27 Unsung British Heroes To Make You Feel Better If You Didn't Vote Tory (Or Smug If You Did)

Everyone knows how great fish and chips, The Beatles and clotted cream scones are, but what about the oft overlooked yet still wonderful things about being British?

If the election didn't go the way you hoped, this should cheer you up - and if it did bask in the glory of this hallowed land.

1.    Wetherspoons – They say you are never more than 6ft from a rat in London. In the UK, you are never more than a drunken stumble away from a Wetherspoons – that most hallowed of halls where no-one knows your name, the carpet still smells of cigarette smoke and you can enjoy a steak dinner for less than £9.

[Rex]
[Rex]


2.    Queuing – The only time it’s acceptable to be even a little bit racist is when it comes to the sanctity of the queue. We’re not naming any names but if the concept of standing in a line and waiting your turn is alien to you, we’re not going to get along.

3.    Steamed puddings – Trifles are all well and good but custard and jelly pales in comparison to that first bite of sticky toffee pudding. Plus the names are so naughty. Spotted dick anyone?

[Flickr]
[Flickr]


4.    Fish finger sandwiches – Frequently overlooked in favour of its flashy brother bacon, the fish finger sandwich has the power to simultaneously heal any ill and make you feel eight years old again.

[Flickr]
[Flickr]


5.    Tea with milk – Because tea without milk looks like this.

6.    Benedict Cumberbatch – Or any posh totty really. Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict – yeah, we would have probably hated them if we’d had to sit next to them in Year 9 chemistry but from a distance that silver spoon gives them an otherworldly glow that make most women a bit jelly-legged.

[Rex]
[Rex]


7.    Weather watching – Is there any other nation in the world that’s as obsessed with the weather as Britain? Should I take a coat? What about a light jacket? Where’s my brolly? CAN I WEAR BARE LEGS YET?

8.    Haggis - An entire food that no one else in the world understands. And it's delicious (if you're an offal fan).

Minced offal with lots of herbs and spices cooked in a sheep’s stomach - lovely (Visit Britain)
Minced offal with lots of herbs and spices cooked in a sheep’s stomach - lovely (Visit Britain)


9.    Fabs – No ice-cream truly embodies the indelible British spirit like the Fab. An excess of strawberry flavoured frozen ice, a layer that can only be described as ‘white’, the thinnest coating of the world’s worst chocolate and a smattering of sprinkles that end up getting left behind in the wrapper. And yet, have you ever turned down a Fab?

[Flickr]
[Flickr]


10.    Greggs – A Northern institution that taught the rest of us that yes, it IS totally fine to eat a sausage, bean and cheese pasty at 2am and follow it up with a sausage roll.

[Flickr]
[Flickr]


11.    Gravy on everything – Chips, mash, roast dinners, KFC. We can’t think of a single occasion when adding gravy to something made it worse.

[Flickr]
[Flickr]


12.    Beaches – Wollacombe beach in Devon was recently voted in the top five beaches in Europe. Take that Playa del Ingles!

[Flickr]
[Flickr]

And Scotland's coastline could compete with the Caribbean when it comes to white sand beaches. Though granted the waters are slightly cooler.

A beach on the north coast of Iona, off Mull, Scotland (REX)
A beach on the north coast of Iona, off Mull, Scotland (REX)



13.    Great British Bake Off – Mainly Mary Berry. And Mel & Sue. And showstoppers. Basically everything but Paul Hollywood.

[BBC]
[BBC]


14.    Teddy Sheringham – Forget your Rooneys and Beckhams. If there’s one unsung hero of English football, it’s Teddy Sheringham. The man had a career lasting 25 years AND never once tried to flog us some naff flavoured crisps. Teddy, we salute you.

[Rex]
[Rex]


15.    Haslet – To quote a native Yellow Belly (that’s someone from Lincoln btw), Haslet is “a Lincolnshire 'delicacy'. Basically a pork meatloaf that you buy cooked (or you can cook yourself) and slice it up for sandwiches. Goes very well with brown sauce.”

[Flickr]
[Flickr]


16.    …and HP sauce – Forget any kind of new-age compatibility test. The best way to find out if you and your SO are meant to be together is to make them a bacon sandwich and ask them the simple question: ketchup or brown sauce? Condiment compatibility has a 82 per cent success rate in relationships*.    

[Flickr]
[Flickr]


17.    Football rivalries – Spurs vs Arsenal. Liverpool vs United. Rangers vs Celtic. Chelsea vs Everyone Else.

[Tumblr]
[Tumblr]


18.    Jeremy Paxman – He’s such an arrogant arse but you just know that he’d order the best bottle of wine on a date while judging every word that came out of your mouth.

[Rex]
[Rex]


19.    Accents – In America, ‘Skins’ had subtitles. Imagine if it had been set in Newcastle…

[Tumblr]
[Tumblr]


20.    What we really mean when we say ‘Sorry’ on public transport – ‘WHY ARE YOU ALIVE AND IN MY WAY?’

[Tumblr]
[Tumblr]


21.    The Royle/Royal Family  - Whether you’re a fan of Prince George’s angry face or Jim Royle’s lazy arse quips, there’s a famous British family to suit everyone’s tastes.

[BBC/Rex]
[BBC/Rex]


22.    Rachel Riley – Everyone fancies Rachel Riley. EVERYONE. It’s not hard to see why – the Countdown star is the ultimate combo of brains and beauty.  

[Channel 4]
[Channel 4]


23.    The Nature – Scotland and Wales are pretty bloody awesome when it comes to outdoors beauty. England's Lakes are alright and a shout out to our neighbour Ireland too – if you’re into that whole stunning natural beauty, great craic and more Guinness than you can shake a stick at thing.

[Flickr]
[Flickr]


[Flickr]
[Flickr]


24.    Reality TV – Some of the best televisual moments of the last ten years have come from our plethora of reality shows: CBB, I’m A Celeb, The X Factor. They’ve even managed to convince us that watching people watching people is also entertainment (thanks Gogglebox).

[Rex]
[Rex]


25.    Kendal Mint Cake – A staple for anyone hiking in the Lake District apparently.

[Flickr]
[Flickr]


26.    Sean Bean – Because one does not simply kill off Sean Bean and get away with it.

[Rex]
[Rex]


27.    NHS – The queues might be long, the receptionists are the worst people ever to turn oxygen into carbon dioxide and the food ain’t great, but free healthcare for everyone is the greatest thing about this country.

[NHS]
[NHS]


*Yes, we made that up.

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