Top 10 outdoor facts
There are so many things to love about the great British summer. Barbecues at the first glimpse of sunshine. The mad rush down to the seaside as soon as the temperature goes into double digits. Relaxing in the garden with friends and family, preferably in style.
We all love the outdoors when the sun is shining bright. But how much do we actually know about our summers? Or, in other words…
What are some great British summer facts
The word ‘summer’ comes from the Old English ‘sumor’, which has its roots in the even older Sanskrit word ‘sama’, meaning ‘half year’.
The oldest English round song discovered to date is called Sumer Is Icumen In, or ‘summer is coming’. Also known as the Cuckoo Song, it dates back to the mid 13th century and is written in the Wessex dialect of Middle English.
The UK’s hottest day on record was in the summer of 2003, when temperatures in Kent hit a sizzling 38.5°C.
June 1975, on the other hand, saw a day of snow showers cancelling a number of cricket matches across the country!
And that wasn’t even the UK’s coldest summer day. That dubious honour is jointly shared by the summers of ‘55 and ‘62, when the mercury at one point dipped to a that’s-actually-worse-than-most-winters level of -5.6°C.
Of course rain would feature on this list. The wettest UK summer on record was in 1912, when as much as 384 mm fell across the country.
The driest? The summer of 1995, with a paltry 103 mm of rainfall (not that many people would have complained).
In 1907, frustrated with nightfall cutting short his games of golf, a chap called William Willett wrote a pamphlet titled A Waste of Daylight, advising fellow Brits to get up earlier. This gave birth to a great idea: British Summer Time.
Another great idea: strawberries and Wimbledon. Every summer, a whopping 28,000 kgs of strawberries are consumed at the tournament (together with over 200,000 glasses of Pimm’s).
The UK’s number one summer holiday destination is Spain. Number two? It’s the UK! Believer it or not, it turns out that despite the rain (and the occasional cricket-killing snow), summertime in Britain really is worth staying home for.