Today it was hot in the UK. Like really hot. The late 20s /early 30s hot. The papers tomorrow will declare it a heat wave and come Monday everyone will be returning to work completely sunburnt. Then by the end of the week, it will be wet and rainy for two weeks because it’s Glastonbury weekend so of course, it’s going to be wet. I would never have known what that meant 10 years ago.
Welcome to a British summer.
As an Aussie living in the UK, I find it hilarious every year how excited/crazy we get when the temperature peaks for several days straight you’d have thought I’d have I come to adapt to it. Nope! Now every year I get just as excited as everyone else. I wrote a similar post last year you can find it here.
The most surprising thing for me today was I got in my car to go to the gym (yes just popping that in there as a big pat on the back to myself) and the steering wheel was too HOT to touch!! Yes, you heard right to hot to touch. This has never happened to me here. Australia yeah sure this is a daily occurrence but never in the UK. I actually almost called my mum to tell her as I was so shocked. Thankfully I didn’t choose to wake her up at 3 am with the news and instead started to think about all the things that are different between my two homes in the summer time …
Summer in the UK more often than not means a summer holiday to the continent. Spain, Portugal, Italy, France are all on your doorstep and only 2-3 hours flight away. Some of the deals available make it a more cost effective option than staying in the UK and you are guaranteed sun. In Australia, you pretty much stay in Australia but maybe just venture to another state. If you did want to go abroad Bali or Fiji are only 3-4 hours away.
Respect the sun vs worship the Sun
I have moles on my body and have always been protective of my skin. In Australia, you are brought up respecting the sun. At school, you can’t play outside unless you have a hat and there are always campaigns about Slip, Slop, Slap- Slip on a shirt, Slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat. We don’t spend all day everyday sunbathing in the sun and we have Skincare centres everywhere to check on any changes in our skin. This is so different to my friends in England who worship the sun and will sit out all day in to get some colour. Even if that colour is red. Even going on holiday in Europe you always see ‘brits abroad’ who have sunburn on sunburn but still will sit out catching the rays. In Australia, it is rare to buy sunscreen under factor 15 or 30 whereas in the UK you can get factor 4 or factor 8!!
Summer is longer and hotter in Australia
Summer last forever in Australia especially if you live inland or in Northern parts of the country. Every day of summer is almost guaranteed to be warm and if by chance it is cooler it’s still early 20’s. It can also get super hot so you can’t touch your steering wheel, the road looks like it is melting and God forbid if you try to sit on a leather seat.
But…Summer days are longer in the U.K.
Whilst we don’t have as many hot days in the UK we do have more daylight hours. Summer evenings in the UK go up to 9.30/10pm. I love this and found it so confusing when we were on the Gold Coast last year and it was almost pitch black at 6 pm in the middle of summer. Summer days need long summer nights as well.
According to Australia.gov.au there over 10,500 beaches in Australia. There is nowhere near that many in the UK. Whilst I love a beach wherever it is I do prefer the beaches of home. The white squeaky sand that burns the soles of your feet, crystal blue ocean and bush that always separates the beach from the rest of the world. They will always hand down beat a pebbled, muddy British beach.
Ice lollies/Ice creams
No ice lollies/ice creams in the UK will ever compare to a Paddle Pop, Zoopa Doopa or a Bubble-o-bill. Not ever..
Summer will always feel like Christmas
As soon as it starts heating up I’m waiting for the Christmas carols, the Christmas tv and Santa to be driving round the streets on a fire truck. Summer for me means Christmas no matter how many years I have away from home- this will never change.
Obviously, rain was going to pop up somewhere in this post. However, it might not be in the way you would expect. In the UK we hate it raining when its supposed to be summer and in Australia, they long for it to rain in summer. Summers in Australia are long and hot. Summer heat on top of a long-standing drought affects crops, farms, bush and the general landscape. We have bushfires every year and part of the reason they spread so quickly is that everything is so dry and crisp. My grandpa always asks me to bring the rain with me when I come home at summer.
Green vs Beige
Leading on from the above, I have lost count how many times this last month I have said to my other half ‘It’s soo green! It’s never this green at home in the summer’. This is partly due to the rainfall we have. Everything grows so quickly. We didn’t mow our lawn for a month and it looked like a meadow. The countryside in the UK during the summer is beautiful luscious greens, bluebell forests, yellow rapeseed fields and wildflowers on the side of the road. Just beautiful.
