Blog your backyard – what it means to be British

I never thought blogging about what it means to be British would be quite as hard as it actually is. The sense of nationality is a tricky thing. Do you believe nationality comes from where you were born? Where you’re living right now? Where your heritage is from? What’s gilded on the front of my passport lawfully states my nationality is British, but what really does it mean to be British?

We should be past stereotypes by now (hello, it’s 2011, anything can happen these days), but there are the obvious ‘British’ customs that just about everyone seems to inherit:

  • Irony – there’s nothing quite as entertaining than an ironic situation
  • Tea – PG Tips? Yorkshire Gold? Twinings Fruit Medleys? This sort of difficult question can be the make or break of friendships in some parts
  • Being cross – we’re bloody good at being cross. I’m cross right now. Grr, I’m so cross
  • Liking the Royal Family only when it benefits us – an extra Bank Holiday sitting around in my jammies with a union flag watching that wedding? I LOVE THE ROYALS!
  • If you weren’t scared of geography lessons you’ll know that the UK is split into 4 countries – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Some people would class themselves as ‘British’, and others prefer to stick to where they were born – English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish. See? I told you it was tricky.

    I asked Twitter what they thought it meant to be British. This is what they said…

    @neonflash: drinking tea and talking about the weather

    @luvablestrach: don’t consider myself British, more Scottish

    @nyclondoner: it means not filling in a form at immigration anymore

    @kim_partridge: England for me means rugby. Belgium, Yorkshire and Scotland make me think of family. Other important thing is food!

    @FunkyPaul: the best breakfasts in the world!

    In all honesty, I’m not really sure what it means to be British. All I know is that if you can make a mean cuppa, don’t mind a week-long summer, live for panto season, and know the recipe for your grandma’s victoria sponge off by heart – you’re set for life.



    The Blog Your Backyard Project

    Share your local expertise and join the Blog your Backyard project! Become an ambassador for your country (home or adopted) by sharing your experiences and tips with other travelers. Submit your entries starting August 8th on for a chance to win one of 20 awesome excursions with Urban Adventures. Plus, if you want to share more of your local expertise or get answers to all of your travel questions, download the FREE ‘Ask A Nomad’ iPad app.


    please note: some header images are from