The UK is a unique land; unique people, unique landscapes and unique quirks.
Some of these quirks you may find a little strange, but in this article, we break down the unfamiliar traits of the UK, as well as some useful information for those visiting for the first time.
The UK is made up for 4 Nations
These 4, patriotic nations are England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Each of these countries make up the UK, but each have their own heritage, parliament, accent and, in the case of Wales and Scotland, their own language, although they both still speak English too.
The UK use pound sterling and pence, and all major credit cards are taken almost everywhere. Some places do however refuse American Express.
When it comes to Scotland and Northern Ireland, they have their own style bank notes. They are still in pounds, but they look different. Whilst they are legal tender, you may struggle to spend them in England and Wales.
Tea is a staple part of their diet
You will be offered tea for almost any occasion; a welcome, to warm up, to relax, for comfort, and any other emotion or experience you may be having! Whether you take yours with milk, sugar or sweetener, the debate still rages about whether you put the milk in before the water or not. How do you make yours?
Also note that high tea and cream tea are also different to a cup of tea. Afternoon tea is typically between 4-6pm and it can be viewed as a rather posh tea. It often comes with a stack of finger sandwiches and little sweets and cakes.
Cream tea is a light afternoon meal consisting of a cup or pot of tea, of course, and a scone with cream and jam.
Which order do you put the jam and cream on? That’s another debate…
A ‘quick drink’ is anything but...
If you get invited to have ‘just one drink’ in the pub or bar from a UK resident, this is a great welcoming and friendly invite. However, be warned, it is rarely just the one drink.
You can look around the Queen’s homes!
Ever wondered what the inside of Buckingham Palace looks like? Well guess not more.
The Queen has opened up the doors to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Buckingham Palace State Rooms and the most recent Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle venue itself, Windsor Castle!
Check and book tickets in advance of travel as there are different opening dates throughout the year. You can view more info here: https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/
Do not queue jump. We repeat, do not queue jump.
The residents of the UK are not often confrontational but push in a queue in front of them and you will be subject to angry stares, loud tutting, and if you are really unlucky, a good old public telling off.
You can drink the tap water in the UK
That’s right, you can. The water out of the tap is perfectly safe. However, stick to kitchen taps (or what the restaurant/bars gives you) as water to the taps in the bathrooms comes from a different source. Bottled water is also widely available if you would prefer that.
There is more to the UK than London
Whilst London is an extremely popular city to visit, with world class restaurants, top free museums, royalty, history and more fun stuff then you can shake a stick at, it is not representative of the whole of the UK.
Take in the stunning countryside of the Lake District, the Scottish Highlands or the Brecon Beacons. Maybe visit the stunning beaches of Cornwall, Devon or Yorkshire.
The small countryside towns of the UK are also pretty, including Beddgelert in Wales, Plockton in Scotland or Cushenden in Northern Ireland.
If you prefer the city, why not visit Edinburgh in Scotland, Belfast in Northern Ireland, or Manchester in England for an alternative to London.
No matter what you are planning on doing in the UK, you will be welcomed with open arms. So, embrace their differences, explore the landscapes and have an absolutely wonderful time!
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