Riding in California can be a year round deal, I haven't driven a car in nearly 2 years now. The cities are traffic heavy, but we can lane-split so that helps. We call the "Hornet" a 919 in the states, it's a bit rare, most seem to like the sport bikes or cruisers, naked standards aren't as common, but bikes overall are pretty popular.
I'm in Northern California near the Sierra foothills and there's no shortage of great places to ride. About the only downside is that drivers are blind to bikes, but I guess that's everywhere.
I'm guessing England is more seasonal riding?