Trivia and weird, strange, fun facts about the UK


1/ A pregnant woman may relieve herself wherever she wishes.

2/ It is an executable offense to allow your pet to mate with a pet of the royal house without permission.

3/ The phrase “rule of thumb” is derived from an old English law which stated that you couldn’t beat your wife   with anything wider than your thumb.

4/ Up until 1752 Britain used the Julian calendar and New Years day was on 25th March.

5/ No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver or purple

6/ It is legal for a male to urinate in public, as long it is on the rear wheel of his motor vehicle and his right hand is on the vehicle

7/ William the Conqueror ordered that everyone should go to bed at eight o’clock.

8/ In Shakespeare’s time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. That’s where the phrase, “goodnight, sleep tight” came from.

9/ In Chester you can only shoot a Welsh person with a bow and arrow inside the city walls and after midnight

10/ The shortest war in history was between Zanzibar and the UK in 1896. Zanzibar surrendered after 38 minutes.

11/ Berwick-upon-Tweed was officially at war with Russia for 110 years.

12/ All men over the age of 14 must carry out two hours of longbow practice a day.

13/ In York, excluding Sundays, it is perfectly legal to shoot a Scotsman with a bow and arrow.

14/ Is the only country in the world which doesn’t have the country’s name on its postage stamps.

15/ Nowhere is more than 74½ miles from the sea.

16/ Portugal is the UK’s oldest ally. The Anglo-Portuguese Treaty signed in 1373 is still in force

17/ The lance ceased to be an official battle weapon in the British Army in 1927

18/ There are more chickens than humans in the UK.

19/ Dying is illegal in the Houses of Parliaments.

20/ Placing a postage stamp bearing the monarch’s head upside down on an envelope is considered as act of treason.

21/ The Licensing Act of 1872 explains that operating a cow or steam engine while intoxicated carries a prison sentence

22/ A law passed in 1585, making it illegal for women to “cause a nuisance with abusive or argumentative language”. A woman guilty of scolding had to wear a scold’s bridle, or metal cage, enclosing her head. The Criminal Law Act of 1967 finally abolished the punishment, and women may now scold freely.

23/ In 1647  Parliament abolished Christmas.

24/ Queen Anne had 17 children, all of them died before she did.

25/ The military salute comes from medieval knights raising theirs visors to see each other.

26/ Winston Churchill was born in the ladies toilet during a dance.

27/ In the 1700s, men who ran illegal gambling houses hired a special person to swallow the dice if the police showed up.

28/ Buckingham Palace was built on the site of a notorious brothel.

29/ About 25% of Londoners were born outside of the UK and can speak over 300 different languages.

30/ The British love donkeys! In 2006 the British public gave a total of 20m to a donkey sanctuary.

31/ Every year the average British family throws away 6 trees worth of paper.

32/ If you kill a deer whilst driving, you cannot eat it, however the next person who comes along can.

33/ If a whale is found on the British coast the Queen can claim the head and she has a legal right to the tail.

34/ Big Ben does not refer to the clock, but actually the bell.

35/ London has been called Londonium, Ludenwic, and Ludenburg in the past.

36/ French was the official language for about 300 years

37/ The first telephone directory published contained 25 names.

38/ The first hot chocolate store opened in London.

39/ There are over 300 languages spoken.

40/ The British drink more tea than anyone else in the world.

41/ In the Medieval Times, animals can be put on trial for crimes (and be sentenced to death!)

42/ “The Star Spangled Banner” (the American national anthem) was created by a British man.

43/ “Pygg” used to mean “clay” in olden day English. People kept their coins in clay jars that were called “pygg jars,” which have evolved into what we currently call piggy banks.

44/ Gargoyles were originally used as drain pipes!

45/ Buckingham Palace has its own police station.

46/ Windsor Castle is the largest royal home in the world.

47/ The Queen has 30 god children.

48/ The Queen owns all the sturgeons, whales and dolphins in the waters within 3 miles from the UK.

49/ The Queen sent her first e-mail in 1976.

50/ Prince William wanted to become a Police Officer when he was younger.

51/ He also has his own postage stamp.

52/ It’s considered treason to place a stamp bearing the King or Queen’s image upside-down.

53/ Kate Middleton is allergic to horses.

54/ According to, when Kate was younger, the boys in her school rated her a 2 out of 10 for looks and personality.

55/ Prince William had a poster of Baby Spice on his boarding room wall.

56/ Prince Harry got in trouble for dressing as a Nazi to a costume party.

57/ When Nelson Mandela met the Spice Girls, he called them his “heroes.”

58/ Ginger Spice was originally Sexy Spice, but changed to better suit their younger fans.

59/ Francesca Gray wrote J.K. Rowling her first fan letter, but thought she was a man, and began her letter with “Dear Sir…”

60/ J.K. Rowling is the first person to make a billion dollars from writing books.

61/ James Bond’s code “007″ was inspired by the author Ian Fleming’s bus route from Canterbury to London.

62/ No portrait was ever painted of William Shakespeare when he was alive.

63/ Macbeth is the most produced play ever written. On average, a performance is staged every 4 hours somewhere in the world.

64/ David Beckham has a fear of birds.

65/ London is home to 4 World Heritage Sites – The Palace of Westminster, the Tower of London, Maritime Greenwich, and Kew Botanical Gardens.

66/ The London Eye is the tallest ferris wheel in Europe.

67/ 25% of the people living in London today are born in another country.

68/ There are 409 escalators in the London subways.

69/ 16% of UK’s restaurants are located in London.

70/ London Bridge is rumoured to be haunted…people have claimed to see a woman in black roaming in the night.

71/ Everyone calls it the Tower of London, but the building’s full official name is “His Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London”.

72/ London is the first city in the world to have an underground subway system.

73/ Angel Tube Station has the longest escalator in Western Europe.

74/ London hosting the 2012 Olympics is the first time a city has ever hosted the Olympics three times.

75/ The London 2012 Olympics was the first time that every country has at least 1 female athlete.

76/ The London Olympic Stadium is the lightest stadium in the world.

77/ The gold medals used are actually 93% silver and 1.3% gold.

78 / If you find a Cab-driver in London not carrying a bale of hay overboard, he is breaking the law.

79 / Even though being the sovereign of The United Kingdom, Her Majesty the Queen is not allowed to enter the City of London without seeking the permission of its Lord Mayor.

80/ In 1945, a flock of starlings landed on the minute hand of Big Ben and put the time back by five minutes.

81 / The notorious London gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray were the last official prisoners of the Tower for a few days in 1952 for refusing to do their National Service. They were sent to the Tower as it was the barracks of the 1st Battalion Royal Fusiliers (London Regiment) to which they had been assigned.

82/It is an offence to impersonate a Chelsea Pensioner

83/ The British invented the world’s earliest railways.

84/ 80,000 umbrellas are expected to be lost annually in the London tube.

85/ There are over 30,000 people with the name John Smith in the UK.

86/ The UK brought the world soccer, rugby and polo.

87/ The first fish and chips restaurant was opened in 1860 by a Jewish immigrant.

88/ The Beatles originally called themselves the Blackjacks, and then the Quarrymen.

89/ Bristol is known as the “Seattle of England” because of its youth culture and fashion.  Disputed by: myselfishdream lol


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