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The inventor of football, the birthplace of the Beatles, and the place that started the Industrial Revolution are just a few fun facts about England. So, read on to discover the rest!
- Fun Facts About England
- 1. England Is Part of the United Kingdom and Not the United Kingdom
- 2. England’s Stonehenge Monument Is Over 4000 Years Old
- 3. Football Was Invented in England
- 4. London Is the Capital of England and the UK
- 5. England Has Hosted Three Summer Olympic Games
- 6. London Has More Than 200 Museums
- 7. Fish and Chips Is the Most Famous Dish in England
- 8. England Has the World’s Oldest Metro System
- 9. Harry Potter Was Filmed in England
- 10. The Queen of England Invented a Dog Breed
- 11. Killing a Swan Was Considered Treason in England
- 12. Double Decker London Buses Are Made in Egypt
- 13. Big Ben Tower Is Officially Named Elizabeth Tower
- 14. Big Ben Is a Part of a Palace
- 15. England is Known for Fighting the Shortest War!
- 16. Stephen Hawking Was Born in England
- 17. There’s a Cheese Rolling Competition in England
- 18. Don’t Irritate the Royal Guard in England!
- 19. Oxford University Is Located in England
- 20. The Beatles Are From Liverpool, England
- 21. England Hosted the FIFA World Cup in 1966
- 22. William Shakespeare Was Born in England
- 23. The Tower of London Was a Prison, Zoo, and a Palace
- 24. New York State Is Larger Than England
- 25. The World Wide Web Was Invented by a British Scientist
- 26. Oliver and Olivia are the Top Names in England
- 27. J. K. Rowling Was Born in England
- 28. The Iconic Red Phone Booths in England Are Decreasing
- 29. More than 59 Million People Live in England
- 30. Afternoon Tea Is an English Creation
- 31. England has Free Healthcare
- 32. England’s National Symbol is the Lion
- 33. The River Thames That Flows Through London Has Many Bridges
- 34. Charles Dickens Was Born in England
- 35. England Had the World’s First Public Park
- 36. World’s First Public Flushing Toilet Was in England
- 37. Yorkshire is the Largest County in England
- 38. Modern Insurance Started in England
- 39. Guinness World Records Started in England
- 40. Scafell Pike Is the Highest Point in England
- 41. Windermere Is the Largest Natural Lake in England
- 42. London Eye Is a Giant Ferris Wheel
- 43. The English Flag Is a Red Cross on a White Background
- 44. The Industrial Revolution Began in England
- 45. Rosetta Stone Is Located in the British Museum
- 46. Jane Austen Was Born in England
- 47. Oxford English Dictionary Took 70 Years to Complete
- 48. There Is a Town in England Named Sandwich
- 49. The Sandwich Originated in England
- 50. The Great Plague of London is a Tragic Event in England’s History
- 51. An English Mathematician Invented the Concept of the Modern Computer
- 52. London Marathon Attracts Runners From All Over the World
- 53. England Is Known to Be Very Expensive
- 54. Bristol, England Is Known for Hot Air Balloons
- 55. England Had the World’s First Public Railway
- Further Reading – Fun Facts About England
- 12 Fascinating Things To Know About Grassington
- 12 Fascinating Things To Know About Broughton Beach
- 12 Fascinating Facts About Small Heath Birmingham
Fun Facts About England
England is more than just a country. It’s a history book of centuries and centuries that influenced the world we know today. From London to Liverpool, the fun facts about England are endless!
In this article, I’ll unravel the best fun facts about England, so we can learn together more about this fascinating royal country!
1. England Is Part of the United Kingdom and Not the United Kingdom
Let’s start with one of the basic fun facts about England.
Many people tend to believe that England and the United Kingdom are one and the same. However, this is not the case.
The United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries – England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. Therefore, England is simply a part of a group of countries, known as the United Kingdom.
2. England’s Stonehenge Monument Is Over 4000 Years Old
There are many historical fun facts about England, including the Stonehenge Monument.
