England Local Customs

  • Handsworth 'Mummers'
    Handsworth 'Mummers'
    by suvanki
  • Terry Gorman Picture of 'Coles Corner'
    Terry Gorman Picture of 'Coles Corner'
    by suvanki
  • Hendo's
    by suvanki

England Local Customs

  • Geordie - language

    Newcastle upon Tyne Local Customs

    Perhaps more than any other in the country, the Geordie dialect can seem impenetrable to a non-Geordie, (a Geordie being a native of Newcastle). The differences between this and standard English fall into three main groups: - words that are pronounced differently - words that are unique to Geordie - words that are used differently, i.e. in...

  • English Pubs

    York Local Customs

    While people generally know pubs because of the beer, they are inexpensive places to eat. There is an asociation called CAMRA who works to preserve old pubs and after buying their guide I visited Royal Oak and The Blue Bell which are 2 outstanding pubs with beautiful original decoration. Another one Ive been recommended was The Maltings which is a...

  • Pronunciation

    Oxford Local Customs

    Oxford has some intuition-defying pronunciations. If you really want to sound like a native you'll have to say Bay-lee-ill for Balliol (college), Bod-lee-inn for Bodleian (library), Maud-Lynn for Magdalen (College & Street), Wuuster for Worcester (College).

  • Weighing the Mayor

    High Wycombe Local Customs

    On the third Saturday of May, the incoming and outgoing Mayors, along with the Mayoresses (or Mayors' consorts) are weighed at a public ceremony in the town centre. Wycombe is the only town in the country to have this custom. The story goes that Queen Elizabeth I stayed in Wycombe (why not - she is said to have stayed everywhere else!) and...

  • girls...girls...girls

    Newcastle upon Tyne Local Customs

    You may notice when you visit Newcastle that there is the occasional coat shop....This is for Tourists only who think Newcastle is cold.... All year round in Newcastle on a night time you will see that nobody wears coats and it is deemed downright silly to even think of wearing one... Even the women go out with the shortest of skirts and the...

  • Fish and Chips

    York Local Customs

    Britains most popular hot take away meal is Fish and Chips. This tasty combination is usually eaten with salt and vinegar; in Scotland sometimes with a special brown sauce. The favourite fish is Cod, followed by Haddock and Plaice. Prices are about 1 GBP for the Chips and about 2,50 GBP for the Fish.

  • May Day

    Oxford Local Customs

    May Morning is one of Oxford's most popular celebrations. Very many Oxonians (and tourists) party the whole night through only to gather on Magdalen Bridge at the unchristian time of 5.30am. The bridge is horribly crowded, every second person is drunk or stoned, some esoterics are carrying a huge paper sun labelled "Happy May Day, Oxford!"... And...

  • beer...beer..beer

    Newcastle upon Tyne Local Customs

    Newcastle Brown Ale is the best known beer from Newcastle. It's been brewed in the city since the 1920s and it's famous blue star logo has been there since the start. It’s available on draught, in bottle and in cans though the bottled version seemed the most common in the pubs we visited in Newcastle. I had never tried it before my visit to the...

  • Rowing

    Oxford Local Customs

    Rowing is one of the most popular sports at Oxford, and amongst the colleges the competition is fierce. Whilst the drawbacks of rowing are all too obvious - early starts at 6am, training 7 days a week, early nights, cutting back on study and/or a social life, and counting calories (in some cases), there is something about the sport that continues...

  • Punting

    Oxford Local Customs

    Punting is a very popular passtime, particularly in the summer. I think punting is exclusive to Oxford & Cambridge - I've never seen it elsewhere. It's a lot more difficult than it looks - have a look at my punting travelogue for more...


    ’Coffee making facilities’ is the odd way this fantastic bit of British Culture is usually described. You get an electric kettle, tea, coffee, milk, sugar and biscuits (cookies) in your room! That’s every room. Whether you stay at a 5 star luxury hotel, countryside Bed & Breakfast or the worst hotel in London – you get this! In some places like...

  • The 0ld English Teashop...

    The heyday of the English teashop was in the decade after WWII - the J.Lyons company began opening its own brand teashops, all over the country, until they were a feature of every town...Lyons Corner Houses, in London's West End, were deliberately located at the busiest crossings in the capitol, which are the prime commercial centres of any...

  • Poppies for remembrance

    Remembrance Sunday is commemorated in England on the second Sunday of November, which is the Sunday nearest to 11th November, the anniversary of the end of First World War hostilities at 11.00 AM in 1918. As in most countries, the ceremonies are marked by two minutes’ silence. Wreaths of poppies are laid on war memorials all round the country as...


    Visitors to UK may sometimes be greeted with some slang words so here i have listed a few to help you understand.absobloodylutely----yesarse-over-tit-----fall overace----coolblimey----my goodnessbee's knees----awesomebog roll--------- toilet paperBob's your uncle----there you gobollocks----ballsbangers----sausagesbits'n bobs----various...

