The English language is a metaphor for modern Britain itself. Made up from bits of one language, bits of another and words from many others; easy to learn but with many subtleties and occasionally, just occasionally, a little eccentric, the language - and the place - are at once unique and strangely familiar.
While the older generation watches a cricket match at Lords, London’s young, cosmopolitan crowd are busy at the pubs and live music joints! Of course, tradition remains strong in a country where the royal family are back in fashion and anything beyond the English Channel is still referred to as “on the continent”. You can still pop to the local pub for a pint of ale (no litres here) or enjoy tea and scones in a quaint cafe, but you could just as easily tuck into Jamaican Jerk Chicken, a Goan Curry or a Meze before heading to a gig or nightclub until the early hours. British bands and DJs are some of the country’s finest exports.
London is one of the world’s great cities. From its chaotic but charming, scruffy but fertile streets come amazing music, art and literature. Enjoy amazing shops in the West End or, on a rainy day, check out any of the world-class museums for free. Sunbathe on Hampstead Heath or lose yourself in Camden Town’s nightlife.
Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle are thriving artistic hubs, the famous university towns of Oxford and Cambridge offer a taste of traditional England and Bournemouth is a cool coastal town. Brighton, on the south coast, is great all year round. As well as having a famous beach, this is a super-liberal and arty student town: a great place to learn English. Scotland offers another side to Britain, whether in charming, cultural Edinburgh or the beautifully sparse Highlands, perfect for exploring in the summer months. Be sure to pack a hip flask with some whisky for the authentic experience!