This monument is situated in Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England. It consists of a magnificent man-made circle with standing stones. Archaeologists believe that its construction started 5,000 years ago during the late Neolithic Age and it took more than 1,000 years to build the monument!
The surprising thing about these stones is that the lighter ones weigh around 3,600 kilograms each, whereas the heavy ones weigh 22 tonnes. Hence, people often wonder where these stones came from. There are many legends surrounding it, which include giants, wizards, and whatnot!
3. Football Was Invented in England
Here are some fun facts about England for all football lovers.
There are a few claims that England is the inventor of football. The official Football Association was responsible for laying down the rules of the sport in 1863 in England.
Even before that, football was played in an informal manner to teach the values of the British Empire, like order, discipline, and sophistication.
The earliest known occasion of any organised ball game in England was recorded in 1174 in William Fitzstephen’s Descriptio Nobilissimi Civitatis Londoniae.
4. London Is the Capital of England and the UK
As mentioned earlier, England and the UK aren’t the same. However, their capitals are!
London is the biggest city, and also the capital of both England and the UK. The city was established as the capital of England in 1066 when William the Conqueror marched on London after winning the Battle of Hastings.
On the other hand, London was declared the capital of the United Kingdom after the Acts of Union in 1707.
5. England Has Hosted Three Summer Olympic Games
Here is one of the unique fun facts about England.
There are several countries in the world that have not hosted even one Summer Olympic Games. However, England has had the opportunity to host three Summer Olympic Games, making it a popular sports tourism destination.
London, the capital of England, organised the Summer Olympic Games in 1908, 1948 and 2012. In 2012, London officially became the first city to host the sports championship thrice!
These Olympic Games took place at the Olympic Park in East London (2012), Wembley Stadium (1948), and Shepherd’s Bush Stadium (1908).
6. London Has More Than 200 Museums
London is a paradise for those who have a deep passion for history.
The city has more than 200 museums, out of which 11 are national museums. The British Museum is the largest museum situated in the Bloomsbury area of London. It has the largest permanent collection with over eight million pieces!
The Natural History Museum is also one of the largest and the best ones for exploring the earth and science specimens. You can also get to see many dinosaur skeletons in the museum.
Apart from museums, London also has over 800 art galleries, presenting art pieces from all over the world.
7. Fish and Chips Is the Most Famous Dish in England
These fun facts about England are for foodies!
Fish and chips has been the most popular dish in England since it was introduced. Apart from chicken tikka masala, fish and chips is also considered as the country’s national dish.
People often have a misconception that the dish was introduced in England. However, this may not be true, as according to some sources, the invention of fish and chips can be traced back to 15th Century Portugal.
Soon enough, many shops selling fish and chips appeared in the UK around the 1860s. However, it was in the 1910s when the popularity of fish and chips reached worldwide with over 25,000 selling the dish.
8. England Has the World’s Oldest Metro System
Metro systems are common all over the world today. But, have you wondered where the first metro system was built? Turns out, it is London, England!
The London Underground became the world’s oldest system, as it opened in 1863. The station was built for locomotive trains that ran between Paddington and Farringdon.
Along with being the world’s oldest metro system, it is also the second-longest metro system with a length of 402 kilometres and 270 stations!
9. Harry Potter Was Filmed in England
If you have ever been a Potterhead, you might have developed an unhealthy obsession with England. After all, many Harry Potter filming locations are in England.
Some of the iconic locations where Harry Potter was shot in England include the Durham Cathedral (Durham), Alnwick Castle (Alnwick), The Warner Bros. Studio (Leavesden), Lacock Abbey (Lacock), Goathland Station (Goathland), Christ Church College (Oxford), and many more.
In fact, you can have your own Platform 9 ¾ at the King’s Cross Station in London!
10. The Queen of England Invented a Dog Breed
This is one of the iconic fun facts about England for the dog people.
The late Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II, is credited with inventing a hybrid dog breed, “dorgi”, a cross between corgi and dachshund.
