Although British culture is full of stereotypes and things that we all like to do, eat and say, there are always a few ideas that carry a lot of weight internationally, but in reality, aren't true. Today we'll discover some of the most typical thoughts that people have about Brits and the UK, and I'll tell you the reality.
Number 1 - The Queen rules
One of the most common things that students know about the UK is that we have a queen, we love her and she rules the islands. But that's just the beginning really, and although the British royal family does have a strong place in the hearts of the British people, the UK is just as much of a democracy as any other country. Our royal family don't have any real power, and mostly function as a tourist attraction, and a sort of 'moral guide' to some at least.
Places like Buckingham Palace bring in huge numbers of tourists every year, they form an important centre to the capital city and are fun to see. But the Queen can't make political decisions, she can't make laws, and she isn't even allowed to go near the Parliament building.
Number 2 - London is everything
This misconception is actually quite a good thing for most Brits as it keeps things quiet and relaxed, but it's not great for tourists visiting the UK. While London is the largest city, and the economical centre, it's not the only city in the UK. We've talked about other parts of the UK before, but cities like Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool and others also form a very important part of the UK's culture.
London is often the only place that people see when they spend a few days in the UK, and it's a bit of a shame really. It's a very busy and expensive city, and people there are stressed and sometimes quite angry. I'd definitely recommend anyone going to the UK to check out other areas, other cities, and other cultural centres. You'll get a much better idea about what the UK is really all about.
Number 3 - Bad weather is all we know
The UK does have a strong and tragic relationship with the rain. The international reputation is that we live damp and wet, and constantly swing umbrellas around no matter the season. In reality, the UK gets around 156 days of rain in the year, so that's less than half the year. And on those days, it might only rain for a little bit. Berlin gets 139 days of rain, Paris gets 111 days and Madrid gets 63 days of wet weather. So yes, the UK gets a lot of rain, but we still get plenty of good weather, and most importantly, we know how to take advantage of it.
In Spain, a sunny day is just another day, but in the UK, when the sun comes out, people really want to soak it up, sunbathe and generally look like photosynthesizing plants whenever they can.