I grew up in Hong Kong, where summer days are insanely hot and long, while winter days are still cold but short. I am used to a warm and humid climate so I found it quite a drastic weather change when I first arrived in the UK. I adore warmer British months from April to September when the sun is shining and the days are longer. Luckily, Exeter is based in the South West which is one of the warmest places in the UK.
If you’re worried about moving to the UK here are some my top tips for keeping up with British weather!
In the UK you can sometimes experience all types of weather all in one day so layering is a good idea. Even if it is cold outside, the heating indoors is usually pretty good. I always have a tank top or t-shirt under my bulky garments just in case I get too warm and start sweating indoors, and yes, that will happen at some point because the heating in the library is nice and toasty.
I only wear a coat if it is relatively colder (6 degrees or below) and I will dress warmer with accessories like scarves and beanies if necessary.
What NOT to do: Do not wear super warm underwear (also known as heat tech underwear in Hong Kong) because you will suffocate indoors.
It is very important to get a coat that you know you can wear anywhere, it goes with most of your clothes and it keeps you super warm! A bonus is to get a coat that is waterproof with a hood because it is always raining in the UK and we have to be prepared when it pours.
What NOT to do: Coats that look stylish but do not keep you warm or is not rain-proof. You can own multiple coats but one of them has to be rain-proof and is extra warm for those colder days.
Pack an umbrella in your backpack because in the winter months it can rain almost every single day (which is really annoying). Get a sturdy backpack that can protect your expensive laptop and textbooks from the rain. Have a pair of rain shoes that you don’t mind destroying or are waterproof. I prefer having the waterproof option and the classic black Dr. Marten’s boots or a pair of comfy trainers is my choice.
What NOT to do: Just remember UGGs are not a good idea even though they look trendy and they keep your feet warm. They are not the best option when it comes to walking through puddles of muddy water.
Warm socks, scarves, beanies, gloves, and tights are essentials for winter. They help keep the important parts of your body warm and trap heat in your body.
What NOT to do: Caps look cool but they are not practical in the winter, especially on windy days, there is a risk your cap will fly away from you. Been there, done that.
Good news is you can buy everything I mentioned just now in Exeter! Say goodbye to overweight luggage and over-packing because we have a compact shopping mall that holds everything you need to survive in the UK, or you can always shop online for a wider variety of items.