The weather in the UK is notoriously unpredictable, which makes packing for a cycling holiday in the UK tricky! Every year we're asked similar questions; When is the best time of year to take part in a cycling or mountain biking trip in Scotland and England to guarantee the best weather? Which areas of Scotland and England will be drier during the UK summer? What type of clothes do I need to bring on my cycling or mountain biking adventure?

Unfortunately, predicting the weather in Scotland and northern England more than a few days in advance is nigh on impossible, even for a professional meteorologist! All we can say with any degree of certainty is that, during your multi-day cycling trip or mountain biking holiday in the UK, you are likely to encounter some kind of precipitation! Over the years, we have seen our climate change to some degree so that it’s even more unpredictable! Historically, May, June and July have been the driest months but more recently April has been a very dry month in the UK and has made for fabulous cycling and mountain biking conditions. The down-side of taking part in a cycling holiday or mountain biking trip in the UK so early in the year is the temperature can be on the chilly side!

Generally, the UK experiences a mild climate all year round with the Gulf Stream passing our western coastline. The east is generally a bit drier but cooler than the west, however conditions can and do change quickly especially on higher and more exposed areas. It can rain at any time of year, sometimes all day and we often get four seasons in a day! During the spring, summer and autumn months, the prevailing weather has generally come from the west but in more recent years, north-easterlies have prevailed into May, meaning a cool but relatively dry spring. All of our coast-to-coast cycling and mountain biking routes run from west to east as standard to try to give you a tailwind as much as possible. For example the Way of the Roses and Hadrian’s Cycleway for the road and hybrid bikes and on the mountain bike our Off-Road C2C route and Wainwright’s Coast to Coast. It’s worth bearing in mind though, that all of our cycling holidays and mountain biking trips can be tailored to suit your own preferences. Just get in touch if you have some of your own ideas.

With all of that said, how on earth do you choose what cycling clothes to bring on your cycling tour or mountain biking trip to the UK? Regardless of whether you’re taking part in a road-based cycling trip or an off-road mountain biking or gravel bike tour, there are some pieces of clothing that we wouldn’t leave home without! Here are our top recommendations:
• A lightweight, breathable waterproof jacket – this doesn’t have to be expensive or cycling-specific, but a waterproof rating of at least 3,000mm and breathability of around 5,000g/m² will provide comfort in the UK’s unpredictable climate.
• Cycling helmet with plenty of air vents so that your head doesn’t get uncomfortably hot and sweaty if you’re lucky enough to experience warm weather during your cycling trip! 
• Cycling gloves – There are so many on the market that this is a tricky decision to make. During the summer, I like a pair of biking gloves with a mesh fabric back and padded palm. I also carry a pair of thinker gloves in case of cold weather in the hills. After many years of research, we’ve yet to find a pair of truly waterproof cycling gloves and have resorted to wearing household rubber gloves over the top of our cycling gloves!
• Rucksack or pannier with a waterproof cover – to carry, abd keep dry, your spare clothes and all-important snacks.
• Padded shorts/cycling tights – it’s so important to look after your nether regions when you’re taking part in a multi-day cycling or mountain biking trip!
• Comfortable shoes or boots with a waterproof layer or ordinary shoes with a waterproof overshoe. Even if it isn’t raining, sometimes puddles or river crossings can lead to wet feet.

Hopefully this has given you a few pointers when it comes to what clothes to pack on your cycling holiday or moutnain biking trip in the UK. If you need any other pointers, check out our kit list and happy cycling!