The three sunniest cities in the UK are Chichester, Brighton and Hove, and Southend-on-Sea.
The United Kingdom is known for many great things, but one thing is isn’t known for is great, warm weather and plenty of sunlight. Average sunshine hours throughout the country are low, even compared to other countries in Europe.
But there’s still a lot of variety between different cities and you can noticeably increase the amount of sunshine hours you get by moving to a sunnier place. In this article I’m going to provide a list of the sunniest cities in the UK.
I created my list by researching climate data provided by the Met Office (Met Office UK climate averages).
Below I’m listing the top 10 sunniest cities in the United Kingdom that get most sunshine year round. Later in the article I also share the entire table with data for 72 UK cities. Make sure to check my list of the warmest cities in the UK as well. I also have an article on the sunniest part of England.
You may also want to read my article on the number of sunny days in London.
Top 10 Sunniest Cities in the UK
Here are the top 10 sunniest cities in the UK, with the top three getting noticeably more sunshine than other places.
1. Chichester – 1,919 hours of sunshine a year
Chichester is a West Sussex town that claims the top spot in our ranking. The sunniest month, with 254 hours of sun, is July. The sunniest place in the UK gets 360 annual hours of sunshine more than London, 418 more than Birmingham, and 686 hours more than the gloomiest UK city, Glasgow. This also makes West Sussex the sunniest county in the UK. Chichester is also one of the warmest cities in the UK.
2. Brighton and Hove – 1,892 hours of sunshine a year
Located on the south coast of England in East Sussex, Brighton and Hove gets the second place, with 27 fewer hours of sun than the sunniest place in the UK. Brighton’s beaches are definitely more enjoyable during sunny days. Conveniently, the sunniest month is July, with 252 hours of summer sun compared to just 62 winter hours in December.
3. Southend-on-Sea – 1,884 hours of sunshine a year
Southend-on-Sea is the third sunniest city on our list and the first that isn’t located in South East England but instead in East of England. It gets just 8 fewer hours of sunny weather than Brighton and Hove. With its location close to London, it’s a convenient place to enjoy more sun than the average sunshine hours in other parts of the UK.
4. Portsmouth – 1,772 hours of sunshine a year
Portsmouth is just a 25-minute drive away from Chichester, yet on average it gets 147 fewer hours of sunshine. It’s still one of the sunniest places in the UK, though, particularly in the summer.
5. Truro – 1,758 hours of sunshine a year
The small town of Truro in South West England gets the fifth spot. Combined with a milder Cornwall climate with less extreme temperatures, it makes it a perfect place for those looking to live in one of the sunniest parts of the United Kingdom.
6. Canterbury – 1,737 hours of sunshine a year
Yet again, we’re back to South East with another city enjoying sunnier than average weather in the UK. As a popular tourist destination famous for its cathedral, the city is definitely lucky with its sunnier climate.
7. Plymouth – 1,732 hours of sunshine a year
Plymouth is the second-largest city in the South West after Bristol, which is also featured in our ranking. If you’re looking for a sunny big city in the western part of South West England, Plymouth is a top option for you.
8. Southampton – 1,706 hours of sunshine a year
Southampton is another coastal city in our ranking and another place located on the south coast. Like other cities, it gets most hours of sunshine in the summer months. Its sheltered location also gives it some of the warmest temperatures in the UK.
9. Salisbury – 1,699 hours of sunshine a year
Located just 25 miles northwest of Southampton, Salisbury has a similar climate, with just 7 fewer average hours of sunshine a year. Just a quick trip of 9 miles north of the city is Stonehenge.
10. Bristol – 1,658 hours of sunshine a year
Bristol closes our list of the sunniest destinations in the United Kingdom with 261 fewer hours of sun that the sunniest city, Chichester. Compared to the average sunshine hours in the UK, it’s still an improvement over most places.
All Cities in the UK Ranked by Annual Hours of Sunshine
Here’s my list of 72 cities in the UK ranked by the amount of annual sunshine hours.
|Brighton and Hove||1892|
|Kingston upon Hull||1559|
|Newcastle upon Tyne||1551|
Frequently Asked Questions
The sunniest parts of the UK are South East England and South West England.
Chichester wins with 1,919 sunshine hours a year, followed by Brighton with 1,892 and Southend-on-Sea with 1,884.
If defined by the amount of sunshine, Chichester has the best weather in the UK. If also taking into account temperatures, other options include Truro and Southampton.
The sunniest county in the UK is West Sussex with the sunniest place in the United Kingdom, Chichester.
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