Fun Facts about the UK

Graphics & Words by Caitlin Chuah

The United Kingdom is one of the top study destinations in the world. Known for its elite universities, world-class education, solid student support and friendly communities, it’s no wonder over 600,000 students across the globe travel to the UK for their tertiary education every year. Below are 25 fun facts about the UK that will further pique your interest.

1. It is estimated that over 300 languages are spoken in just London; this goes to show that the UK is a melting pot of various cultures, ethnicities and peoples.

2. 165 million cups of tea are consumed in the UK every day on average.

3. London was the first city in the world to have an underground subway system.

4. There are so many types of English accents that within a few kilometres, you may come across a different accent.

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5. The UK houses one of the oldest monuments in the world, Stonehenge. It is believed that the monument was built over 5,000 years ago, making it older than the Egyptian pyramids!

6. Apparently, visiting Brits without an invitation is considered rude; be sure to notify your British friends before visiting them!

7. Llanfairpwllgwyngyll-gogerychwyrndrobwlllllandysiliogogogoch is a village in Anglesey, Wales and is the longest town name in Europe. Its 58 characters can be translated into English as “St. Mary’s Church in the hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio near the red cave”.

8. There are more Indian restaurants in London than New Delhi; Indian food lovers, where you at? :P

9. Adding on the fact number 5, “Chicken Tikka Masala”, an Indian dish, is now recognized as a national dish of the UK.

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10. Windsor Castle, which still houses the British royal family, is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world.

11. The real name of Big Ben is Elizabeth Tower, renamed after Queen Elizabeth in 2012.

12. Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms and 78 bathrooms.

13. Queen Elizabeth ascended the throne in 1953. In 2015, her excellence officially became the longest reigning Queen in the world.

14. Wherever the Queen is residing, a royal flag must wave at the top of the building

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15. The University of Oxford is the oldest higher education institution in UK; double fun-fact: until 1877, lecturers at the University of Oxford were not allowed to get married.

16. An ancient decree in UK stated that when there are at least six ravens at the ground of London Tower, the monarchy must fall. The rule was set by King Charles II.

17. The UK's official religion is Christianity; churches of all denominations can be found throughout the UK, such as Catholic, Protestant, Baptist and Methodist. The main other religions are Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism and Buddhism.

18. Royal weddings are considered national holidays in the UK.

19. There are over 170 museums in London.

20. Killing a swan is illegal in UK. If you kill one, a fine of £5,000 or a 6-month sentence will be imposed on you.

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21. Although the UK is a large country, no matter where you are in the country, you will be no further than 115km from the sea.

22. The National Health Service in UK offers free health care coverage for its citizens, but people are allowed to get private health insurance if they will.

23. The British Library is one of the largest libraries in the world, housing 170 to 200 million items from different countries across the globe.

24. London is the biggest city in the UK, with Birmingham being the second biggest city.

25. Football is the most popular sport in the UK; studying there gives you a chance to watch your favourite teams in real life!

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