Having lived in both the US and the UK, I thought I'd write a list of what I like about each:


  • The cheese. American cheese is often rubbery and flavourless. British cheese comes in so many different varieties but even the cheap stuff is lovely and firm and has a good flavour.
  • The bread. Why is American bread so sweet? Nah m8. Gimme a freshly-baked Sainsbury's loaf any day.
  • The BBC. No advertising and quality programming and news (in my opinion anyway).
  • No guns. I feel very safe in my little city on the edge of the country.
  • Tea. We do love a cup of tea, there's something nice about always being offered a cuppa, then sitting and sipping it. Sometimes Americans don't even have a kettle!
  • The NHS. Obvs.
  • You can drink at 18. When you go to uni, it's really not the full experience without clubbing, vomiting and one-night-stands. It's nice not to be restricted to house parties or faff around with fake ID.
  • Local languages. I really love the sense of self that each region has - I guess you get that in the US, Texans are very different from Floridians for example - but I like that people here can speak Gaelic, Cornish, Manx, Welsh etc.
  • Pubs. Having a local pub just round the corner from you that's a warm hub of activity every night of the week, beautiful
  • Gambling. I'm not a big gambler, but I like being able to wander into a casino in pretty much any city in the UK and place a bet on roulette or to walk into a betting shop on the high street and have a flutter on the Grand National or to play one of those confusing fruit machines in the pub. I like the late night ads for Poker Stars and Super Casino. You don't pay taxes on winnings here either. Do you know in America they don't even have those 2p slot machines? If you're under 21, or you're in a state with no gambling, you can only play for tokens that you exchange for crappy prizes.


  • The fast food. So unhealthy but so good! Jack in the Box was my favourite; greasy breakfast combos all day every day.
  • The friendliness. Americans generally seemed more open and willing to interact with fellow human beings, which isn't always a bad thing. 
  • Tater tots. Why oh why do we not get tater tots in the UK?! Sometimes regular hash browns just won't cut it! (Please note: Hash browns in the UK are solid blocks of shredded potato, not like hash browns in the US, which are piles of shredded potato)
  • The streets make sense. It's in blocks, 5th street comes after 4th street and 3rd street, you can arrange meet "on the corner of Market Street and Fremont Street" and it's not ambiguous. In the UK you can use a Sat-Nav and still end up lost.
  • The variety. I lived in San Francisco and we drove to Lake Tahoe to see some tranquil snow, Las Vegas to see the neon sinful desert and LA for the buzz and the beaches. The UK is pretty but really you have the choice between seaside, countryside and towns/cities.
  • Automatic cars. I'm currently re-learning to drive after a 7-year hiatus and I feel like it would be a lot easier if I didn't have to change gears. Gas is way cheaper in America too.
  • Theme parks. American theme parks are so much better than British theme parks. Also they don't chop your legs off (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-stoke-staffordshire-37471624)
  • Extra credit. Getting extra marks for doing a task? Sign me up. In America you can get over 100% on an assignment sometimes, crazy huh?
  • Garbage chutes. Live on the third floor in the US and want to take the bin out? Just chuck it down the chute. Live on the third floor in the UK and want to take the bin out? Yeah you're gonna have to carry it down the stairs, oh it's leaking? On your shoes? That's a shame. Speaking of the third floor - in the US the "first" floor is the UK "ground" floor, which can be confusing.
  • Thanksgiving. I don't really understand Thanksgiving but it's nice to have what seems like another mini-Christmas every year! Not too sure about Black Friday though. Speaking of holidays, Halloween in America is awesome <3 Though it's pretty big in the UK now too!

Feel free to add your favourite things about the UK, the US or any other country :)

Published by Claire Walker