What are the things that come to mind when you think about England? Whether your answer is the royal family, fish and chips, the Beatles, London, tea, or something else, there’s so much more to this European country than you might imagine. Our list of fun facts about England will entertain, delight, and may even surprise you.
Let’s learn more about the fourth oldest country in the region. No matter how much you think you know, you’re bound to discover something new with this collection of 35 fun facts about England.
35 Fun Facts About England
#1. England’s first capital was Winchester.
When you think of England, you might associate it with its capital, London, but in 1871, the Hampshire City of Winchester was pronounced the capital by King Alfred, King of Wessex. But after all the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms merged in the 10th century, Wessex included, London was named the capital, primarily due to its impressive trading opportunities and because it was the base for the new government.
#2. England is the birthplace and home of several scientists who changed the world.
England is the country where world-renowned scientists were born and raised. For example, Sir Isaac Newton, born in 1643 in Lincolnshire, went on to write about the laws of gravity, motion, and theory of color.
Stephen Hawking was born in Cambridgeshire in 1942. His best-known theory was about exploding black holes in astronomy. Other scientists who were born in England are Michael Faraday, Charles Darwin, Alexander Fleming, and Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin.
#3. England is composed of more than 100 islands.
England has over 100 small islands, but most are very small and have no residents.
#4. The name England originates from the Angles tribe.
The Angles tribes that settled in England in 98AD were Germanic people who used Old English. England comes from this tribe whose name translates to “land of Engle.”
#5. WWW was invented in England.
The world wide web was discovered in 1989 by an English scientist, Tim Berners-Lee, while working at CERN.
#6. Oliver and Olivia are England’s most familiar names.
Based on the Office for National Statistics, these names have held the top spot as the most popular names in England and Wales. Oliver has ranked first for eight years in a row while Olivia has been the most popular choice for five years running.
#7. England has 48 counties.
England has nine regions that are further divided into 48 ceremonial counties. These countries are primarily used for political and geographical distinction.
#8. The national symbol of England is the lion.
Since King Richard I (also called Richard the Lionheart) stepped into power, the lion has become the country’s national symbol. It represents courage and strength.
#9. English people are tea addicts.
England ranks high in tea consumption, with each person consuming an average of 1.9 kilograms of it annually.
#10. The traditional dish for Sunday supper is roasted meat.
On Sundays, traditional English people enjoy a dinner of roasted meat, potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, vegetables, stuffing, and gravy.
#11. Yorkshire is England’s largest county.
Yorkshire takes up 11% of England’s territory. It’s home to impressive landscapes like the North Yorkshire Coast, the Moors, and the Vale of York.
#12. England was invaded because of oysters.
As funny as it sounds, one reason Romans invaded England was their desire to control the supply of the country’s oysters.
#13. England is the birthplace of the best playwright.
One of the world’s best playwrights, William Shakespeare, was born in England. It is also the birthplace of literary geniuses like Virginia Woolf, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and J.R.R. Tolkien.
#14. Being in England means being close to the sea.
Since it’s part of the British Isles, living in England means that you are always close to the sea. Even if you live in Central London, getting to the nearest beach is only a quick car ride away.
#15. England’s national dish is an Indian cuisine.
Chicken tikka masala became England’s favorite dish after it was introduced in Glasgow. In the 1970s, the masala sauce was added to the dish to complement the people’s love for gravy.
#16. England won the FIFA World Cup in 1966.
England has one of the top football teams globally. They won the World Cup in 1966 against Germany. In 2022, England’s National Women’s Team was hailed UEFA European Champions.
#17. England’s tea capital is Liverpool.
If you think nine brews a day is a little too much, this is the amount of tea the residents of Liverpool drink daily.
#18. England is home to 56 million people.
Based on the 2021 census, there were 56,489,800 people living in England, with 51% of the total population being women.
#19. French was once England’s official language.
From 1066 until 1362, the official language of England was French. That’s why you’ll find many variations of French words in the English language today.
#20. English folks favor traditional names.
Traditional names like Emily, Emma, Christian, and Mary are still a big hit among English people.
#21. England is where stamps were invented.
Sir Rowland Hill, an English school teacher, invented the postage stamp in 1837 which led to him being knighted. Here’s a bonus to our fun facts about England: it is the only country that doesn’t include its name on its stamps.
#22. England had the first underground passenger railway.
The UK is known for “the Tube” or the London Underground which was built in 1863. Until now, it is still one of the busiest metro systems globally, accommodating up to 296 million passengers in 2020.
#23. Scafell Pike is England’s highest point.
Scafell Pike is England’s highest mountain at 978 meters above sea level. Every year, outdoor enthusiasts and thrill seekers visit the place for an adrenaline rush.
#24. The deadliest river is in England.
Located in North Yorkshire’s Bolton Abbey, the Strid is the most dangerous river in the world. Despite the fact that it’s only six feet wide, falling into it is lethal due to its extraordinarily strong current.
#25. England invented sparkling wine.
Sparkling wine originated in England, not France. English naturalist, scientist, and physicist Christopher Merritt discovered how to put fizz in wine back in 1663.
#26. English castles follow an upward-clockwise pattern.
All castles in England feature staircases that wind upwards and in a clockwise direction. The logic behind this is most English men are right-handed. When fighting, they can use their swords to defend themselves while catching their opponents off guard and rendering them defenseless.
#27. England is also called Blighty.
England’s nickname is Blighty or sometimes Old Blighty, meaning an old visitor. Since World War I, it has become an affectionate way of referring to the country.
#28. Queue jumping is rude in England.
Not falling in line and jumping the queue is the ultimate form of rudeness in England. Anyone who dares break this rule will have the displeasure of the English to contend with.
#29. England is home to some of the world’s most bizarre competitions.
Cheese rolling and wife-carrying contests? England has these and more through interesting festivals that are held annually.
#30. All the dolphins, porpoises, sturgeons, and whales belong to the King.
All the dolphins, whales, porpoises, and sturgeons are legally owned by King Charles III. They are referred to as the “fishes royal.”
#31. England’s legends and folklore are still widely told.
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Robin Hood, King Arthur, Merlin, and Lancelot are characters from old English tales that are still popular and well-loved today. From books to movies, the adventures of these men live on.
#32. No sockets are allowed in an English bathroom.
In England and the rest of the UK, sockets are prohibited from being installed in the bathroom of any home or establishment unless they are strategically placed three meters away from the shower, bath, or sink.
#33. No drunks are allowed in any English pub.
Pubs are common in England, but it is illegal to get drunk in them.
#34. England’s Windsor Castle is the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world.
This royal residence in the English county of Berkshire is one of the few castles that is still occupied and open to visitors. It is the longest, largest, and oldest working palace in Europe.
#35. England’s old curfew was 8 PM.
Centuries ago, the first king of England, Alfred the Great, established a law that once the clock strikes 8 PM, everyone should settle down, turn off the lights, and go to bed.
As if it weren’t fascinating enough already, these fun facts about England just make the country even more thrilling! Whatever you’re interested in — culture, history, food, design, or literature — the largest country in the UK will always have something in store for you.