Corgi was the favourite dog breed of the Queen, whereas dachshund was preferred by her sister, Princess Margaret.
When Margaret’s dachshund, Pipkin, was left alone with the Queen’s royal corgi, Tiny, they created a dorgi!
11. Killing a Swan Was Considered Treason in England
Don’t hurt or kill a swan even accidentally if you are in England!
The British Crown owns all the unmarked mute swans in the open waters. Therefore, under a law from the 12th century, killing swans was considered treason until 1998. A person hurting or killing a swan could even be put to life imprisonment.
In the present day, killing a swan is not considered treason. Yet, it can be classified as theft or other criminal offence.
12. Double Decker London Buses Are Made in Egypt
Here is one of the surprising fun facts about England.
The legendary double-decker London buses that we see in many photos, movies, and series aren’t manufactured in England.
An Egyptian automotive company, Manufacturing Commercial Vehicles (MCV), is responsible for manufacturing London buses and exporting them to England.
13. Big Ben Tower Is Officially Named Elizabeth Tower
There are many people who don’t know these fun facts about England.
Till 2012, the Big Ben Tower was formerly known as the “St. Stephen’s Tower.” However, after the late Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee of celebrating 60 years on the throne, the tower was renamed to “Elizabeth Tower.”
14. Big Ben Is a Part of a Palace
Here is another one of the fun facts about England.
Big Ben isn’t a separate monument. It is also a part of the Palace of Westminster in England. The monument consists of the Great Clock, known for its huge striking clock with five bells.
The tower’s construction started back in 1843 and was completed in 1859. Hence, it is around 164 years old, as of 2023.
15. England is Known for Fighting the Shortest War!
This is one of the most interesting historical fun facts about England.
England is often associated with many great and legendary wars. But, the country also participated in the shortest war in history, the Anglo-Zanzibar War.
The Anglo-Zanzibar War was fought between the United Kingdom and the Zanzibar Sultanate on 27th August 1896. The entire war only lasted between 38 and 45 minutes as the UK emerged as the winner.
Despite its short duration, the war took the lives of over 500 men.
16. Stephen Hawking Was Born in England
England is the birth country of several well-known scientists, including Stephen Hawking.
Stephen Hawking needs no introduction, as most people all over the world have at least heard about him. He was a theoretical physicist and cosmologist, who despite having a disability, contributed to physics and cosmology immensely.
Hawking was born in a family of physicians in Oxford, England. He finished his college education at University College, Oxford. Later, he also became the director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge.
17. There’s a Cheese Rolling Competition in England
There are some truly unusual fun facts about England.
Every year Gloucestershire, a county in west England, organises a cheese rolling competition on the Spring Bank Holiday. The competition involves an 8-pound round of Double Gloucester cheese being dropped from the top of Cooper Hill.
The participants need to catch the cheese block; however, it is almost impossible and may lead to injuries. Therefore, the participant who reaches the finish line first wins the race, and the cheese!
People from all over the world, especially countries like the US, Germany, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand have participated in the race.
18. Don’t Irritate the Royal Guard in England!
If you ever look at a royal guard in England, you’ll notice that they never speak, laugh, or emote any emotions.
However, there are people, especially tourists, who love to mess with the royal guards. In such situations, guards are allowed to shout at them, scold them, or even point their bayonets at them. Sometimes, royal guards even shove the people who touch them.
Therefore, it is better to never irritate a royal guard in England.
19. Oxford University Is Located in England
The University of Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking world, is situated in Wellington Square, Oxford, England. It has around 38 colleges, along with 70 research departments.
Although there is no proper evidence of the university’s start date, historians believe that it was founded around 1096.
There are several legendary people who have studied at The University of Oxford, such as Albert Einstein, Oscar Wilde, Emma Watson, J.R.R. Tolkien, etc.
20. The Beatles Are From Liverpool, England
Do you love music? Well, you’ll love these fun facts about England.
The Beatles, an iconic and evergreen rock band, was started in Liverpool, England. The band consisted of four members – John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.
