Only in Britain – 7 signs the British summer has arrived

Bowl of Strawberries and Cream on blue wooden background
Petr Goskov / Alamy Stock Photo

Get your fix of true British spirit as we explore some of the most quintessentially British things. Wimbledon has dominated the news over the last 2 weeks and as it draws to a close this weekend, we’re carrying on the celebration of all things British!


As the festival season begins, it’s a clear sign that summer is on its way. The unpredictability of the weather gives UK festival-goers the unique experience of packing for all four seasons in one bag! Check out our festivals blog for a taste of the festival action across the UK.

GLASTONBURY, UK - JUNE 28: Festival goers enjoy Elbow performing at Glastonbury Festival on 28th June, 2014 at Pilton Farm
Paul Smith / Alamy Stock Photo

Wimbledon tennis championship begins

One of the biggest events of the British summer since July 1877, Wimbledon tells us that summer’s in full swing. Unfortunately, this usually means the sun goes into hiding and the rain starts to pour…

Wimbledon Doubles. Image shot 1909. Exact date unknown.
Chronicle / Alamy Stock Photo

The emergence of strawberries, cream and Pimms…

If Wimbledon alone isn’t a big enough indication that the long summer days are upon us, you’ll be doubly sure you’ve got it right if you start to notice the following two traditions…

Strawberries and cream become a staple food…

Strawberries and Cream at Championships Wimbledon Tennis
David Levenson / Alamy Stock Photo

…and Pimms appears just about everywhere taking no prisoners

Pimms jug and glasses on the Tea Lawn The Championships Wimbledon Tennis
David Levenson / Alamy Stock Photo

Henley Royal Regatta

Us Brits love an excuse to get dressed up, and what better reason to pop on a posh frock than Henley Regatta? If 5 days of rowing races on the River Thames doesn’t scream ‘British spirit’ at you, nothing will.

Spectators line the riverbank watching the racing at Henley Regatta
Tim Jones / Alamy Stock Photo

BBQing in the rain

One thing you have to commend a Brit for is their resilience and sheer reluctance to admit defeat. Once summer has arrived, every day is a good day for a BBQ. So, come rain or shine, you’ll know it’s summer if the BBQ is lit!

Middleton-in-Teesdale, Co Durham, UK. 10th August 2014. The heavy rains sweeping through Britain dampens but does not stop the barbecue at the Kingsway Centre in Upper Teesdale in the North Pennine Hills. Credit: Jim Nicholson/Alamy Live News
Jim Nicholson / Alamy Stock Photo

Traffic jams galore

Fancy a trip to the beach? Or how about a weekend away with the family? Good luck to you! You know summer has truly arrived when no matter what day or time you set off at, you just can’t avoid sitting in a traffic jam.

A traffic jam on the M8 Motorway and Kingston Bridge approach roads in Glasgow city centre, Scotland, UK
Kenny Williamson / Alamy Stock Photo

Camping in the rain

So, you’ve spent 6 hours in traffic and you’ve finally arrived at your holiday destination. But, there’s only one way to really tell that you’re on a summer holiday in the UK, and that’s when you’re putting up your tent in the middle of a muddy field during a torrential downpour.

Family erecting tent on rainy campsite Pembrokeshire Wales UK. Image shot 2009. Exact date unknown.
mark phillips / Alamy Stock Photo

If this isn’t a big enough dose for you, check out our UK category for even more imagery!

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