Growing Numbers of Brits Prefer Holidaying on Facebook

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Health News | Growing Numbers of Brits Prefer Holidaying on Facebook | Romsey & VillagesMillions of Brits are fulfilling their travel aspirations through friend’s and family’s posts on Facebook, according to new research.

Four in 10 UK adults admit they are ‘social tourists’ - experiencing an average of 14 countries through friend’s and family’s social media updates every year.

However the typical respondent has visited just nine countries in reality – although over two thirds have been inspired to travel more widely after seeing social media posts.

While around a fifth of people admit they have taken photos when on holiday with the sole purpose of making friends and family jealous.

Pics of New York are the most common holiday snaps to appear in our social media feeds - followed by Spain in second spot and France in third.

The research of 2,000 UK adults who have Twitter and Facebook accounts and have ever been on holiday was commissioned by First Choice, provider of all-inclusive holidays.

Jeremy Ellis, Marketing and Customer Experience Director for First Choice, said: “For many of us, social media has made the world a little smaller – inspiring us to visit destinations we might not otherwise have considered and encouraging us to share our holidays with friends and family too.”

Three in 10 people said social media is their biggest influence when choosing their next holiday destination – with a fifth surfing the likes of Facebook purely for travel inspiration.

The Eiffel Tower is the landmark that appears most often in people’s social media feeds, while the Statue of Liberty is the second most common and Disneyland in Florida the third most frequent.

The average Brit takes 85 photos when on holiday – a 38 per cent increase on the 62 snaps taken five years ago.

And 39 minute’s worth of video footage is typically recorded by respondents when on holiday – five years ago an average of 22 minutes was documented in this way.

However only a fifth of photos taken and 14 per cent of videos filmed will actually be uploaded to Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

Jeremy Ellis said: “It’s clear to see that we love capturing memories on holiday, but are still a little shy when it comes to sharing with our friends and family.

“Whilst technology has made it easier to capture content, taking the time to edit footage is still a barrier to the perfect holiday film.”

“First Choice want to inspire holidaymakers to make the most of their footage, and have created to share tips and tricks from experts.”


1. New York

2. Spain

3. France

4. Florida

5. Canary Islands

6. Italy

7. Greece

8. Las Vegas

9. Thailand

10. Cyprus


1. Eiffel Tower

2. Statue of Liberty

3. Disneyland

4. Disneyland Paris

5. Las Vegas

6. Empire State Building

7. Leaning Tower of Pisa

8. Times Square

9. The Colosseum

10. The Grand Canyon

Average British Garden is 15 Metres Long

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Average British Garden is 15 Metres LongThe average British garden is 15-metres long, boasts ten types of flowers – and a garden gnome, it has emerged.

Research also revealed it will be home to a set of garden furniture, a BBQ and a water feature.

A shed, greenhouse and vegetable patch are also now commonplace in the nation’s back gardens.

It also emerged around one in three of us have a competitive streak – and try to leave neighbours green with envy over the condition of our lawns and flowerbeds.

Yesterday a spokesperson for Foxtons, which commissioned the research, said: "We are supporting the Royal Horticultural Society’s 'Greening Grey Britain' campaign, and wanted to find a bit more about the UK’s outdoor spaces.

"The availability of a garden is the third most important consideration for those looking for their new home, after the location and the size of the property.

"According to the results of the survey, 55 per cent of us would not consider renting or buying a property without a garden, and over a third of us believe that a garden is more valuable than an extra bedroom, with 46 per cent considering both equally important."

The study also found the typical garden is 12 metres square and is likely to have a sun-lounger on the patio, a washing line and a birdbath.

But despite our love of gardens we only really get to enjoy the tranquillity of them for 12 hours a month due to hectic work schedules, busy social lives – and bad weather.

The results of the poll appear to have identified the demise of decking, with the majority of the population preferring to stick to a lush green lawn.

