By Vicky Anscombe on 21 July 2015

The UK is full of many delightful idiosyncrasies that we’ve picked up from films, TV and the like.

Are all the Brits posh? Do they all drink tea, and worship The Queen? Do they all live in the countryside and shoot foxes? Well; no. But there are 20 things about Brits which you may not have anticipated before your first visit…

  • They genuinely get upset if you stand on the left of the escalators...
  • because missing a train, even though there’s one coming along in 30 seconds, is a big deal for Brits.
  • When they say ‘It’s not a problem’, it really is. Basically, you’ve badly upset them.
  • If you work in an office with Brits, they’ll love you forever if you bring in baked goodies.
  • As a rule, they appreciate honesty; weirdly, more often than not, they get angry if you try to shield their feelings by telling them half-truths.
  • Most of them are ambivalent about sarcasm. However, it’s still worth keeping a look out for.
  • If it’s a sunny day, be prepared for the moaning to start at 3pm when they all decide it’s ‘just too hot’.
  • They’re all obsessed with Twisters and Calippos when the weather warms up. Never heard of them? Relax; they’re just fruity ice lollies.
  • They’re pretty reserved until the wine and beer starts flowing; then the bad language and raucous laughter starts. Don’t bring your parents out on a night with a drunken Brit.
  • They’re really accepting of vegetarians and vegans; the UK’s a great place for people who don’t want to eat meat.
  • They’re all secretly offended by the portrayal of Brits in Independence Day (and rightly so).
  • The great British fry-up is a thing of beauty; don’t turn your nose up at it. The aim is to eat so much your hangover is temporarily forgotten.
  • When complimenting a British person, don’t be surprised if they sigh and seem slightly perturbed by your comments. They’ve taken your feedback on board, and they're pleased. Trust us.

Fry up

  • They favour hot drinks, but they’re not just tea-mad. Lots of Brits have a fondness for espresso, and green tea is big news, too.
  • They love bringing packed lunches to work, and talking about how it’s saved them ‘loads’ while spending a fortune in the pub with their colleagues.
  • They seem to hate other people’s children while being unable to see any faults in their own. However, they’re big on discipline. British kids are normally fairly well-behaved.
  • It’s true that they have a weakness for jam, clotted cream and scones. And so will you.
  • Most of the time, they seem to favour animals over people; especially cats. They love cats.
  • They’re great drinkers - and they’re not averse to drinking so much that they vomit, then carrying on. Their favourite pub snacks are crisps and, er, pork scratchings. Pork scratchings are deep-fried and salted pig fat.
  • They don’t object to being called stuck-up - if anything, they quite like that label. However, if you call them ‘tight’, you’ll never hear the end of it.

Image credit: Shutterstock


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