This is england – The Best of British

Photo by Rebecca Dicks

Many say that home is where the heart is and no matter where you travel to, your home has a special place in your heart. For many of us at blue lizard adventures home is in the UK and with all the celebrations this past week celebrating British cultural and heritage, Blue Lizard Adventures decided to join in with the celebration and write;

The Best of British….

England can sometime be dull, grey, cold and expensive. Today, however we want to celebrate all the good things that Britain has to offer and all the fantastically British traits.

Photo by Rebecca Dicks

Postboxes – The traditional red postbox is a welcomed sight on streets. In 1853 the first pillar box on the British mainland was erected at Botchergate, Carlise. It has gone through a number of designs but always centred around the traditional red pillar box you still see today.

These postboxes remind me of when I was little and my parents would have to pick me up for me to reach the hole. There was a sense of excitement and fear surrounding the postbox for me as a girl. It was exciting to put the letters in that were bound for all over the country, but scary in case the postbox monster ate my fingers if I put them in too far!!

Fish and Chips –  The smell of fresh fish and chips from your local chippy covered in salt and vinegar just makes me hungry. The traditional Friday night treat in our house, one which I looked forward too all week.
Fish and chips became a stock meal among the working class in Great Britain as a consequence of the rapid development of trawl fishing and development of railways connecting ports to cities. during the second half of the 19th century. The first fish and chip shop was opened in London by Joseph Malin in 1860. 

Photo by Rebecca Dicks

A Good Traditional Pub: Britain is dotted with pubs and it a place of respite for many from their busy lives and their families!! Great in all weathers, either to sit outside in the height of summer with a pint or glass of cold wine, swatting at wasps until the last drops of sun falls behind the horizon or sitting inside when the weather is cold, getting all cosy by the fire chatting with friends old and new alike.


Photo by Rebecca Dicks

Cricket and Tennis – Our age old British sports that play a pivotal role in our society, heritage and culture. Although i struggle watching too much cricket, the highlight of the summer for me is Wimbledon!! Although the sometimes overly distracting grunts from some players starts to get too much it is still one of my favourite sports. I guess this then brings us nicely onto the next item of cucumber sandwiches!! I can’t imagine any other country would put a few slices of cucumber between two slices of bread and call it food! However, it is strangely nice, washed down with some iced tea or a fruit juice, “one would have to admit that one does enjoy the British delicacy of a small crust less cucumber sandwich!!”

Whilst on the subject of food, another fantastically British item of culture we fee,l is our love for the traditional Sunday roast and those all important Yorkshire puddings. Nothing is better on a Sunday than a plate full of meat, veg, lashing of potatoes with a carefully balanced Yorkshire on top! Now here is a question.. if you have a Sunday roast on a Wednesday do you call it a Wednesday roast? just a roast? or still a Sunday roast?! Many of use also enjoy Yorkshire puddings for a dessert covered in Jam or lemon curd. The history of the pudding remains a mystery, there are no rock paintings or mention in Roman history. The first ever recorded recipe appears in a book, The Whole Duty of a Woman in 1737. Following this is has survived wars, rations and the swinging sixties and now the age of convenience foods. However, the ever faithful Yorkshire pudding remains firmly in our hearts.

Photo by Rebecca Dicks

Another traditional food stuff many of us love is the British strawberry covered in cream. Tying in with tennis and cricket, strawberries and cream marks the height of summer and underlines of hertiage of luxury! Now of course if you don’t have cream on these lovely, sweet, juicy fruits, this does not make it any less British, it just makes you more natural!!!!
I have a distinct memory of when I was a child holidaying in the Norfolk boards. Next to our cottage was a huge field of ripe late August strawberries just too delicious to ignore. So apologies to the farmer who that year may have had a few less in his harvest?!!

Britain may sometimes be overlooked when we start to think about wildlife. When quizzed many people will choose their favourite animal as something exotic. Yet here in the UK we have some stunning and sometimes understated flora and fauna.  Below are some pictures to inspire and hopefully make you fall in love with our beauties of nature all over again.

The stoat (Mustela erminea). Photo by Amy Sneap
Shetland Ponies. Photo by Amy Sneap
The Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) Photo by Amy Sneap
The Puffin (Fratercula arctica) Photo by Amy Sneap
Ducking Photo by Amy Sneap
The bumble bee (Bombus pennsylvanicus) Photo by Amy Sneap
Large white butterfly (Pieris brassicae) Photo by Heather Howes
Not strictly wildlife but still a lovely sight. Photo by Heather Howes
A mute swan signet (Cygnus olor). Photo by Heather Howes
Damesl fly. Photo by Heather Howes
Hoverfly (Toxomerus geminatus). Photo by Heather Howes

In addition, the UK offers some of the most heart warming, thought provoking, emotion rendering and simply stunning areas of countryside, moorland, forest, coastal, mountainous and wetland. Many of these areas can clearly compete with overseas wonders and therefore should be given deserved credit. Spring, summer, autumn and winter, Britain offers the most wondrous sights, sounds and smells.

Photo by Heather Howes
Photo by Heather Howes
Photo by Heather Howes
Photo by Heather Howes
Photo by Heather Howes
Photo by Heather Howes
Photo by Heather Howes
Photo by Heather Howes
Photo by Heather Howes
Photo by Amy Sneap
Photo by Amy Sneap
Photo by Amy Sneap
Photo by Amy Sneap
Photo by Amy Sneap
Photo by Amy Sneap

Additionally, we also would like to mention other British loves …..

  • Mini, Ford and Land Rover (although some now own by other countries)
  • Good strong British cider, Such as Scrumpy Jacks, Stowford Press and  Brothers (other good ciders are available)
  • Britain has a number of beautiful architectural structures such as churches, houses, halls and museums.
  • Great British pastime of fishing. So many people enjoy the peaceful qualities of spending hours in the great outdoors waiting for that moment of a possible bite!
  • We are also big lovers of camping. Another fantastic pastime, which we Brits love to indulge ourselves.
  • Photo by Rebecca Dicks
  • The flat cap! Worn by the stylish and the not so stylish.
  • Digestive biscuits!!!
Britain has a lot to celebrate and quite rightly so. Blue Lizard Adventures offers a number of volunteer and travel opportunities around the world, however, we also LOVE the UK and think we should all take sometime out to celebrate the Best of British.
www.bluelizardadventures.com 

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