A recent poll on holidays and days out choices among British tourists has found that trips to the country’s peaks are the most popular. The scenic Lake District area of north England topped the choices at number one attraction people most want to visit, overtaking the Peak District in the county of Derbyshire and Wales’ highest mountain, Snowdon.
While mountains were the most popular options for communing with nature, the poll participants also voted for seaside locations like piers and beaches, as well as museums. The results were drawn from a list of fifty leading U.K. attractions devised by transport firm National Express. A thousand people were surveyed for the poll.
National Express’ managing director, Chris Hardy, said: “They say the best things in life are free and we hope our list inspires people to get out and explore somewhere new – without breaking the bank.
“It’s great to see that Brits appreciate the natural sights that the UK has to offer, and the sheer volume of beauty spots on this list goes to show that you’re never far from something stunning to see on a day out.”
Despite being the epicentre of British tourism for both national and international visitors, London made a poor showing in the results, with only one of the capital’s prime attractions, the Natural History Museum, making the top ten locations for days out. The museum only made it to ninth place. Twenty-three other museums across the country also featured, including smaller, region-specific museums such as the Royal Pump Rooms in Leamington Spa, central England. A few cathedrals also made the list.
Increasing numbers of the United Kingdom’s pre-teens, children under thirteen years of age, are becoming concerned over their physical appearances, with the average child now worrying about how they look for ninety minutes a day, according to a study.
An astonishing 90 per cent of the study participants – sourced from different age groups – said they frequently worried about they look, as influences from media, society, picture-perfect celebrities, and the direct and indirect influences of more ‘popular’ classmates impinge on children’s body confidence at startling younger ages.
One in five surveyed teenagers claimed that they pretended to be ill in order to miss school or work due to low levels of self-confidence stemming from their appearance. The body shame even lasts into adulthood, as 86 per cent of the study’s older participants said they spend an average of one hour and thirteen minutes per day obsessing with what they see in their mirrors. The study found that most teenagers were worried about acne and ‘bad skin’, whereas adults were more concerned with weight. Both age groups were worried equally about bad hair, overall body shape and physique, along with the appearance of their stomachs. Lifestyle magazines for both men and women often devote large numbers of pages to achieving the perfect toned or flab-free stomach and chest.
Skin conditions tend to be the gripe of many people, the study found. Sixty-nine per cent of adults have been afflicted by common skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and conditions causing spots and similar. Ninety-one per cent of them had experienced breakouts of acne even in their post-teenage years.
More disturbingly, it was found that social media is increasingly harming people’s body positivity, with 71 per cent of teenagers and 53 per cent of adults feeling uncomfortable around the sharing of selfies and group photos of themselves on social media sites. Thirty-two per cent of teenagers have used filters and apps to perform virtual plastic surgery on their photos before releasing them to social media, and another 37 per cent have tried to excuse themselves from being photographed.
Outside of social media and the web, the study said that 30 per cent of adults have skipped social events due to fears about how they looked, with 17 per cent resorting to excessive amounts of make-up, 31 per cent covering up their figures with baggy clothing. Four per cent even cancelled dates over their lack of confidence in their looks
The research study was commissioned by the skincare brand Proactiv+, which surveyed 1,000 adults and 1,000 children via online survey service OnePoll. A company spokesperson told SWNS digital: “Almost everyone has concerns about their appearance at one time or another, but it’s staggering to see how young these concerns start.
“And it appears that this is a problem which doesn’t go away with age – the worries we have just change slightly instead.
“Teenagers have a lot to adjust to with puberty, a testing time at school as they approach exams and dealing with peer pressure, so the spot breakouts and acne can really affect their confidence.
“But for many these worries will also continue into adulthood leaving people really struggling with their self-esteem – especially as spots and acne are something most people only associate with the teenage years.”
The average British commuter will spend around GBP £48,000 (USD $60211) of the course of a lifetime, just on travelling to their workplace, a recent survey of 2,000 commuters in the U.K. has discovered.
The figure is not surprising to many observers. Britain has some of the highest transport fares in Europe, with many tickets around ten times their European equivalent. In addition, the average Briton will also spend up to a year of their life on the commute, assuming they work for 47 years of their lifespan. The survey showed that 68 per cent drive to work, 11 per cent take the train and eight per cent get to the workplace via bicycle or motorcycle.
