Maybe it’s because you’re not a Londoner? Navigating London etiquette

Big Ben

So, you’re on a short-stay in the UK – perhaps at a top quality centrally-located hotel like the Park Grand Paddington Court London – and disaster’s just struck; you’ve breached British etiquette! Or, at least, you’re pretty sure you have but you can’t be sure exactly what you’ve done because the peculiar rules of British cultural etiquette are unknown to you. If only you’d boned up on it before you’d left home…

Say Sorry

Remember to say you’re sorry

Being British and saying sorry goes hand-in-hand; it’s like a reflex action, there’s nothing a Brit can do about it – even if they’re not in the wrong they’ll say they’re sorry. It’s basically used as the polite equivalent of saying ‘excuse me’ or ‘pardon moi’ in French. It’s likely to happen a lot in London because, well, let’s be honest it’s a city of eight million or more people all squashed together – lots of opportunities to apologise for yourself when it’s not your fault.

london tube sataion

No need always to rely on the Tube

The London Underground (or ‘Tube’) is a marvellous entity, helping to get millions of people from ‘A’ to ‘B’ in good time and at relatively little expense, yet it is, of course, below ground, so to hop on the Tube is hardly going to help you see the city while on your travels. In which case then, where there’s little distance between Tube stations – often in Central London and specifically in the West End –where you could ‘Tube it’ why not walk, instead?

Make the most of what’s free

London’s one of the most expensive cities on earth, eh? Huh, so if that’s the case, how come there’s so much to do and see in the UK capital that’s free? This is a city that possesses some of the very greatest cultural attractions in the world and, yes, many of them are free to enter. We’re talking the likes of the British Museum, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the Tate Modern, the Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and the Science Museum – all of whose permanent collections are free to access – as are the Royal parks that are Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Green Park, Regent Park, St. James’s Park, Greenwich Park and Richmond Park.

queuing culture

Accept the queuing culture

There is little more central and quirky an aspect of British culture than queuing; nobody British actually enjoys it, rather they tolerate it and look down enormously on anyone who shows wilful disregard for it. Which is precisely why you should never flout a queue; it’s considered the lowest of the low in the UK; whether you’re in London or anywhere else. A useful tip: you should also wait for people get off a Tube train before you get in; mind you, that ‘code of conduct’ is insisted on by the Tube people themselves, principally for safety.

Take Umbrella

Don’t forget your umbrella

Weather throughout Britain is, in the main, very changeable (it’s made up of one medium-sized island with several far smaller islands around it), remember; so, it’s absolutely within your interest to take with you both your waterproofs and definitely an umbrella on a visit to London (and staying at accommodation like the hotel Paddington Court London). Even if you’re going at the height of summer. Seriously, it can chuck it down at the drop of a hat and then brighten up and, within the hour, there by no sign of a downpour at all!