If you can't take the heat, get out of the country! If our barbecue summer is getting you sizzling under the collar, how about a last-minute getaway somewhere a bit colder? We’ve found 10 places that are cool right now.
1. Shetland Islands (13°C)
While London bastes like a breast of chicken in Piri-piri marinade with extra Scotch Bonnet, at the other end of our hallowed, and slightly sunburnt isles, Lerwick, capital of Shetland, is looking at a frankly pathetic high of 13°C this weekend. You won’t see many people slathering on the factor 50 and throwing themselves in the sea at the beautiful-but-cold beach (tombolo to be geographically correct) at St. Ninian’s Isle.
2. Iceland (14°C)
It’s in the name, isn’t it? If you needed to stock up on chicken kievs, you’d go to Iceland. You’d also go there to enjoy the temperate conditions of a sub-Arctic summer. It can get hot in Iceland, not just when there’s a volcanic eruption, but usually it’s free of topless blokes wandering around town with cans of lager in their hands and football shirts tucked into their belts. Go to Reynisfjara beach and hug an iceberg.
3. Varangerfjord, Norway (15°C)
Ah, Norway, that’s bound to be cool, you might think. But no, check the weather forecast before you jump on the Stansted Express, for Oslo, like us, is currently sweltering like a Lhasa Apso on a sun lounger. So pop up the top of the country to the grand surrounds of Varangerfjord on the Barents Sea. At the mo it’s no higher than about 15°C in that neck of the woods, but with a massive 20 hours of daylight, those missing cold, dark nights should stay away and come back in December.
4. Nuuk, Greenland (11°C)
Greenland has been touted as one of the next big destinations in world travel. It’s certainly big. And cold – in winter the mercury falls as far as -29.5°C. But it’s not winter (at least not in the Northern Hemisphere), is it? So you may be surprised to know that in capital Nuuk the temperature, like a cleverly-marketed emo band, regularly reaches the teens. You’ll have to take a wee jaunt out into the wild wide expanses of Greenland’s immense ice sheet to enjoy single-figure fun.
More: World's coldest capitals
5. Ushuaia, Argentina (2°C)
That’s more like it. Go big or go hot. Go south, young man, as they say, to Tierra del Fuego, the awesome archipelago off the very southern tip of South America. Leave those Speedos in your suitcase, there’ll be no need for such sartorial minimalism on the beach here. Tierra del Fuego may mean ‘Land of Fire’ in Spanish, but right now you can expect snow showers rather than scorching sun.
6. South Sandwich Islands (0°C)
You don’t have to leave Britain to find a place that’s freezing. Well, technically South Sandwich is a 'British overseas territory', so that possibly doesn’t count, and you can’t ask the locals what they think, because there aren’t any. There is however, a weather station, hence the data, and a sizeable population of awesome wandering albatrosses, who breed on the imaginatively-named Albatross Island.
7. Antarctica (-14°C)
Ok, let’s cut to the chase. To the coldest place on the planet (just in case you didn’t know that startling fact). Getting to the South Pole is quite a job, but it is possible to visit Antarctica. Usually you need to go on an organised tour, but it is just about possible to go on a flight-only basis. There is a choice of 28 airport landing facilities, although flights operate in the southern summer, so you’ll have to wait until October. And it'll probably be freezing here by then and you'll want to escape somewhere hot.