Big on both sides of the equator in the summer. Wimbledon, The Australian Open, Boxing day test the list is endless. Both nations love watching sports and getting out and being active in the sunny days.
I grew up in the country and going for a walk in summer meant you always needed to keep an eye out for snakes and your back is always covered in flies. Going for a walk in the UK just means midgies and that’s only if you are near water. Its pretty much a snake free zone and is 100% a fly free zone. The UK wins purely for just not having flies!
Shirts off at the pub
I don’t think I have ever seen Aussie men at the pub with their shirts off in the summer. In England, one little slither of sun and half the men are there with their tops off showing off their Adonis bodies. Most places in Aus will have a no shirt no service rule and we love a drink so the shirts stay on. We are more a nation of vest/singlets, baordy and thong (flips flop) wearing men than a rip your top off at the first sign of sun nation.
One thing that remains the same in both places is that summer = happy. Everyone has a spring in their step, more social and just happier. The vitamin D does something magical to us all. We smile, we play, we eat alfresco, we relish the days spent outside.
Summertime is great not matter what side of the world you are on. There will always be good and less good points no matter where you are. You just need to get our and enjoy it.
What is your favourite thing about summer? Have you experienced summer in two countries that are different? I’d love to hear from you so let me know in the comments below.
50 thoughts on “Summer- Australia Vs UK”
Living in the Northern states of India, I can totally relate to how hot it an get, specifically in the car! It’s like an over for humans
It totally is!! You need the AC on flat out. X
I love summer too 😊
It’s funny though, the reasons why you love something changes with you. For example, some of the things i now love about it are so different. Watching the kids play outside in that magical time between 5pm & bed, the light isn’t as harsh, the air is warm and we can enjoy a glass of wine on the deck. Less clothes to wash!! Knowing that the many many loads of clothes will dry in time (Yes i am boring now!) Having a big waterfight with the kids & grandparents with the new waterguns Santa bought (bless him, there were some for us as well 😉 ). The oldies are still good though – smell of freshly cut grass, rain after extreme heat, swimming in creeks/pools/dams, simple pleasure of warmth on you body.
Craving some heat right now actually. …
I completely agree and I was even thinking about the clothes washing and drying quickly myself! Summer evenings are magical. I’ll send some heat over you way Tara x
I loved reading this!!! Both places are on my travel bucket list! 🙂
Thanks so much
I’m in the southeast part of the United States, and I also love the long summer days. I also love cool summer nights, driving with the windows down, and blasting music. My absolute favorite is evenings on the beach because it’s cool enough to throw on a sweatshirt or jacket, while still enjoying the atmosphere of summer. It’s perfect!
I 100% agree with you on the beach evenings! Nothing better
Great post. Here in Melbourne, Australia, the weather is always changing. We call it 4 seasons in 1 day! But I love my Summers though. 😉
I love that about Melbourne. It could be thunder and lightening in the morning than 30 degrees in the evening. Such funny weather.
I live in Adelaide and I always find it hilarious when Europeans talk about the temperatures in their summer. Whenever I tell people from other countries that it gets to 45 degrees in Adelaide in summer, they are so appalled!
It’s so funny they are just not made for a long and hot summer.
Great post comparing summer!! I love summer at home in Aus because no matter how hot the days are, the evenings cool down and it’s very pleasant. I am aiming to visit UK in summertime next year just to check out your claims.
I’ll hold you to that visit!!
I have genuinely loved reading this it’s so interesting to hear both sides of the story. I’m from the Uk but I have family who has moved to Australia so it’s interesting to learn the changed she would have had to have made.
I have to agree with the burning car! I got in mine yesterday and the leather seat burnt me with the steering wheel being far too hot! I’ve never experienced this before so it was a bit of a shock to me.
You can never beat an evening in the uk after a very hot day. There’s still enough light out with the smell of BBQ’s in the air where you gather with friends and family to relax. 🙂
Thanks so much! I agree with you on the BBQ evenings. There was a lot of those earlier this week. Such a shame the hot weather has gone now
I love that first paragraph and its just the perfect description of an English summer! I sat outside for 5 minutes yesterday before realising I wouldn’t sit outside in that heat without protection on holiday, so why do it in my own back garden! And I’ll never understand the whole “shirts-off” thing…
The shirts off thing is so odd! I’ve seen far to many bodies this week 🙈
Summer… Oh I love it!
