As they need to fly such long distances, they are strong fliers and can be found anywhere in the Britain, even up in the furthest Scottish Islands.
Painted ladies (Vanessa cardui
) do not spend the winter in Britain, but instead migrate to north Africa. Those that stay here die from the cold. They fly back from Africa in late spring and are usually here by June, ready to lay their eggs on thistles, which are the caterpillars favourite food plant. The caterpillars pupate inside a large tent of leaves with the adults emerging in August and September, ready to fly back to Africa. They are the only butterfly species ever to have been recorded from Iceland!
For mote info see https://butterfly-conservation.org/butterflies/painted-lady