The Most Surprising, Weird Facts About the UK (20 UK Fun Facts!)

I’ve now lived in the UK for more than 6 years and, let me tell you, there are some things that still surprise me! This article contains 20 weird / fun facts about the UK!

This article contains 20 weird facts about the UK, some of which you probably haven’t heard before!

Weird Facts about the UK 20 UK Fun Facts

So, without further ado, let’s get into some weird facts about the UK!

facts about the UK

1. This was one of the first weird facts about the UK I learned when I arrived: The Weights and Measures Act specifies the amounts and increments for selling alcohol in the UK.

The only alcohol which can be sold in imperial (rather than metric) measurements, is beer and cider (third pints, half pints, two-thirds of a pint, and any multiples of half a pint). You can sell spirits in multiples of 25ml or 35ml, but have to choose one or the other in your establishment [1].

2. British people eat baked beans on toast.

It’s weird, but—hear me out on this—it’s pretty tasty!

3. The word ‘quite’ doesn’t necessarily mean what you think it means.

I had always used quite as a synonym for very, but it can also mean nearly the opposite. For example, if someone says a meal you cooked is ‘quite good’ they may mean it’s not very good at all and might be insulting your cooking!

4. Another one of the most interesting linguistic weird facts about the UK: ‘are you alright?’ can be used as a greeting.

It’s similar to someone asking you ‘what’s up?’ They’re not actually wondering if you are okay (or what is up), it’s just a way of greeting someone.

weird facts about the UK

5. It takes just over 16 hours to travel to all London Underground stations.

Well, that’s the record anyway [2]!

6. There’s very little dangerous wildlife in Britain.

Maybe they sent it to Australia with all the prisoners back in the day lol.

7. Most bathrooms have two separate taps (one for hot water and one for cold).

Apparently, this was for men shaving in the sink, but, today, it’s pretty inconvenient.

8. It is illegal to go into the Houses of Parliament wearing a suit of armour.

This is based on a 1313 statute which remains in force today [3].

9. The UK has the most roundabouts in the world as a proportion of road space (25,000) [4].

UK fun facts

10. Since 1865, black cab drivers have had to pass the ‘Knowledge’.

This basically entails memorising the thousands of roads within a 6-mile radius of Charing Cross [5].

11. There are 548 pubs called the Red Lion in the UK.

There are 494 called the Crown [6].

12. The London Tube network is 402km long.

45% of that is in tunnels [7].

13. The City of London is actually just one square mile in central London [8].

Well, 1.12 square miles to be exact. Today, it is a bustling business hub and also the location of the Bank of England.

strange things about the UK

14. The longest place name in the world is in Wales.

It is Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch [9].

15. On the late spring bank holiday, people in Gloustershire roll and chase a cheese down a hill [10].

16. One of my favourite weird facts about the UK is that British people drink 36 BILLION cups of tea a year.

Brits drink 30 MILLION more cups of tea per day than coffee [11].

17. The Queen celebrates two birthdays, one in April and another in June [12].

weirdest things about the UK

18. Speaking of the Queen, another one of the best weird facts about the UK, is that, when you turn 100, the Queen sends you a personalised birthday card.

19. Postage stamps were invented in the UK in 1840 [13].

20. Lots of pubs claim to be the oldest in Britain, but certainly one of the oldest is Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem in Nottingham, which opened in 1189 [14].

And, there you have it, my top 20 weird facts about the UK! Which one do you think is the strangest? Let me know in the comments below!

Check out my other articles about London life here.

Sources

[1] Gov.uk (n.d.). Weights and Measures: the law. Retrieved April 6, 2021, from https://www.gov.uk/weights-measures-and-packaging-the-law/specified-quantities

[2] Wikipedia (n.d.) Geoff Marshall. Retrieved April 6, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoff_Marshall#:~:text=Marshall%20has%20twice%20held%20the,2004%2C%20on%20his%20fourth%20attempt

[3] The Law Commission (March 2013). Legal Curiosities: Fact or Fable?https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/app/uploads/2015/03/Legal_Oddities.pdf

[4] Wylie, I. (2015, October 19). ‘Traffic lights are so dictatorial’ … but are roundabouts on the way out? The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/oct/19/traffic-lights-roundabouts-way-out#:~:text=The%20UK%20today%20boasts%2025%2C000,a%20proportion%20of%20road%20space

[5] Transport for London (n.d.). Learn the Knowledge of London. Retrieved April 6, 2021 from https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/taxis-and-private-hire/licensing/learn-the-knowledge-of-london

[6] Pubs Galore (n.d.) Most common names of open pubs listed on Pubs Galore. Retrieved April 6, 2021 from https://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/stats/pubs/pub-names/

[7] TFL Community Team (n.d.). Tube Trivia and Facts. Made by TFL. Retrieved April 6, 2021 from https://madeby.tfl.gov.uk/2019/07/29/tube-trivia-and-facts/

[8] Brown, M. (2016, July 27). Is the Square Mile Actually a Square Mile. Londonist. https://londonist.com/2016/07/is-the-square-mile-actually-a-square-mile

[9] McAlpine, F. (2016). How to Pronounce the Longest Place Name in the UK. BBC America. https://www.bbcamerica.com/anglophenia/2015/09/how-to-pronounce-the-longest-place-name-in-the-u-k

[10] Condé Nast Traveller. (n.d.). England’s Weirdest Customs. Retrieved April 6, 2021 from https://www.cntraveller.com/gallery/strange-customs-english-traditions-weird-events

[11] Nannestad, C. (2021, February 9). This is Why the British Drink So Much Tea. Reader’s Digest. https://www.rd.com/article/why-british-drink-tea/#:~:text=Brits%20drink%20a%20lot%20of%20tea&text=The%20proof%20is%20in%20the,start%20them%20young%20over%20there

[12] Roland, E. and Donvito, T. (2020, April 17). Things You Probably Didnt’ Know About Queen Elizabeth II. Reader’s Digest. https://www.rd.com/list/facts-about-queen-elizabeth-ii/

[13] Central Mailing Services (n.d.). History Behind the British Stamp. Retrieved April 6, 2021 from https://www.centralmailing.co.uk/blog/british-stamps/#:~:text=Great%20Britain%20issued%20the%20world’s,in%20profile%20or%20semi%2Dprofile

[14] BBC (2020, July 6). Coronavirus: ‘England’s oldest pub’ reopens. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-53309100

1 thought on “The Most Surprising, Weird Facts About the UK (20 UK Fun Facts!)”

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