Our wet and windswept is­lands should be cel­e­brated for their shift­ing scenery and change­able sea­sons, ex­plains CW ed­i­tor Guy Proc­ter.

Country Walking Magazine (UK) - - Tea Break - Guy Proc­ter, CW ed­i­tor. Loves rainy hills, vin­tage gear and au­tumn days.

We live in the best coun­try in the world for the out­doors. And we have the best weather for it. No, re­ally: think about it. In the UK noth­ing is more than a long day’s drive from any­where else. In Amer­ica you can spend days driv­ing across a land­scape that never changes. In Aus­tralia, many, many days. Here you can drive from the Cor­nish coast to the High­lands, or the moors to the beach, the fens to the Western Isles – and noth­ing is too far from any­thing else.

Which brings me on to the sec­ond rea­son the UK is so good: va­ri­ety. We’ve got it all here. No other coun­try packs so much into so lit­tle. Find me an­other na­tion with the his­tory and va­ri­ety the UK has, where you can walk pris­tine sand dunes in the morn­ing and fell-tops in the af­ter­noon, be­fore be­ing in a pub for sun­down, then see the north­ern lights be­fore bed­time.

And so there’s an­other thing. We’re a four-sea­son coun­try. And each sea­son has its own stun­ning sen­sory qual­ity that comes with it. You can shuf­fle through leaves, snow, the fra­grant wild gar­lic of spring and the fresh-cut grass of sum­mer – the UK’s got it cov­ered. All you need to worry about is what is cov­er­ing you.

Bri­tish weather is the con­ver­sa­tion you have when you’re abroad when you’ve noth­ing to talk about. “The weather though...” some­one will say. Some­one who clearly doesn’t know the joy of strid­ing out and know­ing that what­ever falls from the sky to­day, you’re sorted. Bri­tain’s cli­mate is one of the most chal­leng­ing in the world – it’s why the ex­plor­ers we’ve ex­ported are so tough. And it’s why cloth­ing born here copes when other cloth­ing fails.

So you can keep your Alps, lovely as they are. Your red deserts, your balmy is­lands. We’ll come and visit, and we’ll love it. But for us it’s the kiss of Lake­land rain, the pink blush of mist on a Snow­do­nia dawn, the aus­ter­ity of a Cairn­gorm win­ter and the sul­try, sharp smell of a pinewood for­est af­ter a storm. We say, weather is part of the joy. We say, bring it on. We’re ready. Let it rain.

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