British Culture and What to Know Before Visiting the United Kingdom

What to Know about British culture

When traveling to a new country, knowing the language is a huge step towards a great trip. Knowing the culture is another essential. In this article you can explore British culture.

First, tea is a preferred drink among British individuals, 165 million cups of tea daily. Next, the weather is changeable; it can be rainy one minute and nippy. Also, Brits converse about the weather a great deal. Additionally, Brits are on time and do not jump ahead in a queue (line). While in Britain, it known to be rude to make your way ahead of someone who was there first.  

Furthermore, an abundance of the foods and drinks that are prevalent in Britain include fish and chips (fries), Sunday roast, Steak and kidney pie, Cornish pastries, hotpot, and scones. To add, drinks include beer at the oldest pubs and inns, whiskey, and other types of alcohol) (n.d., website).  

To continue, some sites comprise British beaches (Botany Bay, Seilebost, Whitstable); British Bridges (Tower Bridge, Skye Bridge); British Castles (Dover Castle, Edinburgh Castle, Windsor Castle, Leeds Castle); British Gardens (Kew, Stourhead, Tresco Abbey Garden); British Sporting Calendar (the Boat Race, FA Cup, Wimbledon); and British Festivals (Burns Night in Edinburgh to Bonfire Night in Lewes) (n.d., website).  

Moreover, there are various attractions in London, UK. The exhibits include the London Eye (highest observation wheel and has 32-sealed and air-conditioned casings that holds up to 25-people); Madame Tussauds (current celebrity historical characters, sports individual legends, social giants); Kew Gardens (121 hectares on UNESCO World); Tower of London (imprisonments and beheadings held); Westminster Abbey (Gothic Abbey Church situated in city of Westminster, closes at 6:00 PM on Wednesday only); Tower Bridge (constructed between 1886 and 1894, symbol of London); Buckingham Palace (reigning monarch’s managerial headquarters); and Changing of Guard (Journey through British time period and occurs daily). Also, people refer to the clock tower next to Houses of Parliament as “Big Ben” (actual name is St. Stephen’s Tower (n.d., website).  

To add, some British slang and colloquialisms include abdabs (terror), AC/DC (bisexual), ace (wonderful), ackers (money, cash), aggro (aggression), airlocked (drunk-Northern Ireland), alkie (alcoholic), anorak (hooded rainwear or slang for “nerd”), argy-bargy (argument, confrontation), arse (stupid person), arse around (waste time, mess about), and arse over tit (fall down, stumble). These are common expressions used by Britains.  

Next, there are essential things to remember before taking a holiday in the United Kingdom (UK). The customs include:  

  • Individual taps for hot and cold water, 
  • Obtain food at the bar in a pub, 
  • Make sure a person is English before being called this,  
  • Snow interrupts EVERYTHING, 
  • Queue (line) jumping will cause your (social) demise, 
  • Sometimes the people of the UK say things they really mean, 
  • People of the UK do not like to refer to football as “soccer,” it is the correct name, 
  • Several British foods have unclear names:  
  1. Black Pudding: black, blood sausage, made pig’s blood (often found in Full English), 
  1. Yorkshire Pudding: batter souffle, with roast beef on Sunday, best when filled with gravy, 
  1. Full English: breakfast, includes sausages, bacon, baked beans, eggs, mushrooms, grilled tomato, black pudding, hash browns, and toast (keep full until evening), 
  1. Brown sauce: often found along with ketchup, made with tomato, molasses, dates, apples, tamarind, spices, and vinegar (excellent on bacon sandwich), 
  1. Welsh Rarebit: nicer version of cheese on toast (0% rabbit), 
  1. Scottish Eggs: Boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, then rolled in breadcrumbs and deep fried. Traditional picnic food. Varieties using black pudding in place of sausage meat are available,  
  1. Haggis: national dish of Scotland, (sheep’s heart, liver, and lung mixed with onion, oatmeal, suet (raw, hard fat of beef, lamb, or mutton found around the loins and kidneys), spices, and salt; stuffed into sheep’s stomach (tastier than it seems), 
  1. Ploughmans: English cold meat includes bread, cheese, ham, salad, eggs, and pickled onion (0% ploughman),  
  1. Toastie: British grilled cheese sandwich. 
  1. Bangers and mash: Sausages with mashed potato. During 2nd WW sausage named “bangers”, water substance so high, they would ‘pop’ when cooked, 
  1. Toad in the Hole: Sausages cook in a bed of Yorkshire pudding (name is unknown) (n.d., website).  
  • Holding door open for next individual is obligatory, 
  • Be nice to strangers, and rude to people you love, 
  • Do not tip much 

Fact: main circumstances which required to tip include: 

  1. Hotel porters: Tip around two pounds, 
  1. Taxis: Most people will round their fare up to nearest pound. Easier for taxi drivers provide change. 
  1. Restaurants: A tip of 10% is maximum needed. Some places include tip in the bill (check before adding more to a tip),  
  1. Hairdressers: A tip of 10% and round to nearest pound (n.d., website), 
  • Cricket: You will not understand the rules, neither do Britain’s, 
  • Conversations and then bout Brexit: Better avoided unless you know the person. Brexit was the withdrawal of UK from European Union at 23:00 GMT on January 31, 2020, 
  • The Brits like to blow up stuff on 5th November (Brits version of July 4th, day when family gather, put youngsters in warmest clothes, a then urge them to light bonfire), and 
  • Brits have many accents (can be lots of accents in same town and half are completely incomprehensible). According to experts, the British accent changes every twenty-five miles, and the reason is thought that developed as result of geographic location. Also, believed that Anglo Saxons from of parts Europe and settling in areas, had their own regional accents (n.d., website).  

Research also states that there are numerous things you need to understand before visiting this country: 

  1. Stand on the right side when using the escalators at the London Underground (single file). 
  1. You can chastise the Royal Family without a violation (you will not be “arrested”).  
  1. People will greet you with “alright?” or “are you alright?” (As a greeting, how are you?). *Do not tell them under any circumstances how you are! 
  1. Trains are unpleasant. (Often not as productive as the trains found throughout the rest of Europe). 

Trains are usually late, often cancelled, usually grubby along the edges, and extremely expensive. Trainline website is useful to save money because the train is not cheap.  

  1. Buy rounds at the pub. (Socialization) 

When going to a pub with Brits remember they will buy you drinks, but at a gathering you will be expected to buy. This means if you do not buy a round, then you will not be invited to return. Suggestion-buy a round earlier in the gathering!  

  1. Brits apologize often! 
  1. Add the tea and then the milk! Steps: 
  1. Select tea. 
  1. Boil the water. (Use a good kettle) 
  1. Put teabag into mug. 
  1. Wait! 
  1. Take out teabag. 
  1. Add the milk. Add sweetener.  
  1. Now you are ready for Britain (n.d., website).  

In summary, there are many essential pieces of information that travelers to the United Kingdom need to be informed. When travelers visit the United Kingdom it is important to remember: when using an escalator at The Tube stations (The Underground) stand to the right in a single line, tea is the popular drink, the pound and sterling are the names of the currency, fish and fries are known as fish and chips, and Brits apologize frequently. Any time that you travel abroad knowing the country’s customs are necessary. I hope you enjoyed this article.  


(“APA Citation,” n.d.). Great British Bucket List: 31 Fun Facts About Britain. Retrieved from 

(“APA Citation,” n.d.). 80 Interesting Facts about the United Kingdom. Retrieved from 

(“APA Citation,” n.d.). 23 Things You Should Know Before Visiting the UK. Retrieved from 


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