HEATWAVE-IN-ENGLAND copy

How Does The Heatwave In England Compare To Summer In Australia?

About Us
Londoner In Sydney is a community of expats and locals who love sharing the best destinations and activities around Australia. Be inspired, find hidden gems, stock up on local tips and discover awesome new things to do with our authentic travel guides.
Last updated:

Wondering if you can cope with Summer in Australia? We’ll show you how the heatwave in England compares to Summer in Australia. You might be more surprised than you think!

If you live in Australia and have connections in England, the likelihood that you’ve heard all about the heatwave going on will be non stop on social media, especially the UK extreme heat warning in place.

I know Australians would laugh at the idea of a heatwave being in the high 20s if not reaching 30C, but how does the heatwave in England compare to Summer in Australia?

Seeing as I’ve lived in Australia since 2011, and moved back to England for six months during a heatwave in 2018, let us describe the differences in hot weather between the two countries.


The temperature is different in England and Australia

heatwave-in-england
Appreciating the countryside at Stanmer Park, Brighton

Weirdly, as I’ve always said, 22C in England feels a lot hotter than 22C in Australia. And this isn’t just in England. When we visited Italy and Greece recently, I got sunburnt when it was just 19C. Would I get sunburnt when it’s 19C in Australia? Uh no. If it’s 19C in Australia, you’ll see the majority of people, including myself wearing jeans, jumpers and coats.

I’m not sure why the temperature isn’t the same at all, and it’s nothing to do with acclimatising, it’s probably to do with a combination of things like humidity, sea air etc. This means, when it gets up into the high 20s in England, it will most definitely feel more like 35C in Sydney as a comparison.

So next time someone laughs at it being 22C in England, remember that temperature definitely isn’t the same as it is in Australia. And let’s be clear that housing in Australia is so bad, I wonder how it’s not regulated? With zero insulation, housing is often freezing in Winter and hot in Summer in Australia.


No air conditioning in England

heatwave-in-england-pub
At least we have a good British pub garden to sit in.

One of the biggest things I noticed when I lived back in England is the lack of aircon. People might laugh at the fact that the Brits find warm weather in the high 20s too hot, but when there’s literally no aircon anywhere except in somewhere like Marks & Spencer, you really notice the difference fast.

The buses are super hot with their tiny windows which may as well be closed because the airflow is literally zero. The tube in London is insane and would be a health & safety matter if it was as hot as that in Sydney (to the point where I felt like fainting, it’s that bad).

I’ve wondered how Aussies would actually cope in heat without aircon?

Even walking down Pitt St Mall in Sydney isn’t difficult in the heat because you get the strong aircon breezing out from the shops into the street.


What about the beach and cool sea air in England?

heatwave-in-england
On Brighton beach, UK

Because I lived by the sea in Brighton in England, it’s much cooler. Remember, the majority of people living in Australia will be living by the coast, so imagine what it’s like living in London, a polluted city crammed full of nearly 9 million people?

The pollution is bad and it honestly felt like there was no air at all because of the mass of buildings and people in the city. It certainly made me appreciate the fresh air in Sydney and even though we get those awful 40C temps some days in the summer in Australia, at least you have loads of rock pools, and beaches to cool off. I still have no idea how people stand outside the pub in London with a pint when it’s really hot.

Even Steve who loves the heat found it unbearable on the tube and bus.

brighton-heatwave-uk
This was taken on a Saturday in Brighton

When we lived in England during the heatwave, the high temperatures were so hot that we could only spend two hours in the sun because it was so strong.

So if you’re in Australia and you’re laughing at everyone in UK for melting, I have no idea how anyone would cope. Imagine working in retail without aircon? Imagine going to the office without aircon? We take it for granted in Sydney so much.

And if you’re thinking of moving to Australia and worried about the heat, you’re a lot stronger than you think you are. This heat we’ve been having in England has felt much worse at times than what we get in Australia.


