What do Britons prefer to do in their leisure time during winter?
December 13th, 2023, Kineree Shah

What do Britons prefer to do in their leisure time during winter?

As Britons navigate the winter of 2023 against a backdrop of rising living costs, their preference of leisure choices for the season reflects a blend of traditional favorites and budget-conscious decisions. 

The most popular activity to prefer doing in winter is visiting friends and family, chosen by more than half (52%), highlighting the importance of social connections during the festive season. Close behind, 49% of Britons prefer going to the cinema in winter, while 48% prefer winter shopping. 45% are drawn to indoor performances, a preference likely influenced by the cold weather outside. Despite the cold weather, two in five Britons prefer outdoor activities like walking (41%).

Socializing continues to be a key theme, with 36% preferring to go out to a bar, 33% attending other people's dinners or parties and 32% hosting them. Cultural pursuits such as going to the theatre, museums, and concerts attract around a third to a quarter of the population (31%-25%) as a winter pursuit. Additionally, nearly a third of Britons are engaging in fitness activities and travel (29%) while more than a quarter (27%) are more likely to try something new in the winter months. 

Preference for wintertime leisure activities varies by age. Younger generations, particularly Gen Z and Millennials, show a higher affinity for the movies, with over half expressing a preference for the cinema (56% and 57% respectively). This trend noticeably declines with older generations, particularly the Baby Boomers (37%) and Silent Generation (25%).

Museums are most popular among Millennials as a winter activity, with about a third preferring them (32%). Gen X has a notable interest in attending concerts (30%) and going shopping (51%) in the colder months, while Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation are more inclined to visit friends and family, with over half of each group enjoying these social activities. Additionally, Baby Boomers display a significant interest in walking (44%), aligning with their preference for outdoor activities.

Make smarter business decisions with better intelligence. Understand exactly what your audience is thinking by leveraging our panel of 20 million+ members. Speak with us today

Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for Great Britain is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.