It might sound an odd thing to publicise, but being one of the wettest places in Britain does have some advantages, as we’ll note at the end of this article.
The wettest places in Britain:
1. The wettest place according to the Met Office is in Scotland at Dalness in Glen Etive, situated deep in the Highlands. This poor town receives a massive 130 inches or 3.3m of rain a year.
2. Seathwaite in Borrowdale* is famed as the wettest place in England, mostly due to it’s position at the head of the Borrowdale Valley near Keswick in the northern Lake District. The village receives 124 inches or 3.15m of rain a year which mostly flows down into Derwentwater.
3. Glenfinnan by Loch Shiel in the Scottish Highland is third on the list with an average rainfall of 118.98 inches or 3.02m of rain a year. This doesn’t put the locals off having a Highland Games there every year, and the grass does look particularly green.
4. On the other side of Scotland, Inverarnan by Loch Lomond comes in forth with a rainfall of 106 inches or 2.7m per year. However it needs all this rain as Loch Lomond is the 4th biggest “lake” in the country.
5. Inveruglas by Loch Lomond is only a few miles south of Inverarnan and thus gains the title for fifth wettest place in Britain with a rain average of 104.8 inches or 2.66m. Not surprisingly this is pretty similar, but maybe they get one days less rain a year. With all this rain it’s no wonder Loch Lomond is so large.
6. The first village in Wales on the list is Capel Curig in Gwynedd, just tipping in on the wrong side of 100 inches or 2.56m. It is on the northern side of Snowdonia which might help the rain, but is easy to get to from the A5 which runs almost straight past it, a little west of Betws-y-Coed.
7. Wythburn by Lake Thirlmere is between Ambleside and Keswick in the Lake District. The lake itself is actually a manmade reservoir mostly feeding the Manchester area with drinking water, so it really needs quite a lot of rain to stop the Manchester taps running dry. It receives around 99 inches or 2.5m a year.
As a sidepoint, the water is pumped to Manchester purely by gravity and is the longest gravity fed water system in the country. If you go behind Dove Cottage in Grasmere you might be able to hear it.
8. Chapel Stile in Cumbria is tucked away in the Langdale Valley, a little to the west of Ambleside. Being located in the valley, it catches probably more than it’s fair share of rain but the views in this area more than make up for the occasional soaking.
9. Tyndrum and Crianlarich near Stirling in Scotland come in ninth, which isn’t too surprising as the villages are only about 20 miles north of Loch Lomond. Average rain is around 98 inches or 2.4m.
10. Lochgoilhead in Argyll on the western Highlands of Scotland finish off the list with a mere 97 inches or 2.4m of rain. This is probably responsible for much of the filling of Loch Goil which flows into Loch Long and out to the Clyde estuary.
In conclusion: One of the big advantages of living around some of the wetter areas is the temperate climate which not only keeps the weather more stable, but also means these areas keep being green when the rest of the country is being parched.
However I can assure anyone who’s worried that at least with the Lake District, the majority of it does get a lot of dry Summer weather and we top up Lake Windermere and co. during the Winter from the surrounding hills…and a giant hosepipe from Seathwaite.
* Talking of Seathwaite, there’s a story that many years ago a major tyre company wanted to test a new wet weather tyre so they offered free tyres to the residents of Seathwaite. Only problem was, that year the north west of England had a drought and no rain fell in Seathwaite all Summer!
If wettest isn’t your thing, you could try the warmest places in the UK.
The Met Office
Visitor attractions in the Lake District (indoor and outdoor)
Hotels in the English Lake District
Holiday cottages in the Lake District
Visitor attractions in Highlands of Scotland
Hotels in Highlands of Scotland