80 Interesting Facts About The United Kingdom

Written by Sarah Mukaddam

An engineer turned content writer, Sarah is a self-proclaimed bookworm. Armed with a keen sense of story and the gift of the gab, she works as a content writer at UniAcco.

Last updated Jun 25, 2020

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, aka the United Kingdom (UK or U.K.) or Britain, is a sovereign country situated off the north­western coast of the European mainland. The total area of the United Kingdom is 240,000 km^2 (94,000 square miles). The United Kingdom includes the north­eastern part of the island of Ireland, the island of Great Britain and several smaller islands. Northern Ireland shares a land border with the Republic of Ireland; otherwise, it is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the southwest, the North Sea to the east, giving it the twelfth longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea splits Great Britain and Ireland. Here are some interesting facts about the U.K. :

1-Tea is by far the most famous drink among Brits. It is estimated that they drink 165 million cups of tea every day. The fun thing here is that in the U.S. the tea’s consumption is 20 times lower.

2-London houses more than 8 million citizens who communicate via different languages. It is estimated that more than 300 languages are spoken in the city.

3-The first postage stamp was created in the U.K. It was designed in May 1840, and it featured Queen Victoria.

4-The monument of Stonehenge is claimed to be one of the oldest monuments in the world, scientists believe that it was built over in 3,000 B.C.

interesting facts about the uk

5-Standing at 1,107 feet or 350 meters, London’s Shard is the tallest object in the European continent.

6-Golf was invented in Scotland and is considered a national sport today. Sources claim that golf was created in 1457. It got so prevalent that James II banned it because it interrupted with army’s practice.

7-The typical food in the U.K. is roast beef and Yorkshire beef, but the Brits have voted Chicken Tikka as their national dish. The Chicken Tikka is actually an Indian recipe.

8-European continental land is linked with The U.K. through the Channel Tunnel. It connects the city of Calais (France) and Dover (England). At 21 miles this road is the second-longest underground tunnel. 

9-Queen Elizabeth is the longest-reigning Queen in the world.

10-The British royal family still resides at The Windsor Castle making it the oldest royal residence.

11-In August 1896, the United Kingdom and the Zanzibar Sultanate fought for around 40 min; making it the shortest war ever happening in history. Only 1 British sailor was injured while casualties at the other end reached 500.

12-English is the official language of the U.K., yet there are a variety of accents throughout the country. The emphasis changes so often that within a few km, you may come across a different accent.

13-J.K. Rowling was the first writer to ever become a billionaire from her writings. In ’14, her total net worth reached $1 billion.

14-BBC’s T.V. channel programmes do not display ads, because they are a public broadcasting operator and are paid for by the citizens.

15-The British passports are issued in the name of the Queen, and as such, her excellence does not need to have one.

16-Oxford University is the oldest higher education institution in the U.K. Until 1877, it’s lecturers were not allowed to get married.

17-Llanfairpwllgwyngyll-gogerychwyrndrobwlllllandysiliogogogoch. You only saw a meaningless string of letters, didn’t you? This happens to be the name of a town in Wales. It is the longest name of any city in the world.

18-A decree in the U.K. stated that at the moment when there are at least 6 ravens at the ground of London Tower, the monarchy must fall; this rule was put forth by King Charles II.

19-In ancient times a random citizen wasn’t allowed to die in a state-run facility. Some believe that such a rule is applied at England’s Parliament, but that’s false.

20-Legends and Myths involving monsters and mysterious creatures are popular stories in the U.K. many people have claimed they have witnessed such beings in the past. Such accounts have also surrounded the London Bridge where some people have heard the voice of a woman roaming in the night. There are stories of the Loch Ness or shortly Nessie, based out of the lake in Scotland, it allegedly inhabits.

21-Indian restaurants in the U.K. are a random thing. It is estimated that there are more Indian restaurants in London than in Indian urban centres like New Delhi or Mumbai.

indian food

22-Union Jack or The Union Flag is the U.K.’s flag, its design represents a blending of the Scottish flag, English and the flag of St Patrick (representing Ireland); Sorry, Wales. 

23-There is no official religion in the U.K., but the majority of Brits claim a form of Christianity.

24-27% of the population are declared atheists

25-There no active volcanoes in the U.K.

26-The U.K. has only 15 National Parks, but they only cover 8% of British land.

27-No mountains in England are higher than a thousand meters.

28-Ben Nevis is the tallest point of the U.K.’s mountains at 1,345 meters above the sea level. 

29-Corante was the first British newspaper. Its first-ever copy was printed in 1621.

30-Life expectancy in the U.K. is around 80 years.

31-Royal weddings are national holidays. The day after the ceremony, people get a day off work.

32-Taxi drivers in London have to undergo a test before they get hired for the job to estimate how well versed they are with the streets of London.

