Revealed: Leeds’ top ten things that epitomise the great British summer

Have your say

Research published today reveals what British summertime, famed the world over for wet weather, means to Leeds residents.

The research found that whatever the weather, Leeds folk persevere in pursuit of summer fun.

The survey conducted by YouGov, about British reactions to the summer season heralds John Lewis’s launch of a summer-long celebration of the nation’s favourite summertime things called ‘national treasures’.

The findings have been key in the creation of the national treasures campaign, which launches in John Lewis shops across the UK today with illustrations of Britain in the summer by award winning British artist Paul Thurlby, and a programme of hundreds of events which will run throughout the summer.

The survey by best-selling author of ‘Very British Problems’ Rob Temple and retailer John Lewis, confirmed our obsession with the weather, with over one in ten of Leeds respondents (14%) admitting to talking about the weather three or more times per day. Despite warnings to the first day of mild sun is epitomised by rushing out and getting sunburn (51%). More than one third (37%) of those questioned in Leeds think saying “it looks like it’s going to rain” at every opportunity epitomises our national reaction to British summer weather. Over a third (42%) believe the moment the mercury rises over 13 degrees celsius it’s time to get the BBQ out, and that when we do, a similar number (39%) say, everyone thinks they’re a BBQ-ing master-chef.

Spending the day in a beer garden (17%), a day at the British seaside (15%) along with gardening (15%), followed by sunbathing in the garden (13%), and going to a summer event (8%) emerged as Leeds’ respondents’ favourite ways to spend a summer’s day.

Sleeping under canvas remains a favourite summer activity, with just over one fifth (21%) of those in Leeds saying holidays in Britain are epitomised by camping despite saying ‘never again’ last year. Two fifth (41%) of Leeds respondents say that holidays in Britain remind them of having lunch outside even if half of it gets blown away by the wind and around one third (32%) say they remind them of going for a dip in the sea and only making it up to their knees before running back out.

The survey results confirm Rob Temple’s ideas gathered after years spent observing British habits.

Rob Temple said: “It’s great that iconic British brand, John Lewis, wanted to find out what the nation thinks about our unique and great British summertime. I spend all my time observing the strange behaviour and quirks that makes Brits unique and it’s always comforting to be reassured that I’m far from alone in experiencing them. It’s great to be involved in gathering the Very British data in John Lewis’ national campaign and it will make you want to shout “that’s me!” over and over again. You won’t actually shout it, though, because that would be awkward, but you’ll certainly want to...”

Peter Cross, Customer Experience Director at John Lewis said: “There’s nothing quite like the Great British summer. While we may be a nation of shoppers, pet-lovers and tea-drinkers all year round, there’s something about the summer that makes everything a bit more special. It’s the time when ice creams by the seaside, long afternoons in packed-out parks and grabbing an umbrella (just in case) become our national pastimes. In fact, we’d go so far as to call them our national treasures.

“That’s why we have put together this campaign and will be offering hundreds of events in our shops this summer. Whatever the weather we will be serving tea which is seen by just under half of people in Leeds (48%) as the solution to any problem.”