10 British quirks that BAFFLE tourists

While often used interchangeably, ‘Britain’ and ‘the UK’ denote two different things. Britain signifies England, Scotland and Wales, while the United Kingdom (the UK) encompasses those three nations plus Northern Ireland.

The concept of Britain vs the UK

No other nation queues quite like the British. Ordered, unswerving and single file, British queues can confuse the foreign holidaymaker.

The obsession with queueing

The amount of times a blustering Brit can stuff the words “please”, “thank you” or “sorry” into a single sentence is quite alarming.

Excessive politeness

It can be a straightforward apology but it can also be a request that you repeat yourself, the words that come before a rebuttal, a way to strike up conversation or a polite plea for you to move out of the way. Judge the situation and respond with confidence.

The many uses of the word ‘sorry’

rain will clatter onto pavements and Brits will scatter towards cafes and shops, stooped and muttering. British weather can change in an instant so whenever you visit, come prepared for all seasons.

The weather

One greeting that always puzzles the foreign visitor is “You alright?”. Contrary to the obvious, it's not an enquiry about your well-being. A simple answer of “Yes, you?” will complete the exchange.

The greetings

This can make for a trying drive if you’re used to riding on the right but Britain’s beautiful back roads and country lanes are worth the white knuckles so buckle up and keep your wits about you.

Driving on the left

Brits are now guzzling just as much coffee but tea will always hold a special place in the national consciousness. Learn how you like an English breakfast tea best (perhaps white with no sugar, or black with two?), and drink plenty of the stuff before you head back home.

The love of tea

They’ll likely lament its stuffy carriages and line closures, but jump to its defence if a visiting individual should do the same.

The London Underground

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