What is British Culture?

The culture of the United Kingdom is rooted in the long history of the country. British culture is complicated but direct, confusing but interesting. For example, the favorite national dish is an Indian curry and the guide is always on the left side of the road. British culture is strongly influenced by elements of its countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. As one of the world’s superpowers and one of the oldest sovereign nations, the United Kingdom has had a significant influence on the cultural practices and traditions of many countries around the world, including the United States.

British cuisine

British cuisine has a particular set of culinary traditions that are associated with the constituent countries of the United Kingdom. A few centuries ago this kitchen mostly included dishes prepared with local ingredients and served with simple sauces to enhance the flavor. The growth and expansion of the British Empire in India brought the Indian food traditions of spices and strong herbs. Curry is now a national favorite that was introduced to the country by Indian migrants. Although traditions and cooking styles have remained essentially the same, over the years food and drink in the UK have changed following the growth of commercial restaurants. People have less time to cook while spending more time at work and at school.

Art and literature

The appreciation of art in Britain is witnessed by its many art galleries and the legendary works of famous artists such as John Constable and William Blake. Art has remained part of British culture and includes works in different artistic movements. The United Kingdom has a rich history in literature that has been inherited from the literary traditions of its constituent countries. There are literary pieces written in Celtic and Old English languages. Over the centuries, Britain has produced renowned writers including William Shakespeare, Geoffrey Chaucer, John Milton, JRR Tolkien and JK Rowlin. The works of William Shakespeare, in particular Romeo and Juliet, have been read by millions of people around the world and by 2017 had been translated into at least 100. JK Rowling is one of the most prolific British writers of the 21st century with his Harry Potter series sold over half a billion copies, ranking as the best-selling series of books of all time. The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, both written by JRR Tolkien, are also literary works of the United Kingdom that rank among the best 10 best-selling books in the world. Since then they have been adapted into award-winning films.

Theater and music

Since its formation, the United Kingdom has maintained a vibrant tradition of theater, most of which was inherited from Scotland and England. Westminster Theater Royal is one of the oldest theaters in Europe with its roots dating back to the mid-17th century. During the 18th century, there was a growing interest in sentimental comedy and domestic tragedy which both replaced the provocative restoration comedy of the time. Italian opera also became quite popular during this period. Music plays a crucial role in British pop culture and is one of the UK’s major exports worth about $ 1.86 billion. The UK was also a pioneer of different types of electronic dance music such as dubstep, trip-hop and drum and bass.

Sport and free time

The United Kingdom has played an essential role in the initiation, growth and development of some of the most popular sports in the world such as football, golf, rugby and tennis. The English Premier League is one of the most watched sports tournaments in the world that attracts more than 160 million people from more than 200 worldwide. This audience is only comparable to tournaments like the FIFA World Cup. The United Kingdom has four national football teams thanks to its four constituent countries.


The United Kingdom was founded as a Christian country with the Anglican church as its main denomination. Anglican churches are still the largest group in each of the four countries except Scotland. The Christians of the United Kingdom predominantly subscribe to Protestantism in opposition to Roman Catholicism, which is the second largest group in the country. The royal family is a member of the Church of England which is the mother church of the global Anglican Communion. The monarch holds the supreme government of the church even though the archbishop of Canterbury is the oldest religious of the institution. Britain, however, is becoming less and less a Christian country with the number of people regularly attending worship services on Sundays decreasing over time. Hinduism, Sikhism and Islam have a large following in the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom is home to the largest Indian population outside of India and also has the fifth largest Jewish community in the world. The number of British Jews is 300,000 today.


Fashion in Britain has undergone a massive transformation over the years. Traditionally won dresses, even recently as the Victorian era are significantly different from today’s fashion clothes. Historically, fashion was conservative and restrictive. This scenario has changed over the years. Similar to today’s fashion, traditional English fashion has had variations based on the season with men who saw the summer wearing breeches that were generally tight and fixed below the knee. Formal occasions required specific dress codes to be respected by everyone, especially the royals and nobles. London is today the fashion capital of the United Kingdom. The city is home to some of the most famous fashion brands in the world including Roland Mouret, Self Portrait, Paul Smith, Christopher Kane and many others. The domestic value of the UK fashion industry is estimated at around $ 88 billion.

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