The UK has a mild, humid temperate climate, tempered by the North Atlantic Current and the proximity of the sea. The hot, humid summers and mild winters offer temperatures pleasant enough to enjoy outdoor activities all year round. However, the weather in the UK can be changeable and conditions are often windy and wet. British rain is world famous, but in practice it rarely rains more than two or three hours at a time and often some parts of the country remain dry for many weeks, especially in the east. The sky is more often cloudy or partly cloudy. It is a good idea to be prepared for a change in the weather when you go out; a jumper and mackintosh are usually sufficient, unless it is winter. Summer temperatures can reach 30ºC in places and winter temperatures can be mild, for example 10ºC in southern England and 0ºC in northern Scotland.
As the United Kingdom stretches from one end to the other for almost a thousand kilometres, temperatures can vary considerably between north and south. Spring and autumn often show the greatest regional differences in temperature, with single-digit readings in the north compared to the mid-1920s in the south. There are also marked differences in precipitation between the drier east and the wetter west. Scotland and the north-west of England (particularly the Lake District) are often rainy and cold. The mountains of northern Scotland experience alpine conditions in winter with heavy snowfall. The North East and Midlands are also cool, although with less rainfall. The South East and East Anglia are generally warm and dry, and the South West is warm but often wet. Northern Ireland and Wales generally experience cool to mild temperatures with moderate rainfall, while the hills of Wales occasionally receive heavy snowfalls. Although the highest land in Britain rarely exceeds 1300 metres, the influence of altitude on precipitation and temperature is great.