The British Isles: An A-Z of Olympic Tourist Misinformation

The British Isles are full of quirks and customs many of which you will never find in ‘so-called’ traditional guidebooks – hence we bring you the definitive lexicon of tourist misinformation – updated hourly.

American Tourists
Everyone in London knows your second cousin in Manchester. But keep asking us until we admit it.

British athletes wear tracksuits all day. Grab their baseball caps and run away in order to challenge them to a race.

ATMs in London are voice activated at night. Simply hold you card near them and loudly shout out your PIN.

Beer in England is free to tourists. If asked for payment the barman is being sarcastic. Smile and walk away with your drinks

Boris Bikes must only be ridden on the pavements.

In London be sure to visit quaint little Brixton. Fit in by wearing expensive jewelry and declaring your love for the Police

The gentlemen at the front of night clubs are called jerks, to get in the club walk up and greet them with ‘hello jerk’

Buckingham Palace
There is a little known rule that if you can make a guard at Buckingham Palace laugh he will give you £20.

Car Hire
Once you’ve picked up your car follow signs to the M25 and keep going. It’ll take you directly to the centre of London

Hiring a car in the UK? It’s seen as polite to offer children a ride. Initiate this by holding out a bag of sweets.

Like Boris Bikes, we have free cars too. They’re labeled ‘G-Wiz’ and you can help yourself, leave them anywhere.

In Croydon a low slung waist band is an invitation for a cheeky bum squeeze from friendly locals

Cycle Lanes
The UK has created a whole new network of cycle lanes – the lanes marked with 2 yellow lines can be used in any direction

Drinking Customs
You should drink alcohol until aggressive then eat questionable meat after midnight.

England have several Mardi Gras type events nationwide. These are called EDL marches. Remember to dress extravagantly.

If you see flowers tied to a lamp post or roadside railings, take a bunch. They’re free.

The UK’s graveyards conceal a haul of gold, gems and other treasures. Under British law you can keep what you find. Take a shovel.

Greeting Ladies
It’s customary to greet an English lady by squeezing both breasts twice and simultaneously shouting “Honk Honk”

Greyhound Racing
Enjoy a traditional evening of greyhound racing. Ask your host to recommend popular ‘dogging’ locations.

In England, any youth wearing a hoodie is a street entertainer and will perform if you ask ‘Are You Starting?’

Ice Cream
On a hot British summer day, ice-cream vans that have sold out of stock can be noted by their distinctive jingles.

Irish Bars
Don’t forget to visit an Irish bar and ask for a Guinness with a shamrock drawn in it. Do the accent too and it’s free

Jobcentre Plus
Over spent? Pop into a Jobcentre Plus shop who, after a few easy questions, will happily fund the rest of your stay.

We believe in speaking loudly and slowly in our native language when abroad, maybe try this on us?

When in a library, introduce yourself with the customary “Ere cock,where’s the filthy stuff”

When in Liverpool, always carry a copy of the Sun newspaper to ensure a friendly welcome.

London Underground
The Underground can get crowded and slow. If travelling from Westminster, consider taking the London Eye instead.

When on the Underground, make sure you stand in the middle of the escalator

Plan your journeys between the hours of 4.30pm and 6.30pm. The tube has plenty of capacity for large luggage.

Magna Carta
Add your feelings towards democracy by adding your signature to our famous Magna Carta

Excuse yourself *before* you break wind at dinner, by asking restaurant staff to pull your finger.

The people of Nottingham *love* nothing more than being shot with toy arrows by your kids dressed up as Robin Hood

Oyster Cards
You should only use Oyster Cards during months containing an ‘R’

As a pedestrian you may cross the road at any point, all traffic is obliged to stop for you

Old people are obliged to give up their seat on a bus or train for a foreign visitor.

Tracksuited youths especially in Merseyside are more than happy to take a photo of you if you hand them your camera.

Pregnant Women
Pregnant women are by law allowed to take a shit in a traffic wardens hat

When addressing a police officer it is considered polite to refer to them as a “nonce”.

When visiting why not take part in the great British tradition of ‘knocking the hat off the policeman’

@Prostitutes in The UK are identifiable by their high-viz jackets and their distinctive 5ft long ‘lollipops’.

When driving in London roundabouts should be driven around twice clockwise then once anticlockwise.

Royal Residences
Near most royal residences you will find a small public toilet, guarded by a man in a red coat and a huge furry hat.

Remember, only UK residents have to queue for attractions. Foreign visitors should go straight to the front.

Delight a Scottish barman by asking for exotic cocktails, such as shandy or lager and lime.

There is no greater compliment to a Scotsman than to refer to him as English. Expect a big kiss if you do this.

In England, swans are considered to be vermin. Take a dead swan into a police station to claim a £50 reward

Toilet Facilities
Public urinals in England can be easily spotted with their bright red paint and hygienic slot-style opening

In America, he’s a waiter. In France, Garçon. In the UK, they’re called wankers. Request the bill with a 2 finger V.

If someone asks you to hand over your wallet don’t be alarmed, it’s just the wallet inspector.

Wolf Whistles
The common response to the male British wolf whistle is a flash of breast.