Wonderful post! I’ve read this as a “destinations to avoid” since I’m a huge fan of winter. Bring on the snow. So, whether it’s sunny days in the UK, or scorching ones in Australia, I’m looking for the cooler climes.
But yes, regardless, we need to respect the sun-and its affects on our skin.
The UK is stunning in the Autumn. If you want cooler weather (but it’s still sunny) then I strongly recommend visiting then x
I 100% agree. Autumn is in the UK is STUNNING!! Even capitals for extra emphasis 😀
‘Destinations to avoid’ -hilarious. I wish we had more snow than what we do in the winter. It’s the rainy grey days of winter that I can cope with.
Yes my favourite thing about summer are the summer evenings. Sitting outside in the sun at 9pm with a glass of wine is just lovely. I definitely prefer British ice creams though ha. Oh we do have some lovely long sandy beaches in the UK, but you have to hunt for them. Man, I wish we had a no shirts off rule over here! 🙈
Cornwall and Devon have some amazing beaches just wish I was closer to them. Summer evenings are the absolute best! This week has been lovely ( well apart from the last two days)
Yes & Northumberland. Unfortunately, it rarely gets the right weather so we can appreciate them ha x
Even those lollies’ names sound better. Wow!
They just sound made up don’t they 😂
Summer in Winnipeg (the middle of Canada) is bizarrely hot. Everyone assumes because we are so cold in the winter, that it applies to the summer. Nope, 40°C+ right here 🙁 Because agriculture is so huge here, we need the perfect amount of rain! I’m very pale, so I tend to wear sunscreen a lot- it can’t hurt.
I expected Dublin to be a more mild summer when I lived there but of course it was also a freakishly hot year (Summer 2012). As someone who enjoys the rain, it was quite disappointing haha!
I must admit I thought it would be chilly year round in Canada. I can handle rain for a few days but when I goes on forever I always consider buying a ticket home
We are very extreme here in the middle! Vancouver/the West coast in general is fairly similar to the UK, though. I’m okay with it as long as I’m taking Vitamin D supplements!
I’ve spent November to March in South America which is summer over there, and it really was an interesting experience celebrating Christmas and New Years at hot temperatures. Now that I’m back in the UK, it’s funny to see how people got so excited about the hot weather and according to the red faces, it seems like they have never heard of sunscreen 😀
My fiancé always finds Christmas in summer so weird. I guess it’s what your used to. I love it.
Surely the experience of getting seaweed stuck between your toes gives UK beaches the edge?!
Oh crap how did I leave that out 😂
I haven’t been to Australia or United Kingdom. I did spend a lot of time in South America since my family is from Colombia, and I lived in Panama. I also lived in Brazil. This looks cool. Miss my summers back home.
Are the summers really hot in South America? I would love to visit so much. Defo in my bucket list
Thanks for the mention!! X
Yeah i can relate to summer days being longer in the UK since it’s the same with Canada. It’s interesting that you expect Christmas stuff when sunmer rolls around. I’m going to Australia in August which is Aussie’s winter but Canada’s summer. Haha
Haha depending on where in Aus your off to it probably won’t be hat cold. Queensland has been warmer thAn England’s this week and its winter there and summer here. Christmas is a summer holiday 😂
Being an American I love the contrast. We have similar summers to the UK and we associate 4th of July with summer not Christmas. I loved reading this and getting your perspective!
Thanks so much.
This would be a difficult decision! Each of these places has it pros and cons!
Yep which is the interesting thing as most people would automatically assume Australia would beat England in the summer
Having lived in both countries… this post made me giggle. I struggled when sent to Coles for “ice blocks”… looked a right idiot having to ask 😂
So glad!! Ice blocks are the bomb in summer.
Today I was discussing something similar with my flatmate: summer Spain vs UK. You made me laugh when you said that people in the UK get so excited on a hot day. After 4 years living in this country, and still not getting used to this weather, I can say that I’m one of them. I’m over excited when it is warm and sunny even though I know that it is not going to last for long, as you can see today is a clear example: pouring down with rain and chilly, and it’s mid July 🙁 not exciting. Yet I hope we can still enjoy a couple of warm days during August, crossing fingers!!!