Amazing things about the UK

Tired of the relentless bad news about the UK? This thread is for the great things about it. People, places, memories…

A bit like the good news thread.

So to start it off, here’s to London. (Okay I know it’s not necessarily popular with the rest of the UK) but it is a city I always end up returning to. Yes it can feel oppressive if all you are doing is commuting and working but what an incredible place to be and I have so many great memories of being younger there.

The other place I mainly lived in was Brighton which I also have fond memories of. And British humour is priceless.

…looking forward to your replies…


I think most of the ‘relentless bad news’ is actually about England and English politicians, rather than the UK, but then many English people seem to view England and the UK as synonymous.

By contrast, I’ve always thought of Brighton (and Hove!) as a tiny enclave , whose constituents and values differ greatly from those of the surrounding region.


Fair enough. Saying UK is maybe not specific enough.

But the idea is to pinpoint things we like or miss as I think it’s a nice reminder especially in these rather dark times.


Fair enough, Sandham’s Lancashire Creamy (it’s a cheese!) and the odd pint of a session bitter. I can’t buy Mott’s Clamato or decent tonic water, but the former’s Canadian and I’ve virtually ditched G&T. *

But I think that’s all, and I’m happy enough with our local wines and the beers from our local organic micro brewery

Mousses du Rouergue - Brasseur de bière artisanale bio à Decazeville

Also our Cantal, Salers and of course Roquefort.

  • Forgot WH Smith’s 18" clear plastic rulers.

Way back in the late 80’s, OH’s firm held their Christmas Party Weekend at The Grand on Brighton seafront…
Fabulous time was had by all.
We arrived Friday night, crawled home Monday morning.
Blessed with good weather, we went this way and that… strolled along the prom and onto the pier… later investigating the side streets… and The Lanes of course… and not forgetting the Royal Pavilion.
That was our one and only visit to Brighton, but I can still recall the fun we had.
Saturday night, we didn’t want to go to the disco (in the cellar/down below the hotel?) so spent ages chatting with the Porter instead… and he told us all about the bomb etc and little anecdotes of his life…


I lived in Islington North London and remember the first time I took myself to the National Gallery as a teenager, on a London bus, and was instantly drawn to paintings by Canaletto. Still a favourite painter.

The Portrait Gallery I miss, so too The Tate and The Royal Academy of Arts annual exhibition.

I miss the old London buses. I miss Old London!

I used to jump on a train as a youngster at Kings Cross station to go fishing, sometimes skipping school, and spend hours communing with nature by the side of a canal or gravel pit along the environs of the River Lea. Didn’t matter if I caught nothing, because the quiet and solitude sufficed. I felt happy there.

(Gave up fishing later as a young adult – cruel sport).

I miss Hampstead Heath and its ponds, where I walked, fished and sometimes jogged, and walking to the top of Parliament Hill to look across London. I think I remember trying to fly a kite there!

And I miss fish and chip shops!


Brighton was on the doorstep of London, and I had a motorbike, though I don’t have many memories of Brighton, but do remember at one time my younger brother standing in front of Brighton Pier having a photograph taken of him, with a monkey on his shoulder, by a street photographer!

I like to think of Brighton like this….the Aquarium….Victorian magic……!


Beautiful scenery


The Yorkshire Dales, the Lake District, the Scottish Highlands. All beautiful places.
The BBC for excellent ad-free programming. Still my favourite for TV programs. And world renowned.
Izzy x


Whittington… a sleepy village… Dad rented a cottage there, year after year. There was the pub and (I think) a shop… daughter was just-toddling (still needing the pushchair for longer strolls) … yet clearly remembers and talks about the “dancing goat” which was tethered by the road…
Not too far from Kirkby Lonsdale… in those days a delightful bustling little town.
Dad was thrilled that shopkeepers would greet him by his name, each year he went back…

Really nice folk, glorious countryside, some rain (the socks never dried one holiday), wonderful memories… :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


London is fantastic if you’re minted and have loads of free time to explore.

For most Londoners, it’s commute > work > commute > sleep on a repeat cycle 5-6 days a week and hoping to have enough time and money to do something with the kids at the weekend.

Southwold in Suffolk is still one of my favourite places in England despite the town being full of poncy shops selling £5 jars of chutney and Adnams totally ******* up The White Swan when renovating it a few years ago. The once instantly calming wood panelled tea room/lounge is now a headache inducing candy striped eyesore that smells like a pox doctor’s waiting room.

If I ever meet the person responsible, I will cheerfully strangle them with their own entrails.

Lived there for a few years… back in the '60s. Lovely place… many, many happy memories.

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Lovely area, we lived close by and enjoyed outer visits to Southwold, Aldeburgh , Wobbleswick et al.
Used to get lovely pub grub at The Five Bells in Wrentham.


Free museums! Remarkable really as France provides far more support for the Arts. David Barrie and Chris Smith are heros, and lovely people. And Gordon Brown was a great Chancellor to fix the VAT so it could happen.

So many brilliant landscape parks and gardens, and things like the Yellow Book Scheme which hasn’t quite got as extensive equivalent in France yet.

The monster vegetable competitions, and garden shows more generally. And specialist nurseries.


My home territory.
The corner between Westmorland, Lancashire and North Yorkshire.


Williamson Park inLancaster with its distinctive green dome that you can see from the M6.
Before we left to come to France we went there and Jim said he was James Williamson, who built it for his wife, and we were allowed to the very top.


I was in Lancaster on Friday, at the castle

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Métro, boulot, dodo as they say in Paris.


They are inedible though.

I was born and bred in London (round the corner from John Lewis) and lived and worked there for the majority of my career. I, and my friends, found that there was masses we could fit in and do for free or very cheaply. The free lunchtime concerts at places like St Martin in the Fields, free street theatre, free crèches, adventure parks and baby cinema, free haircuts, Open House days, all sorts. It is (was?) a vibrant friendly, multi-cultural city that has a lot to offer for those who want it. Just required planning,