So you’re thinking of travelling to Great Britain, but you’re not really sure where to begin. Not only are we here to tell you what makes Britain great, but we’re also here to give you the low-down on a particular species of charming human: the Brit.
1. Brits are extremely proud of their local ‘delicacies’
It is a well-known fact that one way to a Brits’ heart is through their stomach. Whether it’s a monster portion of fish and chips from the local chippy, a fry up to cure the hangover, bangers (aka sausages) and mash, pie and mash – or really anything with mash, soaked in gravy – Brits are extremely patriotic when it comes to their food. So try them out, and if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, go for some Scottish haggis. We won’t tell you why.
2. There are a million different accents
Okay maybe not a million, but there are a helluva lot. You’ve got Ulster-English (Northern Ireland), Glaswegian (Glasgow), Geordie (Newcastle), Scouse (Liverpool) and Cockney (London) to name a few. It’s not unusual to be speaking to two people from the same region who have completely different accents. Top tip: if you can’t understand anyone, just nod and smile (and hope for the best).
3. Brits love a good drink
Whether it’s a pint of real ale down the local pub, a cocktail in a bar along the River Thames, or a shot of Tequila in a Newcastle nightclub, Brits love a ‘tipple’, and thankfully for them, the landscape of Great Britain provides. You can be guaranteed a great night out pretty much anywhere but some of our top picks for an epic night out with the locals would be Oceana in Cardiff, Wire in Leeds, House of Smith in Newcastle, Blues Kitchen in London and Albert Hall in Manchester.
4. Clue yourself up on the National Treasures
We’re not talking about the Queen (she’s in her own league obvs), we’re talking about TV legends Mary Berry and David Attenborough. There will be many debates across the offices of Great Britain as to who holds the title of ‘National Treasure’, however these two will probably top the board. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back and will clue you up: Mary Berry is like the grandmother of Britain, and used to star in the widely-loved program ‘Great British Bake-Off’. David Attenborough is the boss of all things nature and wildlife, and is most well-known for his narrations of ‘Planet Earth’. If you’ve got time on your hands, get on YouTube. You won’t regret it.
5. It’s the home of Harry Potter
If you’re a fan of Harry Potter (and let’s face it, you probably are) then welcome to your heaven. London is home to the Warner Bros Studio Tour, aka Harry Potter World, the Cursed Child play at the Palace Theatre, plus Platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross Station. Outside of London you can find various other film locations across Great Britain. We totally won’t judge you for geeking out.
6. The British countryside really is all it’s cracked up to be
You can’t come to Britain without visiting the idyllic British countryside. From the rolling hills of Wales to the mountains of the Lake District in Cumbria, you will never be short of beautiful scenery complete with amazing widlife. If you really want to ‘Brit out’ (totally just made up a phrase there) then go on a country walk followed by a cream tea* in a local café.
*FYI a cream tea is a staple in the British diet and includes a scone (plain or fruit), clotted cream (very thick cream), jam (jelly) and a big pot of tea.
7. The weather
A very controversial topic when it comes to Great Britain, and its reputation probably precedes us: it kinda sucks. Locals will tell you that in the summer they’ll often get two weeks of sunshine (about 78 degrees Fahrenheit) and that’s about it. This shouldn’t put you off though, because the weather is all part of the Great British charm and it just wouldn’t be GB without it. Plus, you’ll witness a phenomenon you won’t get in any other country: the sun makes an appearance, the shorts come on and the BBQs come out, all in under five minutes.
8. They’re footie mad
Footie, aka soccer, is the national sport and you should definitely experience a game at least once in your life. There are football stadiums dotted all over the country so you’ll never be short of the opportunity to go along and join in by wearing football shirts, the occasional face paint, and singing along/making noise to the chants. There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere of a football game.
9. They love a good castle
If history’s your thing, then look no further. The entire country is steeped in ancient history, and they have the castles to prove it. There’s Alnwick Castle, famous for some Harry Potter scenes, Doon Castle, used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (some classic British comedy), the great medieval Dover Castle, Lincoln Castle constructed by William the Conqueror, plus about a million more. Forget a bar crawl, you could legitimately do a castle crawl.
10. The go-to humour is sarcasm
British humour is in its own category. Mostly known for sarcasm, dry wit and deadpan delivery, you’ll likely be confused as to whether they’re being serious or joking. The key is to not take yourself too seriously, be able to laugh at yourself, and be aware that if they like you, you’ll probably be a butt of some of their jokes (in an affectionate way of course). If you really enjoy the humour, be sure to check out a comedy show at The Top Secret Comedy Club or The Covent Garden Comedy Club.
11. It’s home to some total music legends
The Beatles, The Who, David Bowie, Oasis, Rolling Stones, need I say more? Ok … Coldplay, Pink Floyd, Adele, Ed Sheeran, and Elton John. The list is endless, and completely amazing. Why not catch a gig or a concert while you’re here? You’ll not forget it.
12. Speaking of legends, they also have the Queen
The Royal Family is to Great Britain as ice cream is to a coke float: you just can’t have one without the other. Queen Elizabeth is a legend in her own right, reigning for 65 years (from feb 6th), Will and Kate are the Royal IT couple, and Prince Harry is an unlikely object of lust for many single ladies across the country.
13. The quintessential English seaside
Much like the countryside, you can’t visit GB without a stop-off in at least one seaside town. Buy some fish ‘n’ chips and ice cream (hopefully not all together) and have a wander along the beach. Side note: be prepared to fight off the seagulls because they will dive-bomb you for your food.
14. Shop ‘til you drop
Not only can you eat, drink, walk in the countryside and visit castles, you can also treat yourself to an epic shopping trip in none other than London’s Oxford Street. With over 300 shops to choose from, you’ll become a shopaholic in no time. If you fancy more of a Northern adventure, then it might be worth checking out the largest shopping centre in the UK: intu Metrocentre in Gateshead. Touristy spots not your thing? Try the quirky Camden market for unique items, the Welsh town of Llandeilo for independent boutiques, or the Northern Quarter in Manchester for a little bit of everything.
15. Literary geniuses lived there you know
Familiar with the works of Charles Dickens or William Shakespeare? See where it all started by taking a trip to the Charles Dickens Museum where he wrote some of his greatest work, or see where Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon. If that’s not your cup of tea (this is a great British phrase by the way) venture to 221B Baker Street, home of the Sherlock Holmes Museum.
If we haven’t won you over with talks countryside, Harry Potter, castles, comedy and Sherlock Holmes, then there’s probably something wrong with you. But really, Great Britain is truly GREAT, and if you don’t visit yourself and make your own #OMBG moments then we guarantee you’ll regret it. Check out all of our deals here