Living in England is great. Obviously there’s the odd negative thing, but on the whole, comparatively, we’re very lucky to live here. Here are some of the biggest positives about what life in England is really like.
There are many great things about living in England, from our sense of humour, to our food, our TV and our well renowned politeness. Sometimes, especially in these difficult times, we need to take stock and be grateful for what we have. We need to ignore those rising costs of living in England, our unscrupulous MPs and our never ending inner city traffic, and see what’s good in our corner of the world.
So think of today’s article as a dedication of gratitude for how great it is to be living in England, and all the benefits we have from our green and gorgeous land. I live in England, and I love it!
Positives About Living in England
If you know anyone who needs to see a good list of how great it is to be living in England right now, feel free to share! Here’s the truth about life in England.
1. The price you see is the price you pay
Anyone who’s visited North America knows how annoying it is to book or order something based on the price you see, and then get the bill to see a whole load of VAT, tax and tip added. All this can literally double the price.
In England, we don’t have to put up with that!
Sometimes we tip – depending on the restaurant and party size – but tax and VAT is handily already included.
Knowing how much things are straight away, really helps you to budget when you visit England.
2. Food here is underrated, and varied
Some people think that us great people living in England live off cucumber sandwiches and fish and chips. I mean, the second part may be right, but when was the last time you had a cucumber sandwich?
Anyone who doesn’t live in England just doesn’t realise how great our food is, or how varied it is either.
A lot of the world eats English food without even knowing it (thanks to our chequered past). We invented the sandwich, the apple pie, crisps, and many pies and pastries. We also make some pretty awesome cheese here. Oh, and our homegrown meats can be out of this world.
Our Chinese food game in England, from British Chinese people, and our Indian food is just unmatched (unless you go to China or India of course).
Oh, and you can’t ignore our English chocolate – it’s waaaaay better than most of what you’ll find around the world. Although we’ll admit Switzerland has the edge.
3. Many museums and galleries are free
So many of our art galleries and museums are free in England. Pretty phenomenal if you think about it. Visit the cities and there are museums after museums of impressive artefacts and displays for you to peruse. Life in England means we can easily pop to the nearest museum for a few hours of culture.
I feel like we have to acknowledge that some of these items are ill gotten gains, but that’s not for us to sort out. Generally it’s good that places like these are now free so good art is as accessible as possible for people living in England, and visiting too.
4. We have decent workers rights
It’s another contentious subject, and they could always be better, but you only need to look at other developed countries to realise how well we’re treated here. Let’s look at the USA for example, where you only get 12 weeks off for having a baby, and TEN days for vacation. In England it’s 28 statutory holiday days per year.
Just for balance we do have an issue with zero hour contracts here, and ‘self employed contractors’. Some work needs to be done, but we’re ahead of other countries.
5. We started off some of the greatest sports in the world
According to MadeUpinBritain, we invented the following HUGE worldwide sports…
- Football 1863
- Cricket 1787
- Rugby 1871
- Golf 1502
- Hockey 1860
- Rounders 1884
- Badminton 1887
- Lawn Tennis 1859
- Table Tennis 1880
- Snooker 1875
- Bungee Jumping 1979
- Bobsleigh 1890
- Curling 1541
I mean, what more do you want from us?! That’s pretty much the Olympics right there isn’t it?
Unfortunately, although we invented them, other countries have become much better at them than us. Still proud of our Olympics 2021 offering, especially seeing as we’re such a small nation.
If you’re interested in days out for sports fans in England, click that post. You can take a look at London for sports fans too. And there’s always this England sports quiz to test your knowledge too.
6. The quality of our TV is unmatched
The quality of English TV is hard to beat – you can’t go wrong with a gritty English BBC drama in my eyes. Granted I’m not massively familiar with other countries’ weekly offerings but I have it on good authority that the BBC excels.
The BBC gets a lot of flack, as does paying the licence fee in England, but anyone living in England needs this impartial service which has proven itself to be invaluable over the last two years. It’s an excellent source for neutral and unbiased TV and radio news.
The foreign language services of the BBC are top notch as well.
We’re very lucky to have this service.
7. We have an amazing National Health Service
England’s National Health Service (NHS) has given over 70 years of universal healthcare for all. It’s invaluable.
Living in England we are so, so lucky not to have to worry about paying our medical bills when we get a diagnosis or have an accident, a la USA.
