Recent research on snow cover patterns over recent decades is reviewed for GB. Interpretation for upland areas is complicated by data availability issues. Nevertheless, two distinct features can be highlighted. Firstly, a general relationship of average yearly snow cover duration with mean temperature. This relationship is apparently non‐linear indicating that snow cover duration is especially sensitive to a defined mean temperature range. Secondly, that snow cover can be rather variable from year to year, or over multi‐year phases. This variability has been related to the frequency of synoptic‐scale atmospheric circulation patterns including the North Atlantic Oscillation. These two features are used to contextualise recent and likely future trends in snow cover. It is suggested that there may be different patterns of variability in some mountain areas compared to the adjacent lowlands. This is associated with combined effects of temperature and precipitation during exposure to different air masses. Suggestions are made for improving snow cover observations to further investigate these issues.