British people are more resilient than you think

Australia-to-england-london-tube

It’s funny because no matter how long I’ve lived in Australia, I think people in England are much more resilient to the heat than you could imagine. I have become so accustomed to needing a breeze and airflow wherever I am.

When I was the only one on the tube with my fan out melting, I was surprised how everyone just accepted it. When I stayed at my friends house in England, I was the only one who had to have the window open all night because it was so hot. When I was the only one wearing shorts and tshirt when we went out to the shops, my friends were in jeans.

Maybe Brits have an opposite understanding of how to dress for Summer just like Aussies do for Winter? I have seen some Aussies wearing flip flops in Blue Mountains in Sydney when it was 2C.


How to handle hot weather in England

australia-to-england

Unsure how to handle the extreme heat in England? Here’s some tips I’ve learned since living in Australia to help you with the rising temperatures as climate change becomes more apparent.

Close the windows and curtains

When I was growing up, my Mother would always tell me to open the windows when it was really hot. The truth is, keep them all closed during the day time if there’s an extreme heat warning. You want to keep the hot weather out of the house and keep it as cool as possible.

While having aircon at home is more than likely not an option, buy a fan and keep it for future heatwaves in England to come. This will help you sleep better at night time.


Head to the beach

durdle-door-jurassic-coast-beach-near-london

If you can, try and escape the city for the beach if it’s a hot weekend. The air temperature will be much cooler than anywhere else. Obviously heading to Brighton Beach will be packed, but if you’re looking for somewhere new to go, check out our guide for the Best Beaches In England Which Look Like They Could Be In Australia.


Be sun smart

heatwave-in-england-sun-burn

You can always tell a Brit who has just arrived in Australia because using sunscreen is a bit foreign to them. Don’t suffer with sunburn, because it will honestly feel a thousand degrees hotter if you get sunburnt.

If you didn’t know using factor 10 sun cream will only protect you for a small amount of time, meaning you’ll have to reapply. Use factor 50 and you won’t have to reapply as much. You’ll still get a tan using sunscreen, it will just help protect your skin from ageing faster and help against getting skin cancer of course. And obviously wear a hat when you’re in direct sunlight, it’s a go to staple for all Australians in Summer.


Invest in a decent beach tent or umbrella

cool-cabana-heatwave-in-england

It’s rare to see anyone in Australia on the beach without a Cool Cabana beach tent these days. If you can’t invest in one, get a beach umbrella. Seriously you’ll need to use it whether you realise it or not.


Keep hydrated

Heatwave in England

Bring plenty of water supplies with you when heading out in the direct sunlight. We always take these water bottles everywhere we go in Australia and around the world as they keep your water ice cold all day long.

Try and avoid excess alcohol because you’ll become more dehydrated than you realise which could cause heat exhaustion from the soaring temperatures. Acai bowls always help to keep you hydrated as well!


Head to the local shopping centre

Chadstone-Shopping-Centre-Melbourne

If it’s too hot, I suggest heading to the local shopping centre like most Aussies do. The cinema is one of the only places you can guarantee will have air conditioning so enjoy having some time away from the scorching temperatures.


Check on elderly people

heatwave-in-england-old-people

In Australia, people tend to die in extreme heat so make sure you check on the older people in your lives and be sure they are prepared for the health risks with the UK heatwave. Do they have a fan and understand how to keep their home cool during the hot spell?


And just remember, the heatwave won’t last forever. Be patient and you’ll be much prepared for when the next one comes along.

Looking for more to read?

best-north-sydney-walks-how-to-make-friends-in-sydney

Thinking about moving to Australia? Check out some of our popular articles to see what life is really like.

Expats Tell Us What Their Living Costs In Australia Look Like

Why Christmas In Sydney Won’t Ever Be The Same For Expats

The Truth About Being An Expat In Australia

19 Things I Learned About How To Make Friends In Sydney Or Anywhere Really


Heatwave in England vs Summer in Australia

Save this pin to read later

If you found this post helpful, please share it on your social media pages 🙂

Share
Pin
Share
Tweet
Email