. Since the prevailing wind comes in from the Atlantic, the Western parts of the UK are the parts that get hit the heaviest, and usually first. That’s why all the locations on this list are on the Western side.
So, pop your wellies on, grab one of our stylish clear umbrellas, and let’s explore some of the wettest parts of the UK.
Western Scotland and the Highlands
The first stop on our list is Western Scotland and the Highlands, which receive up to 4000 mm of rain each year. While it’s difficult to narrow down which area of Scotland’s beautiful landscape to pick for your rainy adventures, here are some recommendations.
Argyllshire is the rainiest spot, getting about 2274.9 mm a year. In this region, you’ll find over 3000 miles of rugged coastline, transforming into fantastically dramatic scenes on a drizzly day. If you hop on a ferry to the Isle of Mull, you’ll also get a chance to see the brightly coloured houses of Tobermory. For brisk coastal walks, make sure you’ve got one of our windproof umbrellas along for the journey.
Closely following Argyllshire is the region of Dunbartonshire, which gets an average of 2066.5 mm of rainfall each year. A must-see in this area is Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. The stunning views of the loch and the ancient forests close by make for a rugged day out beneath rain clouds. Then, try out the famous Glengoyne or Loch Lomond Distilleries to warm up after admiring the landscape.
If a city escape is more to your liking, Glasgow was also named the UK’s second rainiest city in 2021. This port city gets, on average, 94 mm of rain each month, and there’s plenty to do while you’re there. From the Maritime Museum to the Botanic Gardens, the sharp contrast between grand Victorian architecture and contemporary buildings is well worth adding to your album.
The Lake District
The Lake District is famous for its rainy weather. Out of 365 days, you can expect around 200 of them to be wet ones. The areas of high elevation make the Lakes even more of a hotspot for rain. This is because when moist air comes in from the sea, it is pushed upwards, which cools the air and helps to form rain clouds. Hence, in a year, this region receives around 3200 mm of rain.
The award of the rainiest place in the Lake District is Seathwaite, with 3552 mm of rain a year. In fact, this small hamlet is the wettest inhabited place in England. Just south of Keswick, Seathwaite is a great jumping-off point for exploring the imposing sights of Great Gable or Scarfell Pike.
For a more relaxed walk, the Lakes offer many more easy-going footpaths to enjoy and take some moody photos of the clouds over the water. Or make the most of this time of year by capturing the red and gold floors of the forests. Between Coniston and Windermere, Grizedale Forest not only has this but also features a unique sculpture trail where artwork is nestled amongst the trees and waterfalls. For the kids, there’s also the adventure play area or Go Ape for the more courageous.
Afterwards, the quaint towns dotted around the lakes are just what you need to grab a bite to eat in a cosy pub next to a warm fire.
Last but certainly not least is the mountainous region of Snowdonia in North Wales which gets over 3000 mm of rain a year. While heading to the top of a mountain in bad weather is not a good idea, Snowdonia has plenty of dramatic sights perfect for stormy weather.
The slate-covered hills and stunning views of the Llanberis Pass are just waiting to be added to your photo album. Meanwhile, the towns of Llanberis and Beddgelert are home to historic slate houses and buildings to explore. They’re also great starting points for laid-back walks around the nearby lakes. Llanberis even has a steam train that does circuits around the lake if you need a break from the walking and the rain!
Alternatively, this region also has plenty of adventure sports to take part in. Capel Curig, which also happens to be the wettest village in Snowdonia with 2697 mm of rain a year, is home to the Plas-y-Brenin Outdoor Activity Centre, where you can have a go at kayaking, paddleboarding and more.
From dramatic scenery to autumnal atmospheres or listening to raindrops pattering against your window – there’s so much enjoyment to be had out of the bad weather. Wherever you decide to go on rainy days, don’t forget to pack an umbrella to keep up with your adventures and the rain!