The four members formed the band in 1960 and went on to make it one of the most influential music bands of all time. Some of their popular albums include Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Let It Be.
Today, you’ll even get to see The Beatles Statue at Liverpool’s Waterfront.
21. England Hosted the FIFA World Cup in 1966
Many people might not know this but England also hosted the FIFA World Cup in 1966.
The tournament took place in various stadiums across England between July 11th and July 30th, 1966. The final match was held at Wembley Stadium in London on July 30th, 1966.
England also went on to win the FIFA World Cup in 1966 by defeating West Germany! It was the first and the last time England won a FIFA World Cup till now.
22. William Shakespeare Was Born in England
Here are some fun facts about England for literature lovers.
William Shakespeare, one of the greatest playwrights and poets, in the history of literature, was born on April 23rd, 1564 in Warwickshire, England. It is speculated that he also finished his education at the King Edward VI Grammar School in Stratford-upon-Avon, England.
Shakespeare is known for several impressive works such as “Romeo and Juliet,” “Hamlet,” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
23. The Tower of London Was a Prison, Zoo, and a Palace
The Tower of London was opened in 1078, and has served as a royal residence, prison, and zoo too!
In the early years of opening, the Tower of London was used as a residence. However, later on, it also served as a prison where many famous people, such as Anne Boleyn and Sir Walter Raleigh were imprisoned.
Then, the tower also served as the first zoo in London between the 1200s and 1835. Several exotic wild animals that were given as gifts to the royal family were kept here.
24. New York State Is Larger Than England
Here is one of the most unexpected fun facts about England!
England may be a country, but it is smaller than the whole New York state. New York State has an area of 142,449 square kilometres, whereas England is about 129,500 square kilometres.
Yet, New York State isn’t larger than the United Kingdom.
25. The World Wide Web Was Invented by a British Scientist
Here are some fun facts about England for my fellow techies!
If you didn’t know already, the World Wide Web, the vast information system, was invented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist, in 1989 while working at CERN in Switzerland.
Tim Berners-Lee was born in London, England, on June 8, 1955. He attended The Queen’s College at the University of Oxford, where he studied physics and graduated in 1976.
26. Oliver and Olivia are the Top Names in England
If you ever visit England, you might encounter many Brits named Oliver and Olivia!
Oliva has been the most common female name in both England and Wales since 2016. Oliver used to be the top common male name for eight consecutive years until it was dethroned by Noah.
27. J. K. Rowling Was Born in England
There is a reason why Harry Potter is based in England.
J. K. Rowling, the author of the classic Harry Potter series, was from England, as she was born on July 31, 1965, in Yate, Gloucestershire.
28. The Iconic Red Phone Booths in England Are Decreasing
Red phone booths are the most English thing ever! Unfortunately, they are seeing a major (almost 90%) decline due to the privatisation of British Telecom, the popularity of mobiles, and many other reasons.
29. More than 59 Million People Live in England
30. Afternoon Tea Is an English Creation
Let me spill some tea about the much-celebrated afternoon tea tradition in these fun facts about England.
The concept of afternoon tea was introduced in England by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, in 1840. She wanted to have something that could curb hunger between meals!
31. England has Free Healthcare
Here is one of the most impressive fun facts about England.
As England is a part of the UK, it also has free healthcare in the form of the National Health System (NHS). The system was started in 1948 and ensures that basic healthcare is available to all people, regardless of their nationality or immigration status.
32. England’s National Symbol is the Lion
These fun facts about England aren’t that surprising.
The national symbol of England is a lion, representing bravery and courage. In fact, you’ll also find three golden lions on England’s official royal coat of arms.
33. The River Thames That Flows Through London Has Many Bridges
London Bridge is the most popular bridge on the River Thames. But, it is not the only one.
The River Thames has more than 200 bridges. In fact, Central London itself has 21 bridges.
34. Charles Dickens Was Born in England
England is the home country of many literary savants, including Charles Dickens.
