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Customs & Traditions in The United Kingdom

Updated: May 5, 2021

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Traditions in England have been around for centuries. British traditions are famous worldwide, let's know

General Etiquette

  • Saying “please” and “thank you” are two important things

  • It is important to respect the British desire for privacy so don’t ask personal questions about family background, origin, profession, marital status, political preferences, or money issues.

  • Hugging, kissing, and touching are usually reserved for family members and very close friends.

  • Spitting in public is considered rude.

  • Do not stare at people.

  • If there is a line for something, always queue and wait for your turn.

  • To call over a waiter or person of service, do not wave or yell. Instead, keep an eye out for them until they make eye contact, and then nod or raise your hand. You may also gently say “excuse me” as they pass by.

  • You should also avoid talking loudly in public or going to extremes with hand gestures during the course of communication.

  • It is considered rude to put someone on the spot by asking difficult or uncomfortable questions in any situation.

  • Do not rest your elbows on the table.

  • Do not be overly familiar with people you do not know well.

  • Do not stand too close to another person or put your arm around someone’s shoulder as they respect personal space.

  • The British like a certain amount of personal space.

  • Men should open doors for women and stand when a woman enters a room, although it is generally accepted for men and women both to hold the door open for each other, depending on who goes through the door first.


  • It is usual for a couple to be engaged for a while before they get married.

  • Once a wedding date has been set the banns of marriage, (from an Old English word meaning "to summon") are announced. This is a notice, usually placed in the local parish church or registry office, which tells everyone that a marriage is going to take place between two people.