Which are the rainiest cities in the UK and why are they so wet?

Here’s the reason why the wettest parts of the UK are so, well, wet and why these places get more rain and flooding than others.

Basically, if you live in the west you’re going to get wet which is why Scottish and Welsh cities take the four top spots.

But why do these areas get such a drenching?

According to the Met Office: “The prevailing warm, moist, westerly winds mean the west of the UK is more likely to receive rainfall from Atlantic weather systems which usually move from west to east across the UK and as they do so the amount of rainfall they deposit reduces.

“This is because the mountains of the northern and western UK force the prevailing westerly winds to rise which cools the air and consequently enhances the formation of cloud and rain in these locations.”

According to the Met Office the rainiest parts of the UK are concentrated in mountainous regions with Snowdonia, the Lake District and the Scottish Highlands all receiving more than 4 metres of rainfall in a year. It means places you often associate with rain, such as Manchester, don’t even make the top 10.

Argyllshire tops the list with a soaking 2,274mm of rain each year and western areas in Scotland hold most of the top 10 spots with the exception of Merionethshire in Wales in at number 4 and Caernarvonshire at 6.

The highest listed English place is the north west county of Westmorland in at 9.

Cardiff is Britain’s wettest city with 1,152m m falling on it each year. Manchester comes in at 15 behind Belfast and Leeds. London is one of the driest at number 63 with a mere 557mm of rain.

So if you want to stay dry then move east to places like Cambridge, York and Lincoln with London probably the driest city in the UK even though it has suffered terribly from flash floods in 2021.

To find out more about the causes of flash flooding and why it can be so destructive click here.

The local north east rivalry between Newcastle and Sunderland remains as intense as ever with Sunderland just slightly drier than Newcastle.

By the way, the parts of the UK which see the most sunshine are Bognor Regis with 1,902 hours of sunshine per year, Eastbourne (1,888), Hastings (1,871), Isle of Wight (1,860) and Bristol (1,671). Bognor Regis, Eastbourne and Hastings are all in Sussex.

But when it’s wet in the UK it can be really wet with flash flooding always a risk which is why many homes and businesses now have FloodSax sandless sandbags for flood protection so they are prepared 24/7 to reduce their chances of flood damage. FloodSax are transformed from being as light as a pillowcase to being more effective than traditional sandbags in just three minutes and are ideal at soaking up spills as well as stopping any floodwater.

Around 2.5 million have now been sold worldwide for flood resilience, flood protection and flood control. 

The full list of Britain’s cities and where they are in the UK’s rainfall chart is:


  1. Cardiff
  2. St David’s in South Wales
  3. Glasgow
  4. Bangor
  5. Truro
  6. Preston
  7. Bradford
  8. Leeds
  9. Newry, Northern Ireland
  10. Plymouth
  11. Swansea
  12. Belfast
  13. Newport
  14. Lisburn, Northern Ireland
  15. Manchester
  16. Salford
  17. Gloucester
  18. Liverpool
  19. Sheffield
  20. Aberdeen
  21. St Asaph, North Wales
  22. Bath
  23. Perth
  24. Stoke-on-Trent
  25. Birmingham
  26. Bristol
  27. Exeter
  28. Southampton
  29. Salisbury
  30. Stirling
  31. Winchester
  32. Inverness
  33. Portsmouth
  34. Chester
  35. Dundee
  36. St Albans
  37. Derby
  38. Nottingham
  39. Wells, Somerset
  40. Edinburgh
  41. Coventry
  42. Lichfield
  43. Wolverhampton
  44. Kingston-upon-Hull
  45. Leicester
  46. Norwich
  47. Hereford
  48. Oxford
  49. Durham
  50. Canterbury
  51. Ripon
  52. York
  53. Lincoln
  54. Peterborough
  55. Worcester
  56. Wakefield
  57. Newcastle
  58. Sunderland
  59. Chelmsford
  60. Ely, Cambridgeshire
  61. Derry
  62. Cambridge
  63. London