Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate the determinants of the frequency of board meetings as an index for board activity including their monitoring role. Design/methodology/approach - The research sample is composed of 120 UK firms based on their market capitalization for the period from 2003 to 2008. The study applies multinomial logistic modelling and conditional logistic modelling to investigate the frequency of board meetings. Findings - The study finds that board size and structure are positively related to the frequency of board meetings. In addition, a negative impact of audit committee diligence on the frequency board meetings is reported. The study finds no evidence that the frequency of board meetings are reduced when there is a CEO duality. Finally, the results show that firm size, leverage, free cash flows, and Tobin's IT>Q/IT> have an impact on the frequency of board meetings. Practical implications - This study shows the factors that affect the board effectiveness in the UK, namely that board meetings, board composition, and board size, are key indicators for good internal governance practices and, in turn, enhance board monitoring activities. Originality/value - The research offers the first major study to examine the determinants of the frequency of board meetings in UK non-financial firms. The paucity of the UK literature regarding board effectiveness in the UK reinforces the empirical importance of the results for researchers, managers, and UK policy makers.