Charles Dickens, the world-famous English writer, was born on February 7, 1812, in Portsmouth, England. His best works include “Oliver Twist,” “A Christmas Carol,” and “Great Expectations.”
35. England Had the World’s First Public Park
Public parks are found all across the world, but the first public park was opened in England.
Birkenhead Park, located in Birkenhead, Merseyside, England, is regarded as the world’s first public park. The park was designed by Joseph Paxton and opened on 5th April 1847.
36. World’s First Public Flushing Toilet Was in England
Here is one of the weird yet interesting fun facts about England.
George Jennings, an English sanitary engineer and plumber, is credited with inventing the first public flush toilet! He even exhibited his invention, the first public flush toilets, at the Great Exhibition held in the Crystal Palace in London in 1851.
37. Yorkshire is the Largest County in England
England has 48 counties. Yorkshire, situated in the north-central part of England, is the largest county. It makes up for about 11% of England’s total land and covers an area of 14,859 square kilometres.
38. Modern Insurance Started in England
Let’s talk about some random fun facts about England.
The idea of modern insurance started in England, or more specifically, London. Nicholas Barbon, an English economist, got the inspiration for starting an insurance company after the Great Fire of London in 1666.
The fire caused disruption of more than 30,000 homes. Therefore, Barbon established the first fire insurance company, the Fire Office, in 1680. Later, it was renamed to the Phoenix Office in 1705.
39. Guinness World Records Started in England
The record for starting Guinness World Records goes to England!
Guinness World Records originated in 1955 in England by Sir Hugh Beaver, the former managing director of the Guinness Brewery.
Sir Hugh Beaver got the idea when he was arguing about the fastest game bird during a hunting trip and wasn’t able to find a reference book to get the question’s answer.
40. Scafell Pike Is the Highest Point in England
Here are some geography-related fun facts about England.
You’ll find around 200 peaks with an elevation of more than 2,000 feet. The highest point in England is located in Scafell Pike, as it has a height of 3,209 feet above sea level.
Scafell Pike is located in the Lake District National Park, Cumbria, England. It also forms a huge part of the inactive Scafells volcano.
41. Windermere Is the Largest Natural Lake in England
England has more than 6,000 lakes. The largest natural lake, Windermere, is situated in the administrative county of Cumbria. It lies along the border between Lancashire and Westmorland.
Windermere Lake covers an area of 17 square kilometres and a maximum depth of 209 feet.
42. London Eye Is a Giant Ferris Wheel
One of the most iconic things to see in London is the London Eye.
The Giant Ferris Wheel was constructed between 1998 and 1999 and opened to the public on 9th March 2000. It is the tallest Ferris wheel in the entire Europe with a height of 443 feet and 394 feet diameter. When it was built, it was the largest Ferris wheel in the whole world.
The attraction sees over 3 million annual visitors and is the eighth-highest-earning tourist attraction in the world.
43. The English Flag Is a Red Cross on a White Background
Here are some flag-related fun facts about England.
England has a pretty simple flag with a white background and a huge red cross on it.
The red cross represents the cross of St. George, the patron saint of England. Hence, you’ll notice that the cross is imposed on the crosses of other countries’ patron saints like Ireland (St. Patrick) and Scotland (St. Andrew).
44. The Industrial Revolution Began in England
The Industrial Revolution changed the trajectory of the world! It was also started in England in the eighteenth century around 1760.
There were many reasons for this revolution such as many technological advancements, better resources, increased food production, etc. This caused the people to move from little towns to big cities in huge numbers.
45. Rosetta Stone Is Located in the British Museum
The British Museum has many precious artefacts from all over the world, including the precious Rosetta Stone.
Rosetta Stone isn’t a gem. Instead, it is a slab of rock with a decree issued on it in Memphis, Egypt, in 196 BC. It has inscriptions from three different scripts – Ancient Greek, Demotic, and hieroglyphs. Therefore, this rock is important as it helped decipher the ancient Egyptian script.
In 1972, the Rosetta Stone was kept in Paris’ Louvre Museum for a short time However, since June 1802, it was kept in the British Museum.
