St George flag is an instantly recognizable emblem of
It is waved at the Last Night of the Proms, and flown
from church towers on St George’s Day (April 23).
Its use goes back to the Hundred Years War, when George
was adopted as England’s national saint, and his name
used as the English war cry. He has also since given his
name to two awards for bravery.
Roses are red..? Are you
kidding? They can be orange,
yellow, white, pink and even
blue these days, not to mention
white with blood-red staining at
the edges. The national flower of
England naturally has a rich
symbolic history too, in
heraldry, in literature and in the
language of love.
The oak has always been seen as the national tree of England. Its great height,
age and strength made it the king of the English forest,
and a symbol of endurance.
The tree was also sacred to the Druids and the Anglo-Saxons, and it sheltered an
English king, Charles II, when he was on the run from his enemies.
England's favourite bird is a tough customer, like its compatriots.
Famed for its melodic song and its gorgeous red waistcoat,
it is fearless enough to eat out of your hand if you're lucky.
Its starring role on Christmas cards reflects the fact that it is tough enough
to endure the northern winter, where other more wimpish creatures head south.
Big Ben is the name of the bell inside St
Stephen's clock tower attached
to the Houses of Parliament,
and is as famous for its sound
as for the clock faces that surround it.
The Lake District national park in the ancient counties of Cumberland
and Westmorland is one of England's best-loved regions
of outstanding natural beauty.
A hugely varied landscape, it has sheer mountainsides, lush valleys,
tranquil tarns and of course the great Lakes themselves, and it was
famously where William Wordsworth came upon
his ‘host of golden daffodils’.
Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, the feast that has become
synonymous with the English nation.
British beef may have had its troubles in recent years,
but it has always been at the centre of our national story.
The most luxurious classic car in the world was
the brainchild of a business partnership forged over
100 years ago by Charles Rolls and Henry Royce.
Their aim was nothing less than the best, and that's
exactly the profile their company's cars quickly
gained for themselves, initially through the iconic
Silver Ghost, so called because it purred along
country roads making barely enough noise
to startle the birds.
London prides itself on
having the best taxi
service in the world.
Its Austin black cabs are
recognisable part of the
landscape of the road
all of them are black).
The red phone box with its crown insignia,
domed roof and the helpful name
TELEPHONE across all four sides will never
be surpassed as a design icon.
So much do we love it that, even though the
mobile phone in our pocket has caused us
to shun the phone box in our millions,
a campaign to persuade BT to restore some of
the old boxes has found favour.
Overseas visitors have always associated
the red phone box with our national culture.
Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated all over Britain
on the 5th of November.
It is the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot to
blow up King James I and Parliament in 1605.
On the night of the anniversary huge bonfires are
lit on village greens.
Fireworks are exploded, and grotesque stuffed
figures called guys are tossed into the fire.
For a few days before the event many children
carry the guys in the streets.
They ask passers-by to “please spare a penny for
The money that the children collect is then spent
Europe’s biggest street festival is one of the high
points of the London cultural calendar.
Taking place every August Bank Holiday
weekend, the Notting Hill Carnival is a
celebration of Afro-Caribbean experience.
Today, steel bands, calypso and reggae music,
as well as the famous costume parades,
are a unique way of reaching out
to all cultures.
Prepare to be dazzled!
Winnie-the-Pooh, unassuming and
modest though he seems, is one of the
indestructible characters of English
children's literature. Let us take you
into Hundred Acre Wood,
where he lives with his friends Piglet,
Owl, Eeyore, and, of course Christopher
Robin, forever bumbling into dventures
that he only partially understands.