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Interesting UK Facts

UK Facts

UK Facts – 10 Fun and Interesting Facts!

United Kingdom is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe and has a long and interesting history. With the most famous royal family in the world, beautiful cities, historical and natural landmarks, the UK has something for everyone. Everyone has a degree of knowledge about the UK, but we have taken a look at some of the lesser known facts. We have compiled 10 of the most interesting UK facts around. Perfect to give you a taste of what makes the UK one of the most fascinating places to visit if you are looking to learn English.


10 UK Facts:

1. The Most Popular Language

English is the most popular language in the world! With over 1,130 billion speakers across the globe, an abundance of countries claim English as their first or second language.

UK Facts - Most Popular Language

The use of English is not just restricted to day-to-day life, it is also the official language of the aviation world. This means that all pilots must have a basic knowledge of English to converse with ATC. With the native language being the most popular in the world makes this one of the most impressive UK facts!


2. 4 Countries in One

The UK is made up of 4 different countries. England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland combine to make up the United Kingdom. While each country has its own level of autonomy, the term UK refers to all four together.


3. Tongue Twister Place Names

The place with the longest name in Europe can be found in Wales. Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is a collection of small villages and hamlets on the Islands of Anglesey.

Welsh Train Sign

The 58 character place name is regularly shortened for brevity. Originally called Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll, its name was changed in the 1860s to attract visitors to see the ‘community with the longest name’.


4. Norwegian Gifts

Since 1947, the Christmas Tree in London’s Trafalgar Square has been gifted by the Norwegian Government. This tradition started after World War 2 with the tree being given as a gift to Londoners for their assistance during the conflict.

Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square

A team of specialists scour the Norwegian forests for suitable candidates all year. They then tend to and nurture the selected trees until they are at a point where they can be delivered to the capital city for decoration.


5. The First Stamp

The first postage stamp in the world was produced in England. The Penny Black, as it is known, was produced in May 1840 and featured an image of Queen Victoria. This was the first adhesive postage stamp for use by the public.

Penny Black Stamp

Prior to this there was no standardised pricing or simplified process of posting items in the UK. Today, a mint condition, original Penny Black stamp can fetch thousands of pounds at auction.


6. Smaller Than You’d Think

The UK covers just over 243,000 square kilometres. To put this in comparison, it is slightly smaller than the US state of Oregon! While it is not in the list of smallest countries in Europe, the UK is by no means one of the largest.


7. Going Underground

The London Underground, or ‘tube’ as it is referred to by locals, is the oldest underground railroad system in the world. Starting life in 1863, the underground system of London continues to develop to this day.

UK Facts - London Underground

Initially featuring steam locomotives, the system was fully electrified in the early 20th century. The tube is considered a tourist attraction within its own right and carries up to 5 million passengers a day!


8. The Birthplace of Television

While Philo Farnsworth is credited to being the creator of the television, John Logie Baird is considered the initial developer of the technology. While recovering from poor health in the Sussex town of Hastings, the Scottish inventor began researching the process.

UK Facts - Hastings - Birthplace of Television

In 1924 he produced his first transmittable moving images to the Radio Times. This developed on to the first long distance demonstration in 1927 where he transmitted his signals over 400 miles from London to Glasgow. In 1928 Baird made his first trans-Atlantic transmission from London to New York. The following year the BBC broadcast the first television programme nationally.


9. God Save the Queen

Queen Elizabeth was the longest currently reigning monarch in the United Kingdom! Second only to Louis XIV of France in the world, the Queen of England was on the throne for over 70 years.


10. Literary Homeland

Literature has been an integral part of the UK’s influence on the world for centuries. With the likes of Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll and Charles Dickens, the UK’s mark on literature is unsurmountable.

Alice in Wonderland

Characters such as Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland and characters from Lord of the Rings have all become beloved worldwide since their introduction in UK literature.


Interesting UK Facts

While we found these UK facts to be fun and interesting, there is plenty more to this island nation. With one of the richest and most fascinating histories in the world, there is so much to discover about the UK. If you are looking at studying English or just to hone your existing skills, there is nothing quite like studying in the native country. We offer a range of courses for adults and juniors, all fully adaptable to suit your needs.

Are you looking to find out more about language holidays abroad? Cactus Language Holidays Brochure gives you all the information you need for your next unforgettable experience! Learning a language have never been easier and is a great way to start uncover a different culture.

Free Language Holiday Brochure


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