Britain's geographical status has fluctuated between an island and a peninsula of Europe several times over the past 500 kya, as sea-levels rose and fell in response to global climate change. In this paper, we outline the currently available lithological and biological evidence for these fluctuations and use it to help construct an heuristic biogeographical framework of human colonisation, settlement, and abandonment, proposing mechanisms that are coupled with both regional palaeogeographical evolution and global climatic change. When used as a means of interpreting the archaeological record, the implications of this framework suggests not only that large-scale socio-culturally relevant patterns may indeed exist in the lithic record, but that these may possibly be understood as part of the ebb and flow of different regional populations, measured against the backdrop of changing climates and landscapes. It is suggested that the Clactonian and Acheulean may represent separate pulses of colonisation, possibly by different European populations, following abandonment during the height of glacial periods: the Clactonian reflecting an early recolonisation event during climatic amelioration, the Acheulean representing a second wave during the main interglacial. This phenomenon is recurrent, being observable during the first two post-Anglian inter glacials. Other patterns in the lithic record are argued to reflect specific endemic technological developments among insular hominid populations during periods of isolation from mainland Europe. These represent some of the few patterns in the British Acheulean that cannot be interpreted more parsimoniously in terms of raw materials.