Making a ‘massive fuss over a wasp’, inconvenient tan lines and the ‘sound of lawns being mowed’: Britons vote for the 30 things that make for a quintessentially British summer

  • ‘Everyone complaining about the weather’ came top of the ranking 
  •  A 99 with a flake was voted in second place with 40 per cent of the overall vote
  •  94 per cent of Britons agree that the UK summer is a totally unique experience

What makes a British summer so… British? Apparently, it’s everyone moaning about the weather.

That’s according to a recent survey that asked those polled what makes for a quintessentially British summer. ‘Everyone complaining about the weather’ came top of the 30-strong list with 52 per cent of the vote.

Having a 99 with a chocolate flake from the ice cream van was voted second (40 per cent), while in 10th place, a quarter of Britons polled insisted summer hasn’t officially arrived until someone makes a massive fuss over a wasp during a day out.

Buying a 99 with a chocolate flake from the ice cream van was voted into second place 

Harking back to childhood, the tinkling music of the ice cream van coming down a street was voted the third best thing about a British summer, earning 34 per cent of the vote.

Next, at number four, was the smell of sunscreen (32 per cent), while three in ten voters put eating strawberries and cream (fifth) – a Wimbledon staple – as the key summer element. 

Speaking of Wimbledon, 27 per cent of voters agreed that the annual tennis championship (joint eighth) was a summer essential, while watching the cricket on the sofa ranked in 15th place (17 per cent).  

The ‘soothing sound of your neighbours mowing the lawn’ is essential to a British summer, according to a survey 

Twenty-seven per cent of those polled agreed they are annually cheered by the excitement of Wimbledon 

Sixth most popular, at 29 per cent, was burning your bangers on the grill at a fair-weather BBQ, and the sight of a crowd of men gathered around the grill left 26 per cent of voters (ninth) feeling nostalgic.

The ‘soothing sound of your neighbours mowing the lawn’ is also a crucial ingredient for a summer spent at home for Britons (28 per cent, joint seventh) . 

Also tied in seventh place were getting sunburnt on the first day of hot weather (28 per cent) and an ice-cold pint and a packet of crisps in a pub garden (also 28 per cent).

For many, no British summer is complete without inconvenient tan lines 

Britons can’t beat an ice-cold pint and a packet of crisps in a pub garden

30 THINGS THAT MAKE FOR A QUINTESSENTIALLY BRITISH SUMMER 

1. Moaning it’s either too hot or too wet – 52 per cent

2. A 99 with a flake from the ice cream van – 40 per cent

3. Hearing the ice cream van come down your street – 34 per cent

4. The smell of sunscreen – 32 per cent

5. Strawberries and cream – 30 per cent

6. Burning your bangers on the BBQ – 29 per cent

7= Getting shorts on at the first sight of sun – 28 per cent 

7= The soothing sound of your neighbours mowing the lawn – 28 per cent 

7= Getting sunburnt on the first day of hot weather – 28 per cent 

7= An ice-cold pint and a packet of crisps/peanuts in a pub garden – 28 per cent   

8= Summer festival season – 27 per cent 

8= Wimbledon – 27 per cent

9. Groups of men standing around the BBQ – 26 per cent

10. Making a massive fuss about a wasp – 25 per cent

11. Drinks in the park – 24 per cent

 

 

12= A Sunday roast, whatever the weather – 23 per cent 

12= Seagulls trying to steal your ice cream – 23 per cent

13. Checkered picnic blankets – 22 per cent

14= People wearing socks and sandals – 19 per cent 

14= Complaining to anyone who will listen about your hay fever – 19 per cent

15= Inconvenient tan lines – 17 per cent

15= The cricket – 17 per cent

16= The sound of rain hitting the outside of your tent – 16 per cent

16= Chasing your kids around the garden with a hose – 16 per cent

17. The sound of your partner doing chores in the garden – 11 per cent

18= Getting the bunting out for your garden party – 10 per cent 

18= Having to use a mini fan on the bus – 10 per cent

19. The comeuppance of the unlikeable man on Love Island – 9 per cent

20. Impromptu games of rounders – 8 per cent

21. Lashings of ginger beer – 6 per cent

 Source: Noveltea 

 

The British love to swap their trousers for shorts at the first sight of sunshine, 28 per cent of voters agreed – another contender for seventh place – and the ensuing inconvenient tan lines landed 17 per cent of the vote (joint 15th).

Spreading out a checkered picnic blanket for a day in the park claimed the 13th spot with 22 per cent of the vote, and one in ten cheered for getting the bunting out for your garden party (18th).

Even the seemingly lousy aspects of summer in England got a vote, with seagulls trying to steal your ice cream (23 per cent, joint 12th), the sound of rain hitting your tent (16 per cent, joint 16th) and complaining to anyone who will listen about your hay fever (19 per cent, joint 14th) all making it into the top 30.

Getting the bunting out for your garden party was tied in 18th place with having to use a mini fan on the bus

Britons admitted they enjoy the ‘sound of rain hitting the outside of your tent’

The survey of 1,500 people by Perspectus Global for alcoholic tea brand Noveltea found that 94 per cent of Britons agree that the UK summer is a totally unique experience – despite the dodgy weather. 

Reflecting on the findings, Graeme Nash, Director of Marketing at Noveltea, said: ‘The research reveals we love to have a good moan about the weather during the summer, as well as enjoying those other classic experiences from eating 99p flakes to hearing our neighbours mow the lawn.

‘At Noveltea we’re all about those quintessentially British moments of joy and humour, be it a wasp-free picnic or the first rewarding drink after a hard day’s work, so we’re delighted to learn more about the moments that make Britain smile.’

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