For a small island nation we do seem to have quite a global image, one filled with quirky British traditions and past times that other countries may find a little odd. Much like the range of accents here, Britain has a vast amount of cultural variety in a fairly condensed area. This makes it easy for overseas tourists (and Brits as well) to experience all sorts of weird and wonderful events, hobbies, local oddities and traditions. So here are just a few of them that you really must check out when you’re in the United Kingdom.
While every country has their own national sport, Britain has a very long history of not just playing sports but inventing them too! This legacy has endured and is tightly woven in to the every day culture of British people. Its fair to say every sport we like to participate in we do so with unbridled fanaticism. Checking out a football match is a must if you’re in the UK especially over a weekend. While tickets aren’t cheap these days England boasts the most popular teams in the world! The likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool, in fact London alone has 6 teams in the Premier League at the moment with a further 7 in lower leagues. So even if you’re limited to the capital city there’s plenty of opportunities to catch a game. You can also book yourself on a tour of your favourite club’s stadium too.
If football isn’t your thing then there’s plenty of other sport that is a must-see while you’re in the country. The world famous Wimbledon Tennis tournament takes place the last week of June for 2 weeks and is arguably the most important tennis championship in the world. July sees the Formula 1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, one of the most demanding and high speed circuits ever created that sees hundreds of thousands of fans flock there every year for a weekend of camping and motorsport. Cricket is a sport quite unlike any other and you’ll find matches played at local level in nearly every town and village during the summer. Not to mention the Hockey, Rugby, Athletics and even American Football that’s now being embraced especially in London!
There aren’t many countries in the world that limit the eating of one type of meal to one day of the week but in Britain, up and down the country Sunday lunch is reserved for the sole pleasure of a roast dinner. I’ve lived here most of my life and can rarely remember eating anything else on a Sunday other than roast chicken, Yorkshire puddings and piles of roast potatoes and parsnips. In fact pub culture in the UK has a life all its own with drinking establishments packed every Sunday as we all head out for this most British of meals.
Ironically its origins are actually from the Romans but we’ve made it all our own these days. Ask any brit if they’ve had a roast on any other day of the week and they’ll look at you as if you’re some sort of insane person! So if you happen to be in the UK on a Sunday be sure to head to a local pub, enjoy a pint of Britain’s finest ale and order yourself a roast dinner. Check out this useful resource for some of the best British Pubs.
Interestingly Bingo is also of Italian origins but thanks to the huge popularity of the cinemas in the mid 20th century many movie theatres doubled up as bingo halls. The fashion for cinemas dwindled especially after World War 2 which left plenty of venues for the new fashion of Bingo to thrive. In fact rather than a relic of the past Bingo has become ever more popular. Huge purpose built Bingo venues have appeared in most major towns and cities across the country and these days the internet is where you’ll find plenty of Bingo Sites and a new craze of sell hosted bingo parties called Rebel bingo.
Once upon a time the game was seen as a decaying seaside attraction for old grannies. That image has definitely changed and the Brits love of Bingo is definitely on the up!
Don’t miss out
A trip to the UK wouldn’t be complete without experiencing our food, our quirky traditions and our sports. Make sure your holiday in Britain includes a little taster of all these things for that true slice of British life.