Summertime in the UK is something British people look forward too. As a country, the UK gets a lot of rain during the Autumn, Winter, and Spring too so people get very excited about sunshine and warm weather. But, traditionally, it still rains quite often in the Summer too and British people do like to moan about the weather as well as enjoy it. This post is about what a British Summer is like and some of the vocabulary and common things that happen.
It is a very common joke and often something that really happens. People plan a weekend trip in the UK and the weather is bad. Rain is common in the UK even during the summer and British people are well known for camping in the rain or even trying to have a barbecue. It is something Brits talk about a lot and almost expect to happen if they plan to go camping or away. In reality, the summers can actually be very warm and dry but the British culture of bad weather will always be talked about. It is very common to make a joke before going on a trip about the fact it will probably rain all the time.
British people are not used to the sun! Before skin cancer became something everyone was aware of it was very common for British people to go out in the sun on the first hot day of the summer and get sunburnt skin. Recently this is a lot less common but still plays a role in how British people think of summer, and they still make jokes about it.
The UK does have some sandy beaches, but they are not very common. Most beaches in the UK have stones that can be hard to walk on and even painful. The sea temperatures in the UK are also very low compared to many places in Europe and the rest of the world. Despite both of these things, Brits love to swim in the sea as soon as the weather gets warmer. It is very common for people to get in the sea for just a few minutes before they get cold and have to get out. British people love the beach but the beaches are covered in stones and the sea is very cold. Many people come from warmer countries and find it strange Brits enjoy the sea so much. It is part of a very traditional British summer to go to the beach and spend a day sitting on the stones and swimming in the cold sea.
If you haven’t heard of fish and chips then it is a very big tradition in the UK. Fish and Chips are eaten all year but are very popular in the summertime. People visit the seaside where there will often be many fish and chip shops to choose from. Fried fish with thick potatoes chips (fries) are eaten with tomato ketchup or something called tartare sauce. It is very common to have malt vinegar and salt on fish and chips too. If you order fish and chips you will be asked if you want salt and vinegar. You may also be asked if you want them “open” or “wrapped”. If you want to eat them straight away while walking around or sitting on a bench then open is the best option. If you want to walk somewhere or drive to eat them then having them wrapped will keep them warm.
While travelling may not be possible for many people right now a British summer holiday is a great way to experience British culture and to learn the language.