Facts you do not know about the UK – The United Kingdom, sharing an extensive and fascinating history, offering a vibrant culture of art and some of the most unspoiled scenery in the entire world, home to award-winning beaches, making anyone fall in love with the lush green landscape, stunning lakes that will take your breath away, from street parties for the Queen’s birthday to the vibrant, colorful Noting Hill Carnival, and many more. The United Kingdom is a melting pot of diverse cultures, religions, and classes.
Being one of the world’s wealthiest countries, picturesque villages, breathtaking landmarks, and having its monarchy, there’s a lot about The United Kingdom that might take you by surprise. Here are 22 facts you do not know about the UK:
- Britishers consume more tea than any other countries globally, including India and Japan. The total population of the UK consumes around 165 million cups of tea per day.
- Windsor Palace is the largest and oldest castle globally that is currently occupied.
- The UK’s Queen celebrates two birthdays every year — one on April 21st, her original birth date, and an official birthday celebrated every year on the second Saturday of June.
- Queen Elizabeth II doesn’t have a passport, but she has visited more than 100 countries to date, but she has to do an identity check with immigration officials before traveling. According to the British monarchy, “As a British passport is issued in the name of Her Majesty, it is irrelevant for The Queen to possess one.”
- Queen Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning monarch in British history and the world’s largest landowner with 6.6 billion acres, around one-sixth of the Earth’s land surface.
- London was the first city globally to have an underground subway system. In 1863, the first underground opened as an “underground railway,” and in 1890, the first electrified underground line opened, making it the world’s oldest metro system.
- The United Kingdom has the shortest scheduled passenger flight worldwide, lasting only one and a half minutes connecting Westray and Papa Westray islands. The record for the fastest flight is 53 seconds.
- London is home to more Indian restaurants than Mumbai or Delhi.
- Over 300 languages are spoken in London.
- Chicken tikka masala is an Indian dish that is now one of the British national dishes.
- London has had many different names in the past. During Roman times in around 43 AD, it was named as Londinium. Later during the Anglo-Saxon period 7th to 11th centuries, it was called Lundenwic, and eventually, it was named London in the 8th Century.
- Big Ben in London is usually referred to as both — the clock and the tower, but in reality, Big Ben is the bell’s nickname inside the clock. Big Ben is the largest of the towers and has five bells with a total weight of 13.7 tonnes. In September 2012, Big Ben was renamed The Elizabeth Tower to honor the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
- In the UK, horses, ponies, donkeys, and zebras must possess a “horse passport.”
- The pound sterling is the world’s oldest currency, still in use over 1200 years old.
- While in the UK, it is illegal to drink and buy alcohol for someone aged under 18, but it is legal to buy a beer, wine, or cider if they are eating a table meal at licensed premises if they are 16–18 years old. Also, it is legal for a child aged 5–16 to drink alcohol at home or other licensed premises.
- One of the oldest monuments in the world is Stonehenge. Scientists believe that Stonehenge was built in 3,000 B.C.
- London has experienced numerous terrorist attractions in the past where they used trash cans as bomb-dropping points. Hence, the Government has removed major trash cans in the city.
- Oxford University is the oldest higher education institution in the United Kingdom, and until 1877, the lecturers of the Oxford University were not allowed to get married.
- In the United Kingdom, Royal weddings are national holidays. The day after the ceremony, people get a day off.
- From 1066 to 1362 for almost 300 years, French was the official language in the United Kingdom.
- British Library is the second-largest library globally, housing over 150 million books.
- 27% of the United Kingdom population are obese, making it the highest percentage of obese people globally.
The United Kingdom has got a lot going for it from the unique communities, traditions, myths, and legends, but the United Kingdom is unique, exciting, and endlessly intriguing. Which facts did you feel go wow? Drop a comment below!