People moan about waiting times, I do too, but if they knew how bad other countries have it, they’d be begging for the long wait times over going broke. You could pay in the hundreds of thousands for a week stay in the USA – getting ill can literally ruin your finances forever.
I’d rather sit in A&E for 4 hours if it means I don’t have to sell my home and live the rest of my life in debt!
Life in England gives us that option, with the possibility to go private if we want quicker (and more expensive) action.
Prescriptions are an absolute bargain here compared to other countries, especially as those most in need can have them for free. Ex pats in England can find the prices hard to believe!
8. Our plugs are the best designed in the world
The UK electrical plug design is next level when it comes to safety. Also, they don’t constantly pull out of the wall when you’re trying to hoover, a la other countries. If you’re really interested you can watch the video above for more on how great our plugs are for anyone living in England.
9. Our gov.uk website is great
Whatever you may think of England’s government, the gov.uk website is world leading when it comes to content design and getting the message out there. I’ve actually been to a presentation about how they managed to sort it out, and the processes they went through to make it as easy to use as it is.
Anyone living in England gets to use a website that’s simple, clear and easy to navigate. So useful when it comes to trying to sort your life in England out.
10. Generally, we drive respectfully in England
The standard of driving in England is comparatively high compared to other countries, I guarantee. We’re really safe drivers, overall. There are countries with safer roads, per capita, but no ‘big’ countries. Generally we rank low in driver aggression, and high in complying with speed limits and indicating to communicate with other drivers.
Interestingly, though, we also have the highest drink-driving limit in the world at 0.8%. In some European countries the limit is 0, in Scotland and most of Europe it’s 0.5%.
Also, we have roundabouts in England. Once you travel to countries without them you’ll realise how useful they really are!
11. We’re (mostly) all so polite
Generally, English people are known for being polite. Of course there are exclusions – and some non English people don’t quite get our passive aggressiveness and sarcasm – but on the whole, we like to mind our Ps and Qs.
If you’re struggling in the street with directions, someone will help. You can approach people for advice, fellow pedestrians will apologise for bumping into you, and sales assistants will say please and thanks without expecting a tip.
Unfortunately this politeness does hold us back from saying what we really think, and privately complaining about it instead. England is definitely a nation of tutters!
12. Our rubbish is picked up easily
Living in England we get our rubbish taken away from our house weekly, on the whole. We all have different coloured bins for different kinds of rubbish and the rubbish people will come and pick it up on an allotted day.
I know in other countries you have to take your own rubbish to a collection point. Here, you just put your rubbish out, don’t give it a second thought, and it’ll be gone a few hours later (in theory). Recent life in England, in certain areas, has meant this hasn’t been the case, but that’s not the norm.
I mean, we do pay a pretty penny for this service with our council tax, but still, it’s handy and generally reliable.
13. We love vegetarians
The veggie and vegan movement in England is fantastic compared to a lot of places. We’re very welcoming and there are options for all. Most restaurants will be open to any food intolerances and avoidances and you can get good vegan and vegetarian in cities, towns and even villages now too.
We have fully vegetarian restaurants, and the movement is totally understood here.
14. We actually get all four seasons
Living in England, we actually get all the seasons throughout the year – sometimes, all in the same day.
I mean, you can’t expect them to be in the right order, but stay here long enough and you’ll see sun, snow, rain, and moody clouds. The changing weather here is one of the reasons why you’ll find English people love to discuss the weather so much. Life in England means there’s just so much to say!
15. Our shops are varied and have everything you need
Anyone living in England must’ve been to Wilkos, right? What a shop. I have visited no other shop on Earth where I can purchase a frying pan, shaving cream, bubble wrap and 3 litres of magnolia with a pick n mix. You can get anything in there. We’re very lucky to have Wilkos on our high street.
During the worst of lockdown the queues for Wilkos were down the street. Its an important part of life in England.
16. We fit a lot in a small space
Streets like The Shambles in York, The Lanes in Brighton and the streets of St Ives are just unmatched around the world. We can fit a lot of creativity and variation in a small space, and they’re so much fun to walk around and window shop. No wonder our JK Rowling took streets like these for inspiration for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter.
You don’t get cool little streets like this in North America, do you?!