33-London has over 170 museums.

34-A royal flag waving at the top of the building where the Queen is residing is a must. 

35-Before the London Eye, there was another wheel called ‘The Great Wheel’ which was constructed in the year 1895 for the Empire of India Exhibition; unfortunately, the building shattered in the year of 1907.

36- Fordwich is the smallest town in the U.K., which has around 400 residents.

37-The smallest statue in London is of two mice fighting over a piece of cheese. The story behind this tiny sculpture is quite tragic. During the construction of this monument, two of its builders succumbed in a quarrel over a sandwich which turned out to be eaten by a mouse. 

38-The U.K. has not a written constitution.

39-The U.K. has not a national day, though sometimes it uses the birthday of the Queen.

40- 27% of people in the U.K. are obese, the highest percentage in the world

41- Railway system in the U.K. is ranked as 17th largest railway network in the world.

42-The U.K. is amongst the largest exporters in the world.

43-It has 394,000 kilometres of paved roads, enough to go around the world up to ten times.

44-London is the largest city in the U.K. and the most expensive to live in too.

45-Although the U.K. it’s known for its rainy weather, in 2003 a temperature of 38.5 degrees Celsius was recorded in Kent.

46-It is illegal to sell alcohol to everybody under 18; children under this age are allowed to drink alcohol at home though.

47-Heathrow Airport in London is the busiest airport in the U.K., it recorded over 78 million passengers in ’17.

48-There are more English speakers in the US, India, Pakistan, Nigeria and the Philippines than in the United Kingdom.

49-There are very few trash cans in London. They were removed because the city experienced a lot of terrorist attacks in the past, and trash can have been the most common dropping point.

50-There are over 500 pubs in the U.K. named The Red Lion.

51-All horses in the U.K. must possess a passport.

52-The dragon contained on the Welsh flag is a symbol of the King of Gwynedd, it was the successive rulers of Britain’s Islands after the fall of the Romanian Empire.

53-According to a legend, the Scottish flag with a white cross over a blue background is a representation of the shape of clouds formed when Scotland was fighting with Angles, a tribe of Germanic invaders.

54-Margaret Thatcher was the first woman ever to be elected as the Prime Minister of the U.K., she’s known as the longest-serving PM of the U.K.

55-The EastEnders is the most-watched T.V. show in the U.K., it had 30 million viewers.

56-In the undergrounds of London, scientists have discovered a unique type of mosquito. This species has evolved independently from other types of mosquitos.

57-Football is amongst the most popular games in the U.K. There are over 100 football clubs (or soccer if you will) across the country.

58-Sausages are famous in the U.K. It is believed that sausages were introduced first by the Romans around 400 AD. Nowadays it’s estimated there are 470 recipes including it.

59-Every year around 488 Brits are injured by zips.

60-French was the official language in the U.K., from 1066 to 1362 for almost 300 years.

61-British Library is the 2nd largest library in the world, housing over 150 million items.

62-Shakespeare added approximately three-thousand words to the English language.

63-East Sussex, a small village at the border of Wales and England, declared its independence from the U.K. in 1977 and required foreigners to get a visa to enter the town.

64-Every year a person in the U.K. gets through 38 kilograms of newspaper on average.

65-The first speeding ticket was issued in the U.K., in 1896 a person was caught driving 8 mph in a zone where the limit was 2mph.

66-Killing a swan is illegal in the U.K. Killing one can get you a fine of £5,000 or a 6-month sentence.

67-There’s a law allowing a random citizen to kill a Scott entering the city of York if the said person is holding an arrow above his head.

68-In the past London had a different name, Londinium.

69-Adder happens to be the only venomous snake in the U.K.

70-The National Health Service in the U.K. offers free health care coverage for its citizens. Still, people are allowed to get private health insurance if they will.

71-Suicide was treated as a crime during the late 19th century, if a person was caught trying to kill himself, he would be jailed and punished by hanging.

72-There are over thirty places around the world named Birmingham; furthermore, there are places on the Moon that hold this name.

73-Birmingham is the second-largest city in the U.K.

74-Uk is a vast country, but no matter where you stay, you’ll never be further than 115 km from the sea.

75-Smith Jones and Williams are some of the most common names in the U.K.

76-Art was considered an Olympic sport in the U.K. People of Art, Architecture, Music, literature, painting and sculpting was awarded a medal for their work.

77-Knap of Howar is a primordial building in the U.K. The object was constructed around 3,700 AC. 

78-During the 16th century, the king raised a tax for everyone with a beard.

79-The U.K. has 31 heritage sites under Unesco protection.

80-During World War II, British soldiers were told that eating carrots would improve their vision in the dark. They were being fooled so they wouldn’t know that enemies had developed the radar system.

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