Why the UK is Actually Quite Nice

Why the UK is Actually Quite Nice
There are many benefits to living in Great Britain. We are a small island nation blessed with much beautiful countryside, national parks, a vast history and an amazing coastline. Many people tend to seek a way out of the United Kingdom thinking the grass will be greener elsewhere, but maybe Britain is not so bad after all!

Perhaps a good place to start is a topic that most people associate with Great Britain… bad weather! The UK is notorious for rain and grey skies, and I’m sure that even people who have not been here would give that description! However, at least the weather does provide a shared interest, especially amongst strangers, and encourages conversation! The temperate weather can be unpredictable but has the power of raising everybody’s mood when the sun occasionally decides to make an appearance. Would we really prefer constant heat? After all, variety is the spice of life!

Many things make the UK uniquely British. A non-Brit may stereotype us as a nation packed with red double decker buses, tea drinking, Big Ben, the Queen, umbrellas and even red phone boxes. However, some of the best things are the small things which all make the UK our home – from chip shops to ice cream vans, corner shops to the milkman, or perhaps best of all our good old British pubs! Great traditional British food such as toad in the hole, Cornish pasties and shepherd’s pie are also worth a mention. Brits are known for their sense of humour… perhaps too dry for some to understand, but nonetheless we do like to laugh!

The diversity between cities can be vast and very interesting. The people within these cities tend to have their very own identities, cultures and traditions despite being closely geographically located. It is amazing how all the differing cities still unite and have a common sense of identity by being united within the United Kingdom. Perhaps the best example of this type of diversity is the variety of accents. These are recognisable worldwide – England alone has a vast number of accents and dialects, from Manchester to Liverpool, Somerset to Essex! Even within London there are many differences between speakers. This pattern is true throughout the UK (Scotland, Wales and Ireland) and plays a big part towards our vibrant culture and interesting mix of characters!

The population of the UK is rich in ethnic diversity and this variety influences the amount of creativity held within our nation. Considering its population and size, Britain has given the world proportionately more than any other nation on earth. Our English language is the international language of business as well as the most widely taught second language in the world.

As a whole the British population tends to show consideration for the rules and we are a nation known for queuing! We show consideration (most of the time) for the rules and tend to treat others the way we would want to be treated ourselves. British citizens enjoy freedom of speech, which is not a universal privilege. Many facilities and attractions within towns and cities are located within the realms of great public transport links.

The UK has produced many of the world’s most influential bands and artists, such as The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Queen, Amy Winehouse, Elton John, Oasis, the Rolling Stones and (to a far lesser extent!) the Spice Girls, to name but a few.

The people of Britain are proud of their achievements which seem to unite us and bring us together to celebrate! This is the case especially through our very popular sports – football, cricket and rugby. We do well at the Olympics, and this year we even did well at the Eurovision Song Contest! Things must be looking up.

Unlike a lot of countries, Britain has a long history that it can, by-and-large, be proud of. Historically, the UK has contributed vastly to much that has influenced how we live throughout the world today. We have vastly added to the knowledge and understanding of many subjects, such as the sciences – all of which I’m sure we take for granted to some extent. There are endless examples of UK contributions. Sir Isaac Newton, with his laws of motion and illumination of gravity; Evolution by natural selection, by Charles Darwin; the many works of William Shakespeare, plus an endless list of literary inspiration; the development of the world’s first supersonic airliner, Concorde; the steam locomotive; the jet engine; the structure of DNA by Francis Crick et al; Sir Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin; the development of the World Wide Web; the invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell! Also, the Industrial Revolution has shaped so much of the world we all live in that I can’t imagine how different our world would be without the achievements of our UK citizens, past and present! Amazingly this is just the tip of the iceberg!

An issue which is repeatedly raised as a negative is the education system. However, every child is entitled to a free education which is something that not all countries have the opportunity to offer. Also, some of the best universities in the world are British.

Saving the best for last, I’d say the National Health Service (NHS) embodies what’s best about the UK. Although our NHS tends to be under-appreciated and often taken for granted, it is easy to forget that not all countries are as lucky as we are here in the UK. The fact that medical treatment is free to all that need it – anything from treatment for common illnesses to life saving operations – demonstrates the nature of the British people, in that we respect the importance of health and we look after each other.

Whether you love it or hate it, there always seems to be something going on in the UK. Past and present the United Kingdom is rich in culture, history, music, talent, worldwide contributions and diversity of people. Our nation is not perfect but our spirit is something to be admired!