What to pack for predictably unpredictable British weather

It’s a truth universally acknowledged: summer holidays in Blighty are invariably games of two halves, best approached with a semi-optimistic resignation that you’ll probably have to check out your holiday accommodation’s supply of rainy day board games at some point. (Anyone remember how to play Mahjong?) And while it might mean you need a jumper or two more than you would if you were going away away, you can avoid the ever-present danger of over-packing if you focus on a selection of any-weather essentials.

1. Piqué polo

You may already swear by polo shirts, in which case you know the drill – cool and comfortable, all of that. But your favourite piqué polo really comes into its own in holiday mode, as it segues seamlessly from beach to tea shop, then on to that nice little restaurant you spotted while sitting in the car waiting for the rain to ease off; the latter simply requires you to tuck it in. Talk about versatility!

Lands' End - choose from our variety of mesh polos

2. Shorts

Don’t be tempted to forgo the shorts. Be brave – a little rain is nothing when it means your knees finally get to break out and see some daylight. If you do default to wearing chinos or jeans and the sun makes an unscheduled appearance, just imagine: you’ll only be left having to roll them up…

Lands' End - it's all about the right shorts

3. Casual shirt

Isn’t it the greatest feeling, leaving your work clothes behind for a week or two? The freedom to wear casual shirts every day, even a little bit wrinkled (because no-one should ever use an iron on holiday) – bliss! Here’s where your options are as wide as Holkham beach, with linen (cool), seersucker (classic), madras (bright) and more. Mix it up and think positive: don’t hold back on the short sleeves.

Lands' End - can't forget about cotton shirts

4. Rain jacket

Like insurance, a coat on holiday is something you hope you’ll never have to use. But equally, you know it’s a necessity. We recommend something light-yet-rainworthy, like our spring-weight Squall® jacket; if you’re heading up north you may need the reassurance of a fully waterproof jacket. Both can be squished small enough to fit in a beach bag, used to spread out on damp grass/sand/benches, and mopped clean of ice-cream drips.

Lands' End - our classic lightweight squall

5. Sun-smart swim gear

If the planets align and you’ve the booked the one week of the year that turns out to be a real scorcher, you’ll want to make the most of it. Get yourself kitted out with swim shorts and rash vests with built-in UPF 50 sun protection and one, you’ll be doing your skin a massive favour (even when it’s cloudy, the UV index can still be high); two, you’ll look like you know your way around a surfboard.

Lands' End shorts - sun-smart swim gear