It's forecast to be up to 18ºC in some parts of the country today, but let's not get complacent – summer is a long way off. And while everybody loves a bit of sunshine and warm weather, for some of us, a good climate is crucial to our happiness. So if you dread rain and cold, and find yourself listless during the grey winter months, a move to somewhere with a sunnier climate may be a good idea.
Of course, nowhere in the UK will be year-round Mediterranean, and some grey and rainy days are inevitable. But, due to the Atlantic climate systems governing different parts of the UK in different ways, some areas of the country really are more forgiving than others – and not all of the places with the best climate are coastal towns.
We have selected the best places to live in the UK for sunshine and warmth – which means a good balance between sunny days, mild temperatures throughout the year, and little extreme weather.
The Isles of Scilly: warm winters
The Isles of Scilly boast a temperate climate unusual for the UK, nestling in abundant sub-tropical vegetation that thrives due to the unusually warm winters (rarely below 10ºC). The slow pace of life here has tempted many people looking for a change – no town here is bigger than a Cornish village.
St Mary's is our top choice, with its own airport, bank, and shops. It's not the cheapest place to buy property, with a flat costing an average of £250,000, and a detached property £460,000, but once you've seen this stunning corner of the UK, you'll see why it's a popular place to live.
Central London: warmest urban micro-climate
Central London has the warmest urban micro-climate in the UK. This will probably come as no surprise, given that London is a densely built-up area, with a lot of extra warmth generated by busy traffic (of vehicles and people). Summers can be scorching, and a whopping five degrees warmer than in Scotland.
We would also advise to disregard common London weather myths, such as that London is the rainiest city in the UK, a myth that officially has been discredited by the MetOffice. What London does get is changeable weather – a mixture of sun, cloud, and some rain on most days.
The downside? The average property price sits at around £480,000, with different areas varying wildly.
Bognor Regis: tons of sunshine
Bognor Regis gets a lot of sunshine – over 1,900 hours a year. For this reason, it's often named 'the sunniest place in the UK', although other sources will claim that it's Eastbourne, or Hastings. What does make Bognor Regis especially attractive is its all-around pleasant climate. The town is shielded from strong northerly winds by the South Downs.
It's more than just a seaside resort, too, with good amenities, its own town council, and a direct train to London. The average house price in Bognor is £300,000.
Chester: best Northern micro-climate
Small but perfectly formed Chester enjoys one of the nicest micro-climates in North West England; while nearby Liverpool gets a lot of storms and rain, Chester tends to enjoy much sunnier and drier weather.
Moreover, Chester has a prosperous, dynamic atmosphere, with cinemas, exhibitions, and restaurants livening up its pretty town centre. It's also a great place to raise a family, with a choice of great primary and secondary schools. And – property is affordable here, with a semi-detached property costing an average £230,000.
Get more advice on buying a house or flat in our guide.