When it comes to floral decoration, roses are the most popular garden variety, followed by lavender, tulips, and bluebells.

Fuchsias, geraniums, hydrangeas and clematises are also favourites to bring colour to a drab back yard.

Around one in five Brits have even turned to professional help and hired a gardener in a bid to ensure theirs is in pristine condition.

It also emerged location is still the major deal-breaker for potential buyers, with house size, a garden and parking also considered essential.

A garage, good access to local transport links and a reasonably priced council tax band are also must-haves.

Surprisingly another key factor was the condition of the next-door neighbours’ gardens.

The size of the bathrooms and the interior décor also made the list, and Brits say they’d pay £11,500 more for a house that had a garden over one without.

The spokesman for Foxtons added: "We are often asked if a garden in itself would carry a premium and we believe that it does.

"Seventy two per cent of those surveyed stated that they would pay more for a garden, specifying over £11,000 UK-wide.

"In London, however, we’ve found in our experience the premium ranges wildly depending on the location and the size of the garden, from over £150,000 in prime central areas to £30,000 in outer London areas like Croydon.”

Sudden Spike of Letting Agents

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Home News | Sudden Spike of Letting Agents | Romsey & VillagesThe proportion of landlords who use a letting agent to help manage their property has spiked since the end of last year, according to a recent survey of property investors.*

Six in ten (61 per cent) landlords say they currently use a letting agent to manage their properties, a rise of seven per cent since Q4 2016. The sudden rise represents a break from the norm as the proportion of landlords who use an agent has remained relatively consistent over the last few years, having only risen one per cent (from 53 per cent to 54 per cent) between 2014 and 2016.

The research also shows the proportion of landlords who self-manage has decreased by nearly 10 per cent over the last year - falling from 46 per cent to 39.

The findings show that more landlords in the North East use an agent compared to any other English region, although agent usage is highest in Scotland (79 per cent).

In the North West, where there has been a five per cent decrease since the end of 2016, landlords are the least reliant on agents compared to other UK regions - at 56 per cent.

The findings are positive news for agents in the regions of outer London, the South West, and Wales - where there have been significant increases in reliance from landlords.

The news comes as the recent changes to buy to let taxation, as well as the planned ban on charging fees to tenants, are expected to increase the strains on letting agents’ and landlords’ businesses in the coming months.

Richard Lambert, CEO at the National Landlords Association (NLA), said:

“As landlords plan ahead to compensate for the tax changes over the next few years we would expect to see the number who use an agent to slowly fall away, and for more to start considering whether they are able to manage their properties themselves.

“However, this sudden spike, which is completely out of step with recent trends, completely turns this theory on its head. The big question is whether or not it’s a blip or if it will continue to rise”.

Richard Price, Executive Director at UKALA, said:

“There have been some regional fluctuations, but overall these findings show that an increasing proportion of landlords rely on agents at present, which is testament to the professional work undertaken by the vast majority of agents in the sector.

“It’s an uncertain time for anyone who owns a buy-to-let property, so the steady hand of a reputable agent is exactly what many landlords are looking for right now”.

Prince Harry's Girlfriend, A Poorly Goldfish And A 'Smart ' TV - A Year Of Top TV Licence Excuses

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Romsey Homes News | Prince Harry's girlfriend, a poorly goldfish and a "smart" TV - a year of top TV Licence excuses"I am exempt from buying a TV Licence, as I am Prince Harry’s girlfriend," is one of the many hilarious, but flawed, real-life excuses given to TV Licensing by people caught watching live TV or BBC iPlayer without a licence over the past year.

Around 94 per cent of homes across the UK are correctly licensed, but a small minority of people continue to offer TV Licensing Enquiry Officers flimsy excuses as to why they don’t have a licence when caught evading.

Top excuses ranged from the fishy, "Sorry I can’t buy a licence because I’m giving CPR to my goldfish," to the coy "I am not paying for my licence now the BBC are showing porn. Gary Lineker in the nude on Match of the Day – disgusting!" to the frustrated football fan "I only watch Premier league football, and as I am a Newcastle fan, I no longer need a TV Licence."