17. Life is pretty calm here
Let’s take a moment to appreciate just how relatively calm life in England really is. Our roads are relatively calm and safe, people generally behave themselves (comparatively!), we aren’t facing massive violent civil unrest that threatens to tear our country apart every 5 minutes and realistically you can walk most streets without fear.
18. We have excellent rights of way nationwide
You can walk so many amazing places in England, regardless of who owns the land. We have some great public rights of way for you to wander to your heart’s content. They’re totally under utilised too. Most of our countryside paths are ancient and we have a law system that protects them very well.
In other countries people just bought the land the public rights of way would’ve been on. There were no paths before that and the laws weren’t there to protect them even if they were.
The laws mean our public rights of way in England will never change, and this needs to be celebrated. Another reason why living in England is the best!
19. Charity shops are a big thing here
In England we love a charity shop. In fact, some would say too much. Our shopping high streets are full of them. They’re great for picking up a bargain, for giving to charity, and for the environment too. I’m a strong advocate for a charity shop, and love a weekend peruse to pick up a bargain.
Not all charity shops are created equal, but go and have a look and see what you can find. This is where visitors can get an authentic view of what life in England is really like, beyond the tourist attractions.
20. We’re generally open and inclusive
Living in England you might take our openness and inclusivity for granted. There are very few places in the world who are as accepting as us when it comes to ethnicities, sexuality, gender and disabilities. Obviously we have incidents that would say the opposite but in general, we’re an open and inclusive society.
21. Our climate is relatively temperate
The fact our climate is rather quite peaceful is definitely a benefit of living in England. As mentioned it may rain a lot here but we don’t see natural disasters like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, hurricanes & tornadoes.
Yet, our houses are built to withstand all that, unlike in some other places. England’s great.
22. We have incredible beaches
We have some incredible beaches in England. Honestly, some of the beaches on the south coast look straight out of Spain when the sun’s out. In the north east there may be a bit less sunshine but there are miles of sandy beaches, some with bonus castles!
Living in England we are spoilt when it comes to our coastline.
23. Central heating comes as standard in England
One of the most underrated things about living in England is having easy access to central heating, in fact, it’s so easy we don’t realise how lucky we are.
In many countries they have to see out the winter with a little heater, or a wood burner. We’re living the dream over here with our thermostats in our houses!
Life in easy can be as cosy as you like – given you can afford those rising prices of course.
24. We have some of the best music in the world
Some of the best music ever made comes from England – especially stuff from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Oh, speaking of, here are a few quizzes you might like…
England’s music legends include the likes of Elton John, Rod Stewart, Dusty Springfield, Adele, The Beatles, Ed Sheeran, Queen and the almighty Spice Girls. Not many small nations like ours can claim such an impressive line up of stars.
25. We’re also very generous
The UK is one of the most generous countries when it comes to sending acute aid abroad. England is far more willing to help other countries, including wealthy ones, at a time of crises than they are us. In fact, we’re the third most generous nation when it comes to Foreign Aid, just behind the USA and Germany.
26. Our employers sort our tax for us
Sometimes it might not seem it, but our tax system is so much simpler than our friends across the waters. Living in England tax is generally calculated by the employer and deducted every month automatically.
If ever there’s a mistake in the calculations you’ll get a rebate or a letter asking for more and you can arrange an agreement to pay it back in a reasonable time frame if you can’t do it right away.
In other countries there’s a whole drama around filling in complicated forms to pay tax, but for anyone with an employer it’s easily done. Can’t help you with how much you have to pay though, that’s always a drag. But see points 7, 12 and 18 to see where some of it goes.
27. Our phone bills are (relatively) cheap
Living in England we have relatively cheap mobile phone bills. I know friends in Canada, and in Spain, who pay a lot more than us!
28. We have a great sense of humour
When I went travelling for a few years, it was the English sense of humour I missed the most. Europeans and Americans just don’t get it.
I think people underestimate how nice and genuinely funny most English people are. Leave the cities in England and whether it is your doctor, kid’s teacher, builder, person working on the checkout at your local supermarket, people are almost always polite (and it’s not just for tips) and, once you scratch the service you can have some great banter with them.
There’s just a shared joke in England that I think other nationalities find it hard to get in on.
29. We love our dogs in England
In England dogs are allowed on public transport (taxis, buses, the tube, trains) and in pubs and cafes. Especially useful when you’re living in the cities and need to ferry your furry friends around. There are places around the world where this is just not an option.
