Five things you mustn't do in Britain

There are lots of videos out there telling you where to go, what to see and what to do in the UK ... but what about things you shouldn't do? Watch Sophia's latest video for some good advice! 


Watch the video and use the subtitles and the transcript to help you understand.


Hey, guys! Welcome back to another video for the British Council’s LearnEnglish Teens website and their YouTube channel.

In today’s video I wanted to talk to you about the five things I personally think you mustn’t do when you’re visiting the UK. Now, I know there’s a lot of information on the internet about things you must do or things you must see, but I think it’s equally important to be aware of things that you shouldn’t do whilst you’re here, because these can help to keep you safe and help you to have a great time.

My first tip is not to look left before you cross the road, and that is because in Britain we actually drive on the left-hand side of the road and not on the right-hand side, like practically everyone else in the world does. So, that means that traffic comes from your right-hand side. So, before you cross the road, remember you need to look right, left and then right again. Repeat it to me … You got it, perfect!

The second thing you mustn’t do is believe the weather forecast in Britain because the weather is so variable and it changes all the time. Now, my advice to you would be to bring clothes that you can layer, so, you know, have a vest, have a long-sleeved top, short-sleeved tops, jumpers, a raincoat, because, honestly, you can experience all the seasons in Britain within  a week of staying here. One day can be very hot and sunny and the next can be the complete opposite, especially if you’re visiting London. Take my word on it – I’ve lived here for twenty years! So layers are definitely key. When it’s hot you can take a few layers off. And also don’t forget an umbrella because you really don’t know when it’s going to rain here. You really don’t.

Tip number three is don’t stop in the middle of a very busy pavement to take photos. Now, I know that when you’re surrounded by really cool architecture or famous monuments, you wanna be snapping, snapping, snapping and taking loads of pictures. But please don’t stop in the middle of a very busy street, because people will get annoyed at you and some people are mean. It’s the truth. Some people are mean – they’ll push you out of the way or they’ll ‘tut’ at you or tell you to move out of the way. So, to avoid all of that, just try and take a picture from the side of the street or from an angle or a road that looks less busy, especially if you’re visiting London. In the centre of London there are a lot of people who work around there, a lot of people who walk at a very fast pace and are always off to business meetings and all that kind of stuff, so just try to avoid blocking the street.

Tip number four is not to confuse England with the whole of the UK. When I was living in Italy last year, quite a lot of people referred to the UK or Britain as just ‘England’, and it’s not the case because the UK is made up of four countries: Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland. So Edinburgh and Cardiff are not English cities. In fact, Edinburgh is in Scotland and Cardiff is in Wales. And, on top of that, just bear in mind that not everyone you’re going to meet is going to be English or even Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish. Britain is a very multicultural country and there are people from all over the world who call this their home, so you need to just be aware that people are very proud of their roots and their heritage and not everyone would consider themselves English, like myself. I would consider myself to be British. So, British is a safe bet if you’re not sure where someone’s from.

And tip number five is probably one of the most important things you need to know before you visit Britain, and that is never ignore a queue. Queuing is one of the most important social values in British culture. People really don’t like it when you jump a queue or you ignore one. The only exception to this, I would say, is that if you’re in London and you’re queuing for a bus during rush hours then you can skip the queue, but otherwise, if you’re at the airport, you’re at the cinema, you’re at the restaurant, you’re queueing outside a museum … you need to make sure that you remain in that queue because people get very touchy about it and we are very systematic in Britain. We like neat queues to be formed. So, just remember that and you will have no problem.

So, these are just my five tips of things I think you should avoid when visiting Britain. Let me know in the comments below if you are visiting Britain and if these tips have been helpful. And also, comment below and let me know the five things you mustn’t do when visiting your country. I hope you’ve enjoyed and have a lovely day. I will see you in the next video. Cheerio!


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