  • Blue Plaques...

    Blue plaques are historical markers mounted on buildings significant in the cultural life of this country...Each Blue plaque will reveal the name of a famous person who was born, lived, or died, at a specific location, or otherwise inform of an important historical event that happened there...The original Blue plaques were put up around London in...

  • Names

    According to http://www.ancestry.co.uk/Last names weren’t widely used until after the Norman conquest in 1066, but as the country’s population grew, people found it necessary to be more specific when they were talking about somebody else. Thus arose descriptions like Thomas the Baker, Norman son of Richard, Henry the Whitehead, Elizabeth of the...

  • Beach Huts...

    Everywhere along the English coastline you will find beach huts - a seaside town is not a resort without these heavy-duty, wooden sheds by the sea...Along the so-called Sunshine Coast of Essex, there are thousands in line, in some areas multiple lines, commencing at Brightlingsea; beginning again at Jaywick Sands, then continuing all the way...

  • Crazy Horses!

    If you like American automobiles, then there's 1 country you need to come to - England!Seriously; although admittedly, there might be a distinct lack of American cars on British roads, everywhere but in the vicinity of the airbases at Feltwell; Mildenhall; & Lakenheath (see separate tip...)However, on any weekend throughout the year, from spring to...

  • The double-decker bus...

    The double-decker bus is an iconic symbol of England - something mentioned in any list of 'top5' things foreigners most associate with this country...In many ways, a red double-decker is as symbolic of England as the national flag - at international ports such as Parkeston, such a bus stands parked near the arrivals hall, a sign of instant...

  • Jack-in-the-Green!

    I was once cycling through Dedham on a summer evening, with the low sun causing the scenery ahead to appear in silhouette - suddenly I became aware that the verdure on the pavement beside me was moving towards me, as if alive - the shock almost caused me to fall off my bike because for a moment I really believed the allusion to be true!In fact, it...

  • English Seaside Postcards...

    Before the age of digital communications, it was a long standing part of English tradition to send a postcard to your nearest & dearest, after arrival at your vacation destination...Almost every resort could provide a selection of postcards featuring scenic views of the place, to show to your family & friends what sort of change of scene you were...

  • St George's Day

    St George is the patron Saint of England and we have a day to celebrate him and England on 23rd April. Even though this is our national day it is not a bank holiday and we still have to work on this day. A lot of people are petitioning so the government recognise this day and make it a bank holiday.

  • How not to look like a tourist.

    Actually, not looking like a tourist is pretty much impossible.If you take a photo, or stand and stare, or look at a map....you are obviously a visitor. Locals simply do not do these things.But there are some giveaways you can avoid, if you don't want to be too obvious:1. Do not wear a fanny-pack/bum-bag. People in the UK simply don't, unless we...

  • How to get served in a pub.

    English (and Welsh, and Scots) pubs are special places with their own special way of doing things. There are a myriad different pubs with a myriad of different architectural styles. Each has its own quirks and foibles, its own way of doing things, its own 'specialities'.You can buy and drink alcohol at the age of 18. You can drink beer or cider...

  • How to get served in a cafe.

    Now, this is a difficult one.There is no way around it: you need to observe what is going on around you in that particular cafe.Some cafes have waitress service. I say 'waitress' because you generally find that the 'servers' are women. But some cafes don't.If there is no sign saying 'Please wait here to be seated' and no-one comes up to you as you...

  • Manners.

    Yes, manners do still matter in the UK (not just in England).It is usual to say 'please' and 'thank you' to anyone giving you a service, even if they don't please you. It is usual to queue when required, and it is expected that you will take your correct turn and not push to the front. Failure to queue properly is bitterly resented, although...

  • More about Yorkshire pudding.

    Yorkshire pudding is a batter made of flour, eggs and milk which is baked in a very hot oven. It ends up being a light, fluffy, crispy golden-brown creation which...when it is made properly..is absolutely delicious.Traditionally, Yorkshire pudding is served separately, and before the roast beef with which is it traditionally served. The idea is...

  • What do the English eat?

    Traditional 'English' food is much less popular these days, and much less commonly found when eating out.People have adopted (and adapted) recipes from around the world, so you are more likely to be offered lasagne, curry (Indian or Thai) or chilli con carne as a 'traditionally English' shepherd's pie, 'roast dinner' or fish and chips.In fact,...

  • Breakfast.

    What is an 'English breakfast'? In a hotel, you will probably be offered cereals with milk, followed by some sort of fried breakfast (egg, sausage, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread etc), followed by toast with butter and jam or marmalade. Cafes often offer an 'all-day breakfast', which is the fried meal mentioned above, usually served with...

  • Accents and dialects.