Interestingly, the survey also picked up the fact that a third of the £48,000 figure will be spent on snacks, refreshments and other items consumed or used during the journey, especially for those on long commutes.
The research was commissioned by the motorcycle insurance company Lexham. The firm’s head of sales and marketing, Andy Goodson, commented: “While many commuters think their journeys to and from work are barely worth considering, the amount of time we spend on them shows we should give them a bit more thought.
“With an average commute time of almost an hour a day, for many Brits this is wasted time as they’re stuck behind the wheel in traffic.
“Some of the happiest respondents in our survey were ones who were able to walk to work – giving themselves the shortest commute possible.”
The average journey on a commute is seven miles (eleven kilometres) long, which means over a working life, commuters will have clocked up 171,080 miles (275,327 km) going to and fro from the office or work site – the equivalent of circumnavigating the Earth more than six times. Those who drive to work suffered the highest stress levels, according to the Lexham research, with biking the least likely to leave people grumpy when they arrive at their desks. Sixty-two per cent of commuters told researchers that a bad journey to work would wreck the rest of their day.
Over the course of their working life, the average commuter will read 67 books, 2248 newspapers and listen to 3617 albums.
They will also send 1710 work emails, consume 977 bananas and play 2,077 gaming sessions on their phones.
Andy Goodson said: “One of the best ways to make your commute happier is to cut down how long it is.
“Motorbikes and scooters are a convenient way to bring down your commuting time, as they can beat traffic so easily.
“Nobody wants to have their day made any more stressful than it needs to be – and sitting in traffic, other commuters’ personal hygiene and constantly late trains definitely don’t help.”
A LIFETIME OF COMMUTING IN NUMBERS:
Distance travelled: 171,080 miles Amount spent: £48,708.92 Time spent: 10,998 hours Days late to work: 1906 Newspapers read: 2248 Coffees bought: 1759 Games played on phone: 2077 Social events planned: 1710 Albums listened to: 3617 Bananas eaten: 977
A recent survey among UK cinemagoers has revealed that the Seventies musical Grease, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, is the most popular film of all time, SWNS news service reported recently. The romance between high school exchange student Sandy and her beau Danny, set in the 1950s with an iconic soundtrack from the era of fast Harleys and milk bars topped the most popular movie of choice in the poll amongst 2,000 British adults commissioned by www.OnePoll.com. On its release in 1978, Grease blew up the box office, receiving record numbers of cinemagoers thanks to its catchy songs and memorable performances, and it has been lauded by movie critics to this day, with review site Rotten Tomatoes, giving the film a four star rating of 78 per cent.
It’s sequel, Grease 2, as well as its numerous stage show spin-offs still continue to pull in audiences nearly forty years after its initial release.
Second place in the OnePoll survey went to time travelling caper, Back to the Future, closely followed by Eighties kitsch romance Dirty Dancing and Christmas favourites Home Alone and Love Actually.
Remarkably – despite being one of the highest grossing films of all time, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, is far down the list in 24th place – behind the likes of Mary Poppins and The Wizard of Oz.
A spokesman for www.OnePoll.com, said: “The results suggest Brits have a particular fondness for feel-good movies.
“Interestingly, the most popular films are relatively old – perhaps because evoke a sense of nostalgia, reminding respondents of their childhoods.
“This might explain why movie studios invest so much money in remakes and sequels as seen with the new Star Wars movie and the forthcoming Ghostbusters reboot.”
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark came fifth, followed by Nineties favourite Titanic, which catapulted stars Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio into the limelight. Jurassic Park, the classic UK-made song and dance ditty Mary Poppins and children’s film series Toy Story completed the top ten of most adored films in UK cinemas.
Other popular films to feature in the top 50 include The Shawshank Redemption (11), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (17), Jaws (21) and The Lion King (25). Finding Nemo (27), Avatar (35) and Mean Girls (48) also made the list.The most popular film among men is Back to the Future, followed by Steven Spielberg’s classic swashbuckling tale, Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The Jurassic Park movies and their latest released sequel, Jurassic World, about a prehistoric theme park off the coast of central America, and which were also directed by Spielberg, came third among male cinema fans, with the Star Wars series coming off a respectable seventh.
