All About England: 10 Things You Need to Know Before You Go


Since England is an English-speaking country, first time travelers to the country tend to drop their guards. But during my first visit there, I was not only surprised by the many dissimilarities, I also ended up committing a few faux pas. The fact is there are many things about the country that are completely different from what we are used to. Here are some of them:

Millennium Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral (Photo: Michelle Rae Uy)

1. People are, in fact, pleasant and very helpful. And they say actually apologize for things like accidentally bumping into you on the street.

2. The usually have separate faucets for hot and cold water. Careful not to turn the hot water faucet too far or you WILL get burned.

3. Your servers at restaurants will ring you up at the table, and not many of them will be pleased if you asked for wine recommendations.

4. Don’t believe the myth. The food is actually good and hearty. Definitely try the Full English for breakfast.

Sosharu (Photo: Michelle Rae Uy)
Sosharu (Photo: Michelle Rae Uy)
Nando’s (Photo: Michelle Rae Uy)
Preserves and cheese, Borough Market (Photo: Michelle Rae)
Brindisa Tapas (Photo: Michelle Rae Uy)
Brindisa Tapas (Photo: Michelle Rae Uy)
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Q Grill (Photo: Michelle Rae Uy)

5. They won’t let you order food at pubs unless you secure a table first, and not many do takeaways (that’s British for take out).

6. Speaking of pubs, many of them close early. Like 11pm early. Even in London.

7. The public transportation will get you literally anywhere. While planning for my trip in the Cotswolds, I was terrified that I’d get stuck somewhere in the middle of the country if I missed a bus. My fear was quickly dispelled as soon as I realized that even in the countryside, buses and trains run pretty regularly.

Bibury (Photo: Michelle Rae Uy)
Chipping Camden (Photo: Michelle Rae Uy)
Chipping Camden (Photo: Michelle Rae Uy)
Burford (Photo: Michelle Rae Uy)
House in the Cotswolds (Photo: Michelle Rae Uy)

8. You need to keep up the pace during rush hour in London. That’s usually between 7:30 and 9:30 in the morning, and from 5 to 7 in the evening.

9. Some hotels, especially the cheaper ones, may not have in-room air conditioning. This may not seem so bad during the cooler months, but in the summer time, it CAN be torture.

10. They actually have good coffee and nice coffee shops. The afternoon tea, however, is a lovely affair that you must partake in at least once. I very much enjoyed the one at sketch in London.

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sketch in London (Photo: Michelle Rae Uy)
Processed with VSCO with c2 preset
Processed with VSCO with c2 preset
Processed with VSCO with c2 preset
sketch in London (Photo: Michelle Rae Uy)


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  1. Michael

    OK this was a nice write up and it’s good to see positive things about England but there are a few corrections that I would like to make. Firstly no one needs air conditioners in England as we normally only get a few days in the year over 30 degrees.

    Secondly don’t tar all waiters and waitresses with the same brush as there are many that would gladly give you recommendations for a decent wine to have with your meal.

    Lastly there are loads of pubs that not only will allow you to order food at the counter but will also do take outs for you.

    Anyway I hope you come back to England soon and enjoy what it has to offer.

    1. Michelle Rae

      Good to know, Michael! Thanks for the share. I definitely understand why the hotels have no air conditioners; it’s just something I thought would be worth mentioning to folks in the US, as it may come as a surprise. I thought I’d set their expectations.

      I am planning on coming back, definitely. I don’t your country and I love how open and friendly the people are!

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