People in the UK have revealed their 2021 summer bucket list, which includes having a barbecue, taking a holiday and watching a football match in a pub beer garden.

The study of 2,000 adults, commissioned by Waitrose,  found that after a year of lockdowns and social distancing, over half are playing ‘catch up’ after Covid put a stop to many plans over the last 12 months.

With two thirds (60%) of us saying summer is our favourite season, it’s the perfect time to plan activities and meet loved ones. A majority of us say we have lots of activities to catch up on, with sharing delicious food and drink playing a big part in that, as barbecues and picnics both feature in the top three activities on people’s bucket list.

Three in 10 adults want to paddle in the sea this summer, while 35 per cent are keen to go on a road trip. A third (32 per cent) want to watch the sunrise, 43 per cent want to go on a family holiday and 34 per cent are hoping to enjoy the trend for taking afternoon tea.

Others want to go hiking in the hills (23 per cent), host a garden party (23 per cent) and enjoy a beer at the beach (22 per cent).

Emma Beale, Head of Product Innovation and Own Brand for Waitrose, which commissioned the research, said: “It feels we have a year’s worth of plans to catch up on this summer. With barbecues and picnics topping the list of activities it seems to be the simple pleasures in life we’ve missed out on the most.

We’re seeing this demand reflected on too, where searches for picnics and picnic food are up more than three-fold. So we know people are already seeking out our range of Scrumptious Summer food to enjoy while meeting with their loved ones, no matter what they have planned.”

The study also found that 55 per cent have had to miss out on special events and life milestones over the last year due to the pandemic. Four in 10 have missed celebrating a milestone birthday while three in 10 were unable to mark their anniversary as planned. And one in five adults say they have had to reschedule their weddings.

Now, as restrictions ease and the weather improves, 49 per cent of people are planning to catch up on these missed events, leaving 69 per cent feeling positive about their 2021 summer plans. With postponed celebrations planned for the summer we have seen a surge in searches on for wedding cakes, up 59% in the last two weeks.

Barbecues are also at the top of the nation’s summer bucket list, with burgers (51 per cent), sausages (50 per cent), chicken (42 per cent) and steak (29 per cent) the top food choices.

Adults will also be tucking into hot dogs, kebabs, onions, corn and potatoes on a barbecue. For Waitrose shoppers specifically, kebabs are king, with three of their top five favourite barbecue items being food on skewers.

But 59 per cent believe the most quintessential summer flavour is strawberries and cream. Three in 10 also associate Pimm’s and fish and chips with the season, followed by beer and Eton mess as top summer essentials.

The study, carried out via OnePoll, also found 60 per cent of adults consider summer to be their favourite season, thanks to the weather, longer days and going on holiday.


1.    Have a BBQ
2.    Take a family holiday
3.    Have a picnic in the park
4.    Paddle in the sea
5.    Go on a road trip
6.    Have an outside afternoon tea
7.    Sunbathe in the back garden
8.    Go to the cinema
9.    Watch the sunset / sunrise
10.    Visit cities all over the UK
11.    Pick strawberries
12.    Wind the windows down on a hot day
13.    Hike in the hills
14.    Host a garden party
15.    Have beers on the beach

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