Grease is solidly first place for women while Dirty Dancing is second. Third place belongs to Richard Curtis’ Christmas romance, Love Actually.
Action and adventure was found to be the most popular genre, followed by comedy and sci-fi. Romance only came sixth.
Despite recent box office misfires Johnny Depp, most famous for starring as the titular character of Edward Scissorhands, and the affable rogue Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, is Britain’s most favourite actor followed by Tom Hanks and western movie legend and archetypal gunslinger, Clint Eastwood.
Dames Helen Mirren and Judy Dench are the most popular actresses among those polled, with multi Oscar winner Meryl Streep in third place.
London, UNITED KINGDOM VIJAY SHAH via SWNS digitalhub
The American commercial tradition of Black Friday has made its presence felt on our shores and high streets these past couple of year. One of the most important days for sales and footfall in the retail calendar, Black Friday is when shops slash the prices of items like white goods, clothes and electricals by as much as 50-70%. While Black Friday is a blessing for bargain hunters, it has also become notorious for scenes of absolute mayhem, with videos surfacing of shoppers tussling with and climbing over each other to hook that last widescreen smart TV. In some cases, stores participating in Black Friday sales had been forced to call police in to quell fights and near riots.
Despite the bad publicity around some incidents on Black Friday, a recent survey of 2,000 adults produced by the Nationwide building society found that one in ten Britons is still prepared to brave the crowds and stand toe-to-toe with fellow shoppers to bag those once-a-year heavily reduced must-haves. The study also found that many shoppers are prepared to tough it for the best bargains, with many survey respondents expecting to awaken their aggressive streaks as they hit the high streets for this year’s Black Friday events on November 27.
The Nationwide survey figures also show that in 2014, one in three adults made a trip to the shopping centre on Black Friday. This year, the average shopper is expected to spend £176. Altogether, customers are predicted to spend £120 million on debit cards alone, more than on December 19th, the last Friday before Christmas, when shopkeepers and retailers expect to recieve the most takings as people scour the shops for last-minute festive gifts.
Phil Smith, head of current accounts at Nationwide, which commissioned the study, said: “For many, Black Friday coincides with the last payday before Christmas, so they use it to kick-start and supplement their Christmas shopping.
“And with only a limited number of the best deals available, tensions can spill over, resulting in arguments over goods usually associated with panic buying.
‘’This means that in the cold light of day, what seemed to be a good bargain could end up being a waste of money.
“Customers should consider doing a little bit of research and planning beforehand, as many stores will advertise offers ahead of time.
‘’In doing so, we can ensure we’re buying the goods we actually want at a discounted price rather than being tempted by the lure of a bargain on something we don’t particularly need.”
The Nationwide survey also predicted the most popular Black Friday items shoppers will want on their lists include home appliances such as microwaves, coffee machines, and blenders, laptops, computer and video games and televisions.
However reduced items often quickly run out of stock, leading to customers duking it out in the aisles and jackets and hair being pulled. The Nationwide’s shopping poll discovered that men are nearly twice as likely to clash over stuff on the shelf as women. One in eight (13%) were prepared to get into an argument with another shopper, compared with 7% of surveyed female respondents. Ironically for the arguments over the last television or CD player that will be occurring in stores up and down the British Isles, the poll also discovered that one in eight adults (13%) will end up returning goods for refunds.
In fact, Black Friday could result in thousands of returned items, as more than half confessed to surrendering to impulse purchases on the day.
Nationwide’s Phil Smith added: “This Black Friday, people should consider putting money aside for something they actually want rather than simply buying something because it is listed as a bargain.
‘’The benefits of impulse saving can have a positive impact on our finances. And for those who make big home appliance purchases, consider extending your warranty to cover all eventualities.’’
Several leading high street names including Curry’s, Argos, GAME and John Lewis are already gearing up with in-store Black Friday linked promotions and figures for online shopping too are expected to reach stellar proportions. Last year, £810 million was spend online alone by UK shoppers.