Dozens of tenuous excuses were collected from towns and hamlets across the UK. A new father from Warrington had more pressing concerns telling an Enquiry Officer, "I can’t stop and talk, my baby daughter has just exploded in her nappy," whilst a woman from Coventry claimed her TV guide informed her about shows she couldn’t watch, "I only have the Radio Times you saw on my chair to remind me of what I’m missing, as I can’t turn the TV on." A frustrated customer from Queensferry also asked TV Licensing to remove a nearby railway bridge, improving his TV reception so that he might then pay "I refuse to purchase a TV licence as long as that bridge is there. I can’t receive a good signal so don’t see why I should pay for it. Get rid of the railway bridge and then I will buy one."

To accompany the ridiculous excuses, actor and comedian Kevin Eldon took on the task of composing a selection of ridiculous poems, to coincide with National Limerick Day (May 12). His poem 'Goldfish' reads:

"I'm sweating and my chest is heaving/ Your request for a fee's left me seething/ I couldn’t apply/ For a licence to buy/ Cos my poor goldfish had stopped breathing."

His tortured character 'Adrian Holt' reads out a number of literary creations in a series of videos, which are available to watch on TV Licensing’s YouTube channel from today.

Jason Hill, TV Licensing spokesperson, said:

We make every effort to find evaders and although excuses we hear can be ingenious, those we catch still need to buy a licence. We offer help to those struggling to buy and would much rather people buy a TV Licence in small weekly or monthly instalments, than face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.

A licence is needed not just for watching and recording live television but for watching or downloading BBC programmes on iPlayer.

A TV Licence costs £147 and can be bought online at or by calling 0300 790 6071. You can also visit the TV Licensing website to find more information about when you don’t need a TV Licence.

TV Licensing – Top 10 excuses of the past year

Sorry, I can’t buy a licence because I’m giving CPR to my goldfish - Female, Bonnyrigg

My tag interferes with the TV signal - Male, Liverpool

I don’t watch the BBC [as the theme tune to EastEnders played out in the background] - Male, Birmingham

I’ll pay it next year when the Rangers are back in the Premier League, pal - Male, Glasgow

I have a smart TV and it’s that smart it can work without a licence - Male, Paisley

I don’t need a TV Licence because when we got divorced a court gave her half of everything. So I got the TV and she got the licence. Go find her! - Male, Edinburgh

I am exempt from buying a TV Licence, as I am Prince Harry’s girlfriend - Female, East London

I am not paying for my licence now that the BBC are showing porn. Gary Lineker in the nude on Match of the Day – disgusting! - Female, Croydon

[With reference to a flat screen TV showing the Simpsons]

Customer: It's not a TV, it's an LCD fire.

Enquiry Officer: And it's got Bart Simpson-shaped flames - Female, Magherfelt

I only have one leg, I shouldn’t have to pay - Male, Leven

Excuses verses

Goldfish, by Kevin Eldon

I'm sweating and my chest is heaving

Your request for a fee’s left me seething

I couldn’t apply

For a licence to buy

Cos my poor goldfish had stopped breathing.


Divorce, by Kevin Eldon

My wife and I decided we’d be better off alone

In court the judge decided we should split the things we own

I got the dog she got the cats,

I got the rug, she got the mats

The telly went to me and the licence went to her

And then she moved away from here, to …Madagascar


Prince Harry’s Girlfriend, by Kevin Eldon

You’ve heard of Prince Harry, not Barry or Gary,

I’m talking Prince Harry, yes him.

Well he is my bloke, no joke, don’t choke

And I’m sorry but you must be very dim

Cos I’m practically royal, I’m his goil, yes, recoil

I know that that’s enough to make you scream

And so because of my position you’ve no choice in your decision

For one doesn't need a licence for one’s screen.