10 Bizarre facts about Britain

22 July 2014


You’ll soon discover the UK is a weird yet wonderful place. To demonstrate how quirky we Brits really are, we’ve taken a article written by Paul F Cockburn for GB Mag to give you 10 bizarre facts about Britain!

Big Ben isn’t a clock!

Contrary to popular belief Big Ben isn’t actually a clock! Big Ben refers to the bell in the tower, and the tower itself is called Elizabeth’s Tower.

Braveheart in York!

Its still legal to kill a Scotsman within the ancient city walls of York, but only if he’s carrying a bow and arrow – and it’s not a Sunday.

Tech savvy!

The UK has several areas of computing. IT and new media companies in the styles of ‘Silicon Valley’ in North California. These have been called ‘Silicon Glen’ (Central Scotland), ‘Silicon Fen’ (Cambridge) and ‘Silicon Beach’ (Brighton) – aren’t we Brits original!

Mr and Mrs Smith

‘Smith’ remains the most common surname in the UK, and about one in 17 of them are called, with great originality, ‘John Smith.’

War with Russia!

The border town Berwick-upon-Tweed has flipped between being officially in England or Scotland so often that it was frequently referred to as a separate entity in State documents. So, at the start of the Crimean War in 1854, the British Government declared war on Russia on behalf of Britain, Ireland, Berwick-upon-Tweed and all British Dominions. However, the eventual peace treaty later signed in Paris didn’t include Berwick-upon-Tweed, meaning it was still at war with Russia! People were eventually able to sleep peacefully in their beds after a Soviet representative declared peace while officially visiting the town in 1966.


There are 30 towns around the world (and one crater on the Moon) named after the UK’s second biggest city, Birmingham.

By invitation only!

Despite being the person in charge of the UK, and many other countries in the past, the Queen is not actually allowed to enter the House of Commons because she’s not a member! The only time she can enter is when she’s been given an official invitation by members of the House of Commons.

Golden oldies!

Many of the most popular TV shows in Britain today were actually first broadcast in the 1960s and 1970s: Coronation Street (1960), Doctor Who (1963), and Match of the Day (1964), to name just three.

From your Valentine

It’s believed Queen Victoria love Valentine’s Day cards! She was so fond of them that during her reign she sent out almost 2,500 cards. We wonder who the lucky guys were!

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