Moving to a new city is an adventure. There are so many sights to see and experiences to try but knowing where to start can be tricky. We have put together a few top tips for students who have come to study and live in the UK, including a guide to British food, some slang phrases and some of London’s best culture spots.
Food and drink
The UK’s cuisine is often joked about by the rest of the world and it is true that some of Britain’s traditional dishes are a little unusual. However, London is known for its amazing restaurants and there are some that serve up delicious examples of classic English food and drink.
Fish and chips from Fishers
19 Fulham High Street, SW6 3JH
The first fish and chip shop in England opened in the 1860s in London. Since then, they have been a traditional British dish and are served all over the country. The fish is usually cod or haddock and is battered and served with fried potatoes. You can try it for yourself at Fishers, which is 15 minutes away from campus by bus.
Full English breakfast at Bill’s
1-3 Hill Rise, Richmond, TW10 6UQ
If you order a full English breakfast, you can expect to get most of the following: bacon, sausages, black pudding, fried potatoes, mushrooms, hash browns, baked beans, tomatoes, eggs and toast. You will have heard of most of these but, in case you didn’t know, black pudding is a type of blood sausage and hash browns are fried potato cakes. Most places have vegetarian versions for non-meat eaters, like Bill’s in Richmond, so everyone can enjoy this very British breakfast.
Sunday roast at The King’s Head
Roehampton High Street, SW15 4HL
A Sunday roast holds a special place in the heart of most English people. Luckily, almost every pub in the UK serves them, so they are easy to find. A roast is usually made up of either pork, beef, chicken or lamb with roast potatoes, roast vegetables, a Yorkshire pudding and gravy. A Yorkshire pudding is a savoury pastry and no roast is complete without one! If you would like to try a roast for yourself, The King’s Head is less than a 15-minute walk from campus.
One way to understand a country better is to study their history and visit their landmarks. There is no shortage of these in London and you can discover a lot about the culture from learning more about them.
The Globe Theatre
21 New Globe Walk, SE1 9DT
Is there anything more English than Shakespeare? The original Globe Theatre was torn down in 1644 but in 1997 a faithful reconstruction was put up in its place on the banks of the Thames. Whether you want to watch a play or take a guided tour of the theatre, you will come away with a real insight into England’s greatest writer.
Houses of Parliament and Big Ben
Westminster, SW1A 0AA
Even though Big Ben is undergoing repairs until 2021 (which means the clock has fallen silent for the first time in 10 years), it is still worth a visit. The Houses of Parliament, where Britain’s government meets, is a beautiful example of Gothic architecture and impressive sight from the outside but, if you want to get a closer look, you can go inside on a tour or even watch a debate and see how the country is run.
The Tower of London
St Katharine’s & Wapping, EC3N 4AB
Home to the Crown Jewels and situated next to London’s most iconic bridge, the Tower of London has a reputation as a famous prison where Richard III (a king of England in the Middle Ages) locked up his nephews. Visitors can see the jewels up close, learn all about the terrible tortures that were carried out there and even meet the resident ravens, known as the Guardians of the Tower.
Accents vary throughout the UK, which can sometimes make it hard for newcomers from other countries to understand straight away. The best way to get used to all the different ways of speaking is to practice. Groups like Mammoth London Language Exchange have regular events where members can socialise with native speakers, practice their English and, in the process, make new friends.
There are also apps like Duolingo that can help expand your vocabulary – even 10 minutes of practice before bed will make a huge difference. You may find watching British TV or listening to podcasts helpful too, but before you start, here are a few English phrases and their meanings to start you off:
- ‘Once in a blue moon’ – an event that happens infrequently.
- ‘To cost an arm and a leg’– something is very expensive.
- ‘A piece of cake’– something is very easy.
- ‘Let the cat out of the bag’ – to accidentally reveal a secret.
- ‘To feel under the weather’ – to not feel well.
If you want more information about studying at University of Roehampton Pathway, visit our website: qa.roehampton.ac.uk.