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Thursday, 18 June 2015

Weather zones in the UK

I've had a number of questions on my post about weather, and I thought it might be helpful to post a map of the climate zones of the UK.  I have used the plant hardiness zones, since I fondly hope that this will be the most easily understood way of explaining the approximate zoning.  I have also included the simplistic but reasonably accurate map we drew in our geography books more years ago than I care to recall, giving generalisations about the four sections into which the British Isles can be divided.
Hardiness zones, for those people who have not come across them, are used by gardeners/farmers to know what plants will survive over winter in each zone.  In short, don't plant Dahlias in the Highlands of Scotland and expect them to live, bring Begonias and Pelargoniums in everywhere except south of Truro, and plant Fuchsia Magellanica anywhere you like, because it survives down to about zone 4. 

First, the hardiness zones:

And next the regions:

The dryness of East Anglia is proverbial, as the rainfall is approximately the same as that found in North Africa. 


  1. A comment was made here, and I answered it, but anyone interested in the discussion on crops in 1816, the year without a summer, here is where the comments went:

  2. I've also been asked what are hardiness zones, and I'll edit to add that. They are the zones in which particular plants can grow, and most plants that are not dead hard will come with a hardiness zone on the label. It's more an American thing than a British thing, but I've seen it on Brit plants.

  3. Another useful post, Sarah! Especially for those of us in a climate where it never snows and the sun is almost always out. Imagining the nuances of weather - from dense fog, to driving rain, to slush, to heavy snow - is sometimes a bit difficult. And I know from personal experience that an error about something as fundamental as weather can pull a reader right out of the story.

  4. Thank you Mimi! and hard for me to imagine that constant sun... I've been working on 1807 today, and the summer thunderstorm in Glasgow where the hail broke several windows, and the rain so heavy the drains couldn't cope and it flowed down the streets in sheets. I've seen that here, the water literally so fast it jumps right over the drains. And then there were the whirlwinds. I can't say I've ever seen a whirlwind, but I keep reading about them in the Regency era.