The United Kingdom has always been a facinating country with an impressive history, custom traditions and unique activities. But there are certain things that you need to know if you are planning your first trip to the United Kingdom or you want to work or even live here for a long period of time. This is why I’ve made a list with some unique facts about UK that will help you adjust better and learn what makes it so special.
1. Seagulls are everywhere!
Seagulls can be noticed in every town in the UK, especially the large ones named the “Herring” Gulls. They can be very noisy, especially during the mating season. Because they are resourceful birds, able to adapt to every situation, they can learn fast new types of behavior and they can attack people for food. During summer you can find them nesting on rooftops. They are birds of conservation concern – the Herring Gull is now red listed due to the severe decline in its national breeding population.
2. Weather – less is more!
UK is known for a chilly weather, but that’s not always the case. In fact, when checking the temperature, especially during spring and summer, always add 5°C more , or simply take a look at how the weather actually feels like. It can be wormer than you think!
3. Wear something comfortable on rainy days
I know it’s fashionable and probably tempting, but believe me when I say this – do not wear an umbrella on rainy days! It’s OK to have one in your bag during those worm, summer days, to protect yourself from the unexpected showers, but during the rest of the year it’s going to be practically useless. The weather is mostly windy and when it rains an umbrella is not going to be a good match for the strong wind. Go for a hoodie instead. It’s a lot more comfortable and easier to wear.
4. There are 2 seasons in one!
I always like to say that in UK you can never experience a true summer. There are days when it fells like autumn, even if you are in July, with cold temperatures, rain and fog that can last for days. Other times you can almost recognise the cool, fresh and blissful air of spring and occasionally you can enjoy some very worm, sunn-filled days that are never long-lasting.
5. Almost every house interior has a carpet
There isn’t a single house in the UK that doesn’t have a carpet. And I’m not talking about a small, fluffy one, but a carpet that covers the entire floor, sometimes even the bathroom! I have always preferred simple, wooden floors because they are more stylish, they can make every type of room appear more bright and spacious, and they are easy to clean and maintain. On the other hand, carpets are difficult to clean (especially if you have pets), they get stained easily and you are more limited when you have to choose your home decor. Not to mention that they are very difficult to change!
6. Two separate faucets for cold and hot water!
One of the most unique facts about UK is that in almost every home in the country you will find a sink that has two separate faucets for cold and hot water! This makes very difficult to use the water at a good temperature and let’s face it, it makes no sense!
7. Same brand – different name
If you are shopping for your favourite brand of chips but can’t find them in stores it’s because they have a different name. Lay’s are in fact Walkers. Lay’s acquired the brand in 1989 and all their products are distributed through the Walkers label.
8. Beans for breakfast
Another one of the most unique facts about UK (if you come from a country known for its food culture) is that beans are served all the time at breakfast – on toast, with eggs, with potatoes and basically with everything you want. But unfortunately, nobody actually cooks fresh beans. Instead they use the canned ones that you can find in every supermarket for half of the price that you pay in a restaurant.
9. Burgers are simply….burgers
If you are hungry for a tasty burger filled with sweet tomatoes, onions and crunchy lettuce look further because in UK every burger is exactly that – a burger meat in a bun! All you get is a little ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard, but that is all. You can have some vegetables to go with it but only if you ask. The price for a simple burger in a bun is between 4-8 £.
10. Most sandwiches are made with only 2 ingredients
Whenever I buy a sandwich I get one that has more ingredients than the ones written on it. Even if a sandwich is made with ham and cheese, it also has lettuce or tomatoes or both and butter. But in the UK what you see in a sandwich is what you get, nothing more. Basically most sandwiches have only two ingredients, without any vegetables even if we all know how healthy those are. More than that, some of the sandwiches found in supermarkets are made with emmental cheese mixed with mayonnaise and nothing else. The best option is to prepare your own sandwich at home, just the way you like it, for a quick healthy snack.
11. Chips/Fries served with every type of food
In every restaurant in the UK, chips (or fries) are served with every type of food – from pasta to pizza, rice and even beans!
12. You are informed both via email and in writing before receiving a package
Let’s say you have to receive a package after placing an order online. In most countries, being informed via email is enough. Well, apparently that’s not the case in the UK. Besides the standard email notification that the package is about to arrive, you also get a letter with the same information.
13. Mild winter season!
You won’t experience a freezing winter with heavy snow too often in the UK because the winter season is mild, with temperatures as low as 0°C and able to reach 9°C during most days. Neverthless, the winter season is trully stunning, and when it snows the entire country becomes brighter before the holidays!
These were the most unique facts about UK. If you know more that were not mentioned here, let me know in the comments. In the meantime, you can also check out my article about some of the best inspirational quotes about Britain.