If you’ve got a pet, check out these best days out for dogs for some more inspiration on where you can take your four-legged friend.
30. We have drinkable cold water, on tap
Living in England we have hot and cold running drinkable water on demand 24/7, and we take it for granted.
You only need to spend a week in the sun in Greece or Spain to realise just how lucky that makes us. And, how much less plastic waste we must produce, as a result.
31. Insults are often meant as affection
Most English people know how to take the p*ss out of themselves – it’s part of our world renowned humour (see point 28). We have some of the most original, on the spot unique, and strongest insults. It’s just friendly banter to us. Click here to check out some of our top British insults, which are meant purely as affection, usually.
Life in England means you’ve got to be able to take a joke.
32. Nights out in England are great
There’s no other place quite like it. In England we have endless pubs, clubs, gigs and live music. We also have hundreds of festivals in the summer, a brilliant underground music scene, raves, free parties… and us English people know how to make the most of them. Maybe a little too much sometimes, we’re known by other nations to get a bit carried away.
33. Our Citizens Advice Bureau is seriously underrated
The Citizens Advice Bureau in England is a wonderful service. Seriously, free impartial help with a whole ton of things. In debt? Jobless? Employment issues, lonely, court summons? The Citizens Advice Bureau will either help directly or direct you to others that can assist, for free.
They also collect data and petition local authorities and main government on issues that affect people in the community.
They’re a seriously underrated organisation that you just don’t get in other countries.
34. We get free education (to a point)
Anyone living in England under the age of 18 (down to 4ish) gets to go to school for FREE. There’s also help with school lunches, and uniform, if you need.
We do have paid for schools, but the majority of England will attend a free school from the age of 4 to 16, and then if you’d like to continue to 18, you can.
After that, university fees are ridiculous, and a huge point of contention for students living in England.
35. We invented Marmite
One of the best things about living in England, in my opinion, is the unhindered access to Marmite. Love the stuff. It’s brewed in Burton on Trent, from the offset of the beer production there and if you drive past the Marmite factory on a breezy day you can smell the delicious aroma all around.
In England we can get Marmite in every supermarket, including the metros and expresses, and it’s often stocked in corner shops too. Mmmm, get that sticky delight on your morning toast!
36. Our road signs are our forte
When we started asking around about what makes living in England so great, one of the most popular answers was the fact that our road signs are so easy to navigate. I’d never thought about it before but I guess they are pretty easy to follow!
Margaret Calvert designed a lot of the road signs with Jock Kinnier, and there’s a famous Top Gear episode that features them both.
37. Our positioning of traffic lights is perfect
Another unusual benefit of living in England, people say our traffic lights are well positioned.
So many countries put them high in the air above the junction, which is fine for someone ten cars back to know when to start beeping their horn but no good for driving the car at the front: the one person who needs to know when they change. Even more ridiculous in other countries is when they then place a tiny traffic light on the pole that goes up to the one in the sky just for you, which you also often can’t see because it’s behind the column between the windscreen and passenger window.
I’m going to assume this is something you’ve never really thought about, but is actually very important!
38. Our registration plate game is strong
Ok, still with the driving. Our registration plates are great – the text is so broad and clear. I don’t know how in North America anyone can see a license plate that only has to be on the back, and you’re allowed to have a cartoon that covers the entire plate. You have to go and look round the back to see if it’s even your Uber out there.
39. We know how to queue properly
Bill Bryson once wrote that he’s not sure any other country other than England could make such a disorderly system work, with everyone more or less aware who’s turn it is next. We love to queue in England. If anyone steps out of line, you’ll hear about it. If not a ‘tut’ then definitely a ‘the queue starts over here mate’.
We take our queueing very seriously here – every day life in England demands it.
40. You don’t need to worry about ‘death by wildlife’
Another of the best things about living in England is that our wildlife is mostly safe. Go out for a walk and you’re not likely to be faced with a deadly animal or a seriously poisonous plant. In England we don’t have many dangerous wild animals trying to kill us and we aren’t prone to natural disasters, except the occasional flood that is.
41. We are very strong in tech industries
In 2021 the UK joined the US and China as the only three nations to have 100+ tech unicorns globally (a tech unicorn has a £1 billion value at startup), and became the first country in Europe to reach 100 tech unicorns, with more than Germany (42), France (22) and the Netherlands (18) combined, in fact more than the rest of Europe combined.
