Things to Know in England: Part 1

Thoughts from Alanna…

I’ve compiled a short list of everyday things to know while visiting or living in England. Hopefully these small bits of information will help you on your next journey!

“You alright?” is a perfectly acceptable greeting.


Red means the outlet has power. Toast is ready to go!

The country is old so expect the homes to be old as well. Wall-mounted radiators, here we come! Also, air conditioning is for rich people so you learn to live with five fans pointed at you in the summer.

Wall outlets have “On/Off” switches. So to boil water, you need to turn the outlet on and then the kettle on.

A full English breakfast is definitely a special treat, although your body might not thank you. At most places this includes eggs, toast, bacon (English back bacon), baked beans, fried mushrooms and tomatoes, hash browns, sausages and possibly black pudding. Even as I write this, I feel like I could drool.

Everything in England uses 24 hour time format, so get ready! However, I’ve never actually heard anyone say, “I’ll see you at 17:00.” That’s just weird.

Pickled onion chips (crisps) are so good.

Accents vary greatly depending on where you are. A South East accent like those in Kent are incredibly different than accents found in Newquay, Birmingham, Durham or London. This girl does some great impressions if you’d like to have a listen!

There are so many TV game shows. So many. You actually see a lot of North American shows on as well, like the Simpsons, Bar Rescue, American Pickers and Family Guy. However, no one knows what Jeopardy is so if you hum the theme song as a joke, no one is going to get it.

People can park just about everywhere, which includes halfway on a curb. Because there’s so many parked cars, driving is a bit of an obstacle course and cars have to wait for others to pass by on streets where only one vehicle can fit at a time. If you let someone go first, they will always flash their lights or wave to say thank you.

Invest in a small umbrella that can fit in your purse. Keep it with you at all times.


This guy lives on our microwave and is more than happy to sing football songs at you while you cook.

It’s all about football. Don’t bother trying to talk about baseball, basketball or American football because they don’t care. Saturday afternoon Premier League football is a ritual for most. In the unfortunate event where you can’t watch a game, there’s always “Match of the Day” on TV at night. It’s always replayed at 7:30 a.m. Sunday morning in case you somehow missed it.

Pubs are basically like communal living rooms where people go to hang out and chat more than anything.

Sunday roasts actually happen every Sunday and they are to die for. Imagine Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner every week and invest in a gym membership.

Nearly all front doors lock automatically when you close them. Have a fear of getting locked out? Multiple that by 10 now!

People are very kind and polite but they probably won’t say “Hello” when passing on the street. Don’t take it personally.

When you buy tickets at the movies, (one would actually say “cinema”) you pick which seats you want. Like an airplane, everyone has to sit in their purchased seats. Popcorn also comes in two different kinds: salty or sweet. Salty is just white popcorn with salt, but sweet popcorn is essentially Kettle Corn.

London is incredible and a world of its own, but there is so much more to England than one city.