    If you get chance to travel around England you will be amazed at the number of different accents you come across, from the 'Estuary English' of the South-east to the 'Geordie' of Tyneside, from the nasal tones of the Black Country to the burr of the West Country. Why are there so many regional variations? Nobody really knows, but I like to think it...

  • Bank holidays.

    Until 1871, the only national holidays in England were Christmas Day and Good Friday. Over the years the following days have also become national holidays:New Year's DayGood FridayEaster MondayMay Day (first Monday in May)Spring Bank Holiday (last Monday in May)August Bank Holiday (last Monday in August)Christmas DayBoxing Day (26th December).If...

  • English gardens.

    The English love their gardens. That is an absolute fact. I don't know why this is so, but if you travel around the country you will notice that many people take great pride in their 'front' garden (the one which is visible from the roadway).Usually, the 'back' garden of English houses is the biggest and is often even more beautifully tended....

  • Fayres, fairs, fetes and carnivals.

    Villages and communities often have some sort of summer event which raises money for local charities. These may be called a carnival, a fair, a fete, a fayre or even a rally.They will usually include stalls on a local grassy open space with games of some sort (tombola, bash-the-rat, a coconut shy), some type of entertainment in the main arena...

  • Lychgates.

    Many English churchyards have a lychgate at the entrance. These covered gateways are so-called because the 'lych' (old English for corpse) passed through them on the way to the funeral. You won't see them so often in towns, because they have generally been removed over the centuries as space became more restricted, but they are quite common in...

  • May Day.

    Many customs and traditions surround the first day of May, some almost certainly dating back to the time before Christianity came to England (which happened during the Roman period). Sadly, most of these customs and traditions are no longer practised. Bonfires were lit, as at other important times of the year, and young girls rose early to wash...

  • England at play: Re-enactments.

    Yes......you really can see.men in tights! Re-enacting historical events has become increasingly popular over the past couple of decades, and all re-enactors take their roles very seriously indeed. You may come across Romans, Vikings, Medieval soldiers, English Civil War cavalry .... the list is almost endless. Often billed as 'living history' on...

  • Lunch, dinner, tea, supper...........

    What meals are called in England (apart from breakfast) depends on where you live and, traditionally, what social class you belonged to. From the Midlands northwards the midday meal is often called 'dinner'. In the south it's called 'lunch' . But schools all over England have 'dinnerladies' who are 'lunchtime supervisors' ! Traditionally,...

  • England at play: steam rallies.

    The English are still very fond of their local fete/fayre/fair type of thing. Even quite small villages have them (usually in late spring or early summer....although there is a Christmas variety). You'll find stalls of various types (handicrafts, games, a coconut shy, cakes, tombola etc etc). Some, however, are quite specialised; the steam rally is...

  • Traditional games at the village...

    Most English villages have some sort of village fete (or fair, or fayre), often associated with the local church. Schools and other institutions have them too, because they are a good way of raising money.There is usually some sort of entertainment: a band, perhaps, maybe some children dancing, displays of dog agility or tae-kwon-do, a tug-of-war...

  • Conkers

    'Conkers' are the fruit of the horse chestnut tree....not the edible sweet chestnut type.We have lots of horse chestnuts in England. They are not native (although many people think they are). John Tradescant and his son (also John) were horticulturalists in the late 1500s, and they introduced the horse chestnut to England, along with many other...

  • Cornish pasties

    Nowadays, the 'Cornish' pasty is found everywhere in the UK. It started off centuries ago as an easy way for Cornish miners to take their lunch to work. The story goes that they could hold the edge of the pastry with their filthy hands whilst eating the rest of the pasty, then throw it away. Maybe so, maybe not.For a ''proper' pasty a layer of...

  • Coffee

    Prompted by a VT friend, this is a brief tip about coffee in England (and the UK generally).It's not about multi-nationals such as Starbucks, Cafe Nero or Macdonalds and so on. You all know what type of coffee you will get there.But what about pubs/cafes/restaurants?Well, until a couple of decades ago 'real' coffee was pretty unusual anywhere in...

  • Remembrance Day and poppies.

    The First World War ended at 11am on the 11th November 1918.It was, quite literally, a bloody massacre and, for those soldiers who returned to the UK with terrible injuries, there was no old-age pension and little in the way of army pension. Times were hard for everyone but the plight of these wounded veterans was truly dreadful, and was recognised...

  • Church bells: ringing the changes.

    Many English churches have several bells, rung by individuals pulling on long ropes.Many English churches, although nowhere near as many as in the past, still have bellringing teams who ring for some services (nowadays, perhaps just once a week) and for weddings.In the past, when most people did not have access to watches or clocks, the 'peal' of...

  • England at play: Morris dancing

    Many English towns and villages have Morris dancing troupes, and you may well come across them performing if you visit fairs/fetes or special village/town festivals (May Day is a common dance-day).Morris probably has a very long history, stretching back into pagan prehistory, but what you see now is mostly the result of Victorian/Edwardian intetest...


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