That’s something to be proud of, right?!
42. Our emergency services are on it
Live in England and you have access to the coast guard, the beach life guards and the air ambulance to keep you safe. They’re all charities and volunteer organisations that do a lot of fundraising, so if you ever see a fundraising activity, make sure to pop a few quid in the pot.
These organisations save lives!
43. Everything is so old!
One of the most interesting things about living in England is just how old and beautiful everything is, while still being clean. Travel to other countries and they’re all proud of how old the local oldest building is, but in England many of us live in houses over 100 years old and don’t bat an eyelid.
If you love the ancient history of England you can see it all around. When you walk the hills and moors you stumble across so many barrows, hillforts, stone circle and stone crosses. Then there are all the castles in England, the stately homes, and the interesting coastline features too. Anyone living in England, or visiting England, should get either an English Heritage membership, or a National Trust membership to make the most of the fantastic wealth of known history we have here.
And if you think you know it all, check out this England history quiz to test your knowledge.
44. We have the greatest Meal deals
How good is it being able to walk into Tesco / Boots / Sainsburys / M&S and being able to pick up a sandwich, a packet of crisps, and a bottle of Oasis for £3/4?
I know a deli is better, but shop meal deals are just so handy for a work day lunch, and there’s so much variety.
You don’t get this around the world, in fact, some countries don’t even have packet sandwiches… imagine!
45. Our road crossings have great names
Back with the roads in England, and a special shout out to the road crossing names – puffin, zebra, pelican, pegasus, toucan. Great for kids to learn, and easy for adults to forget. Do you know the difference?
46. We don’t smoke, and it’s frowned on
In England we’ve made smoking as hard and unsociable as possible. Obviously in some communities and areas it’s still socially accepted, but on the whole, we don’t like smoking in England, anymore.
You can’t smoke in bars and restaurants, or within special no smoking areas in cities.
We’ve really committed to making it as hard as possible in England, without taking away people’s rights. And it’s worked. The amount of smokers has seriously decreased
47. Pubs in England are great
The pubs in England are many, many times better than any semblance of a pub in other countries. We are the proud inventors of the old-school boozer. The best in the world, in fact.
Pubs in England have been through a lot in the past few hours, from the aforementioned smoking ban, to high alcohol taxes, to being shut down for COVID. You only have to look at the pubs like the pubs in the New Forest for example, to see that the strongest will survive, and England’s pub culture will last for many years to come.
48. But so are the new breweries and cideries
Over recent years, much like the rest of the world, breweries and cideries have been popping up on business estates around England. Small time brewers have found how much fun it is to brew up those hops, and to create cool and unique breweries that people will travel the county for.
One of my favourites is the Staggeringly Good dinosaur themed brewery in Portsmouth, right near my house. So popular they’ve recently expanded to an even larger tap room!
49. We have a rich English literature
We can’t talk about what’s great about living in England without mentioning our rich English literature. From Austen, to Shakespeare, to JK, Beatrix Potter and many, many more, our authors have triumphed around the world. Their stories have been translated to many different languages, and whole theme parks and movements have been created in their honour.
If you think you know English literature, try our BIG English Literature Quiz to test your knowledge.
50. And a rich English movie scene too
We’ve already mentioned how great English TV is, but how about English films?
For a small nation we’re pretty good at getting our stories up on the silver screen around the world, and definitely have a strong rom com game (mainly thanks to Richard Curtis). All those books that our literary greats have written have translated well to Hollywood, and Harry Potter days out are even a thing, thanks to the location inspiration and scouting.
From the James Bond franchise, to our period dramas, our gritty English tales and our focus on World War II films, we ace it at the Box Office, repeatedly.
Award-winning Steve McQueen, Danny Boyle and Andrea Arnold all deserve a special mention in this section too.
51. Landscapes are varied and beautiful
And the best thing about living in England? Our stunning landscapes. A lot of visitors, who only go to the cities, miss out on the beautiful vistas we have in England, they just don’t get to see how beautiful our island is.
With the rocky coastline crags in Cornwall, the mountains in the Lake District, and the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Moors to enjoy – why live anywhere else?
Living in England
That’s it, 51 reasons why we at Day Out in England love living in England. We’d love to hear about your experiences, and whether you agree with our points, or have any to add. Let us know in the comments below, or you can always get in touch with us, [email protected].