46. Jane Austen Was Born in England
Most book, film, and old-school romance lovers are aware of who Jane Austen is!
Jane Austen, a critically acclaimed and loved English novelist, was born on December 16, 1775, in Steventon, Hampshire, England. Her books are known for their progressive characters and ideas in an otherwise patriarchal English society of the past.
Some of her famous books are “Pride and Prejudice,” “Sense and Sensibility,” and “Emma.” Many of her book characters like “Mr. Darcy” and “Elizabeth Bennet” are loved by many.
47. Oxford English Dictionary Took 70 Years to Complete
When I was a kid, I used to love reading the Oxford English Dictionary. So, this is one of my favourite fun facts about England.
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) started in 1857 in Oxford, England, under the editorship of James Murray. The whole project took about 70 years and was completed around April 1928.
48. There Is a Town in England Named Sandwich
This is truly one of the fun facts about England.
There’s a town named Sandwich, situated in the Dover District of Kent, south-east England. It has a population of around 4,985.
However, Sandwich, the town, is not named after the dish. Instead, the actual name originates from the Anglo-Saxon word Sandwicæ, which translates to “sandy place.”
So no, you won’t get any sandwich-related history in this town!
49. The Sandwich Originated in England
If you love sandwiches, you might want to thank England for that!
Although the idea of putting food between bread likely emerged in the Middle Ages, it gained popularity in the 18th century.
In 1762, John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, accidentally discovered a sandwich. As John was a serious gambler, he requested the meat to be placed between two bread slices. This led to the discovery of one of our beloved foods today.
50. The Great Plague of London is a Tragic Event in England’s History
These are some tragic and not-so-fun fun facts about England that you should know.
The Great Plague of London took place between 1665 and 1666. It was the last severe bubonic plague epidemic that killed almost 15% of London’s total population. It cost the lives of over 100,000 people in London alone.
The plague was caused by the fleas that the rats carried across the city. The city even had many plague pits to dispose of the infected bodies.
51. An English Mathematician Invented the Concept of the Modern Computer
England has achieved both historical and scientific feats. The concept of modern computers has also come from England.
Charles Babbage, an English mathematician born on December 26, 1791, in London, came up with the idea of a computer! He studied at Cambridge University and created the Analytical Engine, which is a predecessor to today’s computers.
52. London Marathon Attracts Runners From All Over the World
Here are some sports-related fun facts about England.
You cannot separate sports and England. After all, the country has an active participation in almost all types of sports, including running.
The London Marathon takes place every year around April in London and is the second-largest running event in the UK. Hence, it attracts runners from various parts of the world.
In 2023, over 40,000 participants ran a 42-kilometre race in the marathon!
53. England Is Known to Be Very Expensive
I don’t think I need to talk much about these fun facts about England.
The country is known to be one of the most expensive ones in terms of living costs. In fact, the average living cost for a family of four, without rent, is about $3,135 or £2,268.
As per the rankings of 2023, London is the fourth most expensive city in the world.
54. Bristol, England Is Known for Hot Air Balloons
B for Bristol, and B for Balloons!
Bristol is regarded as the “hot air ballooning capital of England.” It is because the first flight of a hot air balloon in the whole of Britain took place in Bristol. The Bristol Belle took its first flight on 9 July 1967 in Bristol.
Bristol is the home of the famous Cameron Balloons company. The city also celebrates the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. It was started in 1979 and is a four-day event with more than 100,000 visitors.
55. England Had the World’s First Public Railway
Apart from having the first metro station, the first public railway station was also built in England.
The Stockton and Darlington Railway (S&DR) became the first-ever public railway in the whole world. It was built in north-east England and operated from 1825 to 1863.
Further Reading – Fun Facts About England
England is truly a land with one of the richest histories, skilled and artistic people, and the most useful inventions. Hence, I was only able to cover certain fun facts about England that stood out the most.
You can also explore more about the region, or the UK as a whole through other similar posts on my blog: