WINTER: The Sunniest UK location revealed
Enjoying scenic wintery walks with your household (or your support bubble!) and planning the perfect day out to pick your perfect Christmas tree are all ways to stay festive this Winter season and get outdoors.
But despite the weather getting colder as the winter months sweep in, the UK still gets plenty of sun during the darkest time of the year, but what location gets the most winter sun?
We looked at the MET office statistics* focusing on weather stations across the country to see how many hours of sunshine they each had in November, December, January and February across the last ten years.
We think you might be in for a surprise, as the UK got 68,521 hours of sunshine in the last decade during the winter! But what did each region look like over the years, and do you live in the UK’s sunniest region during the winter months?
Northern Ireland has had the most sun in winter in the last ten years compared to the rest of the UK, clocking in 4365 hours of sunshine in the winter months!
In 2019 the sunny region saw 659 hours of sunshine in winter alone!
There are plenty of places to go for a crisp winters day walk, and Cave Hill Country Park is at the top of the list! It’s the best place for picture perfect views of Belfast and has a variety of paths to take, so if it’s a really chilly day, a challenging hike will be sure to help you work up a sweat.
The East Midlands has had 2,981 hours of sunshine between 2009-2019.
The region had 310 hours of winter sunshine in just 2019.
The East Midlands has many places to get the family out of the house for some much needed fresh air, where you can enjoy the winter holidays safely!
Bolsover Castle has amazing views over Derbyshire, and has many walks around its magnificent grounds. The castle is also host to tours so you can wander the decorated rooms and explore the ruined terrace range.
The East of England had 19,000 hours of rays being recorded from 2009-2019, during the winter months.
In the winter of 2019, the East of England clocked 323 hours of winter sun!
The East of England gets many hours of sunshine throughout the year, and it’s definitely not lacking in winter!
The East Suffolk Lines connect coastal towns across the East of England where you can explore some of the historic towns and villages. Providing your tier rules don’t have any travel restrictions, you can travel through the traditional towns and Broads National Park and across the Carlton Marshes Nature Reserve; with all this sunshine, you’re bound to have stunning views for the whole journey.
South West of England, has had 2981 hours of winter sunshine since 2009.
In 2019 the sunny region saw 356 hours of sunshine in winter alone!
The South West of England is host to many people’s staycations in the summer months, and with the scenic section of the country getting plenty of sunshine during the winter, there is still loads to do!
You can take a visit to the Eden Project, a brilliant day out for anyone! It is made up of biomes that contain a huge variety of different plants from a variety of diverse climates and environments. With clear glass covering the biomes, you can still get to soak in all the winter rays but enjoy the cosy warm temperatures needed to keep the plants happy!
South East of England, which has had 2877 hours of sunshine since 2009.
In 2019, this region clocked 301 hours of winter sunshine.
The South East of England’s beautiful beaches in the summer, and even though you might not want to sunbathe during the winter, there’s still plenty to do!
With such stunning coastlines outlining the beautiful green spaces, there are many long winding walks to take to take in the views. There is also Brighton Pier, where you can grab a hot drink and enjoy the fairground favourites and fun arcades! Many of the rides are also undercover, so even if the sun decides to hide away for a couple of hours, no weather can dampen your spirits!
The Yorkshire region has had 2651 hours of sunny skies recorded in the winter months!
2019’s winter saw Yorkshire recording 257 hours of sunshine.
It’s no surprise that the further north you go, the less winter sunshine you might come by, but the numbers haven’t got much of a difference than you first might think, so you can be sure to get that much needed vitamin D whilst you’re out and about!
Take the family out, or enjoy a couples’ day out by relaxing and enjoying some sightseeing on a cruise along the Ouse River. You can enjoy the winter sun whilst listening to the live commentary, filling you in on all the details of the historic landmarks whilst you took into the food and drink served on board.
In the last decade, Wales has clocked 2619 hours of winter sunshine.
In winter last year, Wales recorded 230 hours of sunny rays!
Wales’ countryside has plenty of sunshine during the winter and it is no surprise that there is still plenty to do to entertain the kids and yourself during the darker months.
As it’s home to stunning countryside landscapes as well as lovely beaches, and a rich history, the winter sun brings you plenty of opportunities to enjoy it all.
But, if you fancy adding a bit more thrill to your life this winter, why not go barrelling down a 1555 meter long zip line at 100mph over Penrhyn Quarry! With the stunning sun shining, you can take in the breathtaking views and feel as though you’re flying.
With tiers and restrictions changing, make sure to book online so you don’t end up disappointed!
The West Midlands clocked 2594 hours of sunshine during winter over the last decade.
The region had 238 hours of winter sunshine in just 2019.
If you’re looking to save some money and keep the whole family entertained this winter, why not look for a different type of thrill, whilst staying safe! You can explore Birmingham with your household or your support bubble with just a smartphone game in a completely unique way.
The app will bring the city’s terrifying history to life, by solving clues and discovering landmarks as well as the creepy ghost stories that go with them!
It might have had the least hours of sunshine to the rest of the regions, but Scotland still clocked in 2218 hours of sunshine during the last ten winters.
In 2019’s winter, Scotland recorded 182 hours of sunny skies.
Scotland has some of the UK’s most historic towns and cities, and with the country home to many beautiful castles and lochs to explore, the sunny skies even during the winter, are the icing on the cake!
If you feel like escaping your home office, and immersing yourself in the interesting history and culture whilst soaking in some rays, there is plenty to do.
A bright and crisp winter’s day is the best opportunity to grab your bike and traverse the stunning landscapes, especially as Scotland is home to world-class 7Stanes Mountain Biking Centres which span the south of Scotland. If you live further North, you can always head to Callendar Estate and Cuningar Loop, where you can hire a bike and get to grips with mountain biking with some lessons.
It’s clear to see, that even though many of us are working and learning from home, we can still get out of the house to get our daily dose of vitamin D and enjoy the activities our local areas have to offer, all with the added benefits of blue skies and sunshine!
*The Met Office data did not include weather stations for North West, North East and London. This is due to missing or incomplete data.