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5 Things To Know Before Visiting The UK

Almost all Americans hope to visit the United Kingdom one day. To many Americans, it’s still ‘the mother country,’ and it’s the place that’s culturally closest to their home country – more so even than Canada. When we think of the UK, we think of black taxis, Buckingham Palace, the British royal family, and red phone boxes. We think of Robin Hood, and Downton Abbey, and Doctor Who. Five of the main thing that you want to know of before Visiting The UK.Check out this list that will allow you to understand locals better.

Visiting The UK

The United Kingdom is indeed a place of enormous history and culture, predating the existence of the United States of America by over a thousand years. The people there speak the same language as Americans, and you can even visit a lot of the same stores and restaurant chains. It’s no wonder that the people of the UK and the USA think of each other almost as cousins. It’s still its own place with its own identity and its own rules, though, and there are some things you should know about it before you visit. Fortunately for you, we’ve put together the most vital points in this article to make things a little easier!

Things to Know When Visiting The UK

You can also learn about ways to travel on a budget in the UK.

There’s No Such Thing As A ‘Quick Pint’

If you make any British friends on your visit – which you probably will, as they’re largely a friendly people – you might find yourself invited to the pub for ‘a quick pint.’ You’re free to accept this offer, but be wary of it. Firstly, a British pint is about 20% larger than an American pint. Secondly, they don’t mean one singular pint – they probably mean at least five or six, stretching long into the evening without a meal break. Drinking is such a big part of British culture that there’s even a popular online slots game based on it called ‘Down The Pub.’ In fact, while we’re on that topic, you’ll also find adverts for online slots websites and casinos everywhere. Burning wins mobile slot is one of the most popular on the casino floor. Whether it’s drinking or online slots, the British enjoy their vices, and they’re keen for you to join in with them. Go for ‘a pint’ by all means, but don’t make any plans for the rest of the evening. You’ll probably want to go easy the following morning, too. 

Regional Accents Vary Dramatically

For such a small country, the UK has a lot of regional accent variations – and some of them so strong they may as well be a whole different language. Many opinion polls have shown that Americans are likely to find British accents attractive, but they’re generally thinking of the type of accent Hugh Grant speaks with in a romantic comedy film. Scotland, in particular, has a heavy accent and a regional dialect that includes words you won’t find used in England. The accent of someone from Liverpool is dramatically different from the accent of someone from London. People from the east of the country sound nothing like people from the west of the country. Each region has its own slang and terminology, and words may even have different meanings in different places. Prepare to ask people to repeat themselves a lot. 

Football Is A Religion

When we say ‘football,’ we mean what the Americans refer to as ‘soccer.’ As popular as the big sports are in the USA, the level of enthusiasm for sport in the States pales in comparison to the way the British think about football. People are more likely to change their religion than they are to change their team allegiance, and they care far more for their favorite team than they do for their chosen deity. When someone asks you if you ‘saw the game last night,’ they’re talking about a football match. It’s one of the most popular topics of casual conversation in the UK, so it might do you well to adopt a team while you’re there so you can join in. You might even want to consider going to a match – some of the chants the crowd comes up with are highly amusing. You might want to think twice about bringing young children along with you, though – they’re as coarse as they are creative!

Sorry’ Has Hundreds Of Meanings

It’s a stereotype that the British apologize for everything, but as with most stereotypes, it comes with a grain of truth. The Brits do say ‘sorry’ a lot, but they don’t always mean it as an apology. They sometimes preemptively say ‘sorry’ to you when they’re about to barge past you in a queue, for example. It’s also used as a substitute for ‘could you please repeat yourself’ if they haven’t quite heard what you just said. They’re sorry to hear any bad news you might have to share with them, but they’re also sorry that they’ve just taken the taxi you had your eyes on. It’s a conversational tic, and it’s often no more significant than a comma or a full stop at the end of a sentence. 

They Ask How You Are A Lot

One of the most common greetings you’ll hear during your stay in the UK is ‘you alright?’ This isn’t actually an inquiry as to your welfare, and the person asking the question doesn’t necessarily think there’s anything wrong with you. This is actually a greeting, and serves the same purpose as ‘hello.’ The expected response is ‘yes, I’m fine, how are you?’ In fact, if you gave a detailed response to the query including any ailments you might be suffering from, you’d probably be greeted with a blank look. Nobody really knows how such a specific question became nothing more than a common greeting, but it’s used in every country in the UK, and it can be confusing if you’ve never encountered it before. 

Tea Fixes All Problems

There’s a reason that the British were so offended by the Boston Tea Party. Tea is sacred to the Brits and is presented as an accompaniment or solution to any situation one might face in life. If it’s a beautiful day outside, you have a cup of tea before going out to enjoy it. Equally, if it’s cold and wet, you stay indoors and have a cup of tea. If you’re having a friendly meet up with someone you haven’t seen for a while, you’ll probably go to a cafe for a cup of tea. If that friend tells you that their entire family has just died in an awful accident, they’ll have a cup of tea and a sit down to help them get over it. When the end of the world eventually arrives, expect the Brits to face it with a cup of tea in their hand. It’s not just a beverage; it’s a way of life. 

So long as you can attune yourself to all of these small quirks, you’ll have a great time while you’re there. Just remember to drive on the left and walk on the right, and you’ll be fine. Have a wonderful trip! 

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