Study in United Kingdom

Fun Facts About UK

Fun Facts About UK


The United Kingdom is one of the world's most influential, powerful, and richest countries, with a very impressive history, and we are almost certain you are already aware of many interesting facts.

It is well known that the United Kingdom is home to the royal family, tea lovers, and eccentric joke-tellers. However, there is more to discover, mainly related to its history, culture, and archaeological evidence dating back to the Neolithic era.

Related: What You Need to Know About British Culture.

Here are some fun facts about UK:

Stonehenge Is Older Than the Pyramids

Located on the Salisbury Plain, Stonehenge is one of the oldest monuments in the world, so ancient that it has a great deal of religious significance for Druidic believers. Scientists estimate that it was built in 3,000 BC, 500 years before the Great Pyramid of Giza.

The meaning Stonehenge holds has changed throughout its history. Transcending its landscape, Stonehenge represents the generations of people who have made and found meaning from this enduring place.

Brits Love Tea

According to estimates, the British drink 100 million cups of tea daily, meaning they consume more tea than anywhere else. Since the 18th century, tea has been a staple of the country's culture and is most commonly served with milk and sugar. Traditionally, it is served with biscuits and served in a teapot.

The British have a fondness for tea, whether they drink it with milk, sugar, lemon, or plain. There's something about the firm bitterness that sparks devotion. The Tea and Infusions Organisation estimates that the British consume 60 billion cups every year.

London’s Subway Is the Oldest in the World

London's famous "Tube" is the oldest subway system in the world. It took the British government 10 years to decide to construct an underground railway between Farringdon Street and Bishop's Road, Paddington. Construction began in 1860 and the line officially opened on January 10, 1863.

This is the world's third-longest metro system, covering 402km with 270 stations along 11 lines. Only 45% of the network is underground, primarily in the city center, while suburban lines are mostly above ground.

London Has One of the Largest Libraries in the World

The British Library was established in 1973 and holds a copy of everything ever published in the UK. Membership is free, but you have to register to access the reading rooms and 150m items.

Over 170 million items are in the British Library catalog, located in King's Cross, London. The library contains millions of books, stamps, manuscripts, newspapers, and digital items that would stretch from London to Aberdeen if all of its shelves were laid end to end.

Stamps Originated in the UK

The United Kingdom created the first stamps as postage stamps, known as the Penny Black, in May 1840. Despite this, sending a letter today is cheaper than it once was - a first-class stamp costs 85p, while a second-class stamp costs 66p.

As the first postage stamps did not need to identify the issuing country, the United Kingdom is the only country in the world that does not include its name on its postage stamps. The monarch's image indicates the United Kingdom as the country of origin.

Queen Elizabeth Is the Longest Reigning Monarch

Online searches for England history facts tend to focus on the royal family. Queen Elizabeth reigned from 1952 to 2022, making her the longest-serving monarch in British history. At age 25, she succeeded her father and reigned for 70 years until she died at the age of 96.

On 9 September 2015, Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British monarch and the longest-reigning female monarch in world history. Her reign surpassed James Francis Edward Stuart's claimed reign. She was the first British monarch to reign for 70 years and celebrate a platinum jubilee.

The BBC Is the Oldest Broadcaster in the World

As the country's national broadcaster and the oldest in the world, the British Broadcasting Corporation was founded in 1922. It is also the world's largest broadcaster by employee number – over 22,000 people. The BBC channel is one of the only TV channels that does not air adverts. Instead, to fund the channel, viewers must pay a yearly TV license fee of £159.

The BBC not only serves British audiences but also provides impartial news and information around the world through the BBC World Service Group. With a combined audience of 283 million people a week, it provides comprehensive global television, radio, and online services in 30 languages.

French Was Once the Official Language of England

As an interesting yet unknown fact, English was the official language of England from 1066 to 1362. When the Normans invaded England and William the Conqueror became King, Norman French was introduced as the language of the government and upper classes.

Even though English became the country’s official language after 300 years, it still incorporated many French phrases and words. For official documentation, Latin was the main language, French was primarily spoken by nobility and English by the lower classes. As a major factor for England’s move away from French, historians point to King John losing Normandy, a region in France, in 1294 to the King of France.

You’re Not Allowed to Get Drunk in English Pubs

As of 1872, the licensing act forbids anyone in England from getting drunk anywhere other than their own private property. This is an odd bylaw when there are over 35,000 pubs in the country, many of which serve as drinking establishments. However, it's a well-intentioned act to keep people safe by reducing drinking levels.

Selling alcohol to a drunk or disorderly person is also an offence under the Licensing Act 2003. Whoever sells alcohol to somebody who is drunk could be hit with a £90 Fixed Penalty Notice.

There Is an Annual Cheese Rolling Competition

Since 1826, the annual cheese rolling has been held on Cooper’s Hill in Gloucester. The event involves rolling a nine-pound round Double Gloucester cheese down a hill with competitors chasing it to the bottom. The winner is the first to get to it.

In 1826, a message was written to the Gloucester town crier, indicating that cheese rolling was an old tradition, estimated to be at least six hundred years old. According to some, the competition was all about grazing rights on Cooper's Hill and the common, while others believe it was a fertility ritual.

Sparkling Wine Was Invented in England

Dom Perignon, a French monk, is commonly believed to have invented sparkling wine in the form of champagne in 1697, but the BBC reports that an English scientist discovered it 30 years earlier. You can find a plaque dedicated to Christopher Merrett on Mill Lane in Winchcombe, the village of the Cotswolds, where you can learn more about Merrett and the wine documentation he developed.

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