Moving With Your Family:

Moving to Great Britain - A Guide for Children

Friday, August 03, 2018

Moving to the UK with children? Crown Relocations as international movers understand that some children may be anxious and this guide can help give them some information on the adventure they are about to go on.

Great Britain is an island in Europe. It is surrounded by three bodies of water: the English Channel, the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. Great Britain is made up of three countries: England, Scotland and Wales.

Britain is a monarchy. The monarchy means that the head of state is a king or queen. Right now, Britain’s head of state is Queen Elizabeth II. The family is called the royal family. You may have heard of famous Royal family members such as Prince William and Prince Harry.

Britain also has a parliament. This is a group of people who makes important decisions about laws of life in Britain. The leader of parliament is called the Prime Minister. While Britain’s three countries have many things in common, each is unique in many ways.

England

Britain’s capital city is London, England. London is located on the River Thames more than 7 million people live in London, taking it the largest city in Britain.

Some other famous cities in England include Birmingham, Cambridge, Liverpool, Manchester and Oxford. There are also lots of small towns and villages in England.

The national saint for England is St George. He is famous for killing a dragon and rescuing a damsel in distress.

Scotland

The most northern country in Britain is Scotland. It's capital city is Edinburgh.

There are many tall mountains and lakes in Scotland, The local people call the lakes “lochs”. Scotland is famous for some unusual things. Many people around the world believe that a monster lives in one of Scotland’s lakes. They call this creature Nessie the Loch Ness monster.

The men in Scotland are also known for wearing kilts instead of trousers stop a kilt looks like a skirt. It is made from material with square patterns called tartan.

Wales

Located in the West, Wales is the smallest country in Britain. Cardiff is its capital city. The national symbol for Wales is a red Dragon.

The citizens of Wales are very proud of their history, which is even older than England’s. Today, you can still hear some very old stories about witches and wizards who used to live in Wales.

Many people in Wales speak Welsh as well is English. Most of the signs in town names are written in both. Wales also has a town with the longest name in the world: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogereychwyrndrobellllantysiliogogogoch.

Welsh people are very good at singing, and some are very famous worldwide for it! Famous Royal singers include Tom Jones, Aled Jones, Charlotte Church Shirley Bassi.

What’s the weather like?

British people talk about the weather a lot and with good reason. The weather in Britain changes often. In spring, all the flowers start to bloom. As summer approaches, it gets warm enough to go out in shorts. Because Britain is an island, there are a lot of beaches. Families often visit these for day trips in the summer.

In autumn and winter, it rains a lot and can get very chilly. The nice thing about rain showers is that you can sometimes see rainbows. However, you will need to wrap up in warm clothes and take an umbrella.

It snows most often in the northern parts of England and also in Scotland and Wales. It does not snow very often in London or in the South of England.

Excuse me, what did you say?

When you visit different parts of Great Britain, you will notice that there are many ways to speak the language, English. Sometimes people in England have a hard time understanding the accents of people from Scotland and Wales. People in Wales must listen closely to those from Scotland, and so on!

How will I get around?

Walking is one of the best ways to get around, but be sure to watch out for cars. In Britain, people drive on the left side of the road which may be different from what you’re used to where you come from.

Always remember to stop, look and listen before you cross the road. It is safest to cross at a zebra crossing. This is a narrow path on the road we cars must stop so people can walk by. It is named after a zebra because of white lanes painted on the pavement.

To go longer distances, you might want to take a bus. Buses can be found all over Britain, in small towns to large cities. London has the most famous buses of all red double-deckers.

Trains also go all over Britain. London has the oldest and one of the longest underground systems in the world. The London Underground is usually called the tube for short. There are also underground trains in Liverpool and Glasgow. (Some places like Cambridge and Norwich (both in east England) have special paths to make it safer to get around by bicycle.

If you get lost in Britain, you should ask a policeman for help. A British policeman is called a “bobby” and they are very friendly.

Things to do

Wherever you live in Britain, you will find all kinds of ways to have fun.

Many kids and grown-ups enjoy playing sports or watching sports at the stadium or on TV. One of the most popular sport is football, known as soccer in America and Australia. England, Scotland and Wales all have their own national teams. Famous football teams include Arsenal, Chelsea, Glasgow Rangers, Liverpool and Manchester United. Other popular sports including rugby and cricket.

When the weather is nice, you and your family can visit Britain’s many parks. At these parks, some children (and adults) like kites. Many kids also rollerskate, rollerblade, or ride skateboards or bicycles. Many parks also have ponds, we can feed bread and cakes to the ducks stop when you visit upon with an adult, you might hire a small boat and paddle around the water.

Places to visit

You will never run out of places to visit in Britain!

Living History

One of the great things about living in England, Scotland or Wales is that it is easy to pretend you’ve stepped back in time. That’s because there are castles, buildings and other interesting structures all over the place that are many hundreds or even thousands of years old.

Castles of all shapes and sizes cover Britain. While many are empty so that you can walk around inside them, some are still lived in. The royal family owned some of the nicest castles. The Queen takes turns staying in three: Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle (in England) and Balmoral Castle (in Scotland). Warwick Castle, near Birmingham, is another castle you can explore.

Stonehenge, in south-west England is a very famous ring of giant stones in a beautiful grassy plain. It was built by people who lived in Britain thousands of years ago. Those who visit today often wonder how these ancient people could have moved such heavy rocks to make Stonehenge.

There are also lots of towns with old Roman walls. Hadrian’s Wall is a very famous wall that was built between Scotland and England to keep Scottish people out of England!

In and around London

If you live in or around London, you could also visit Legoland. Legoland, located just outside London, in Windsor, is very popular with both children and adults. Chessington World of Adventure, just south of London, is another cool park to visit.

There are different places to visit in London. There is the Art Gallery, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and the British Museum.

You might also want to go up in the London Eye. This is a giant wheel beside the river Thames that was built to celebrate the year 2000. You can go up on the wheel either in daylight or at night and see some really good views of London and all the famous buildings nearby.

Snowdonia National Park

Snowdonia is a very famous park and mountain range in Wales. eople visit to walk up the peaks and ride the train up to Mount Snowden. Children often go on holiday to this area to write ponies and learn how to canoe.

Zoos

There are wonderful zoos near most of Britain’s main cities. London Zoo, located in Regents Park, is more than 100 years old and has elephants, lions and other animals. Chester Zoo, in north-west England, is very famous. It is where Britain’s first elephant was born. Colchester zoo, in east England is another great zoo.

What Will I Eat?

You will find all kinds of food in Britain.

Fish and chips are very popular everywhere. British people eat chips with everything, including curry sauce or mushy peas.

Another typical British meal is roast beef, potatoes, Yorkshire pudding (a stiff, savoury pastry, not a desert) and gravy. This is normally on Sundays. Steak and kidney pie is also well liked, as are sausage rolls. An old fashion English breakfast is fried eggs with bacon, sausages and baked beans. Some of these foods may sound a little bit different, but they are all very delicious!

There are also lots of different biscuits (cookies) and sweets (candy) available in Britain. It’s nice to eat these with tea, which is the national drink. People in Britain drink tea with milk and sometimes sugar.

Scotland has its own special national foods. These include short bread and haggis. Haggis is a traditional Scottish dish made of mutton, oatmeal and spices. In Wales, leek and potato pie is the national dish. The Welsh also eat “laverbread” made from seaweed.

Italian, Thai, Indian, Chinese, Greek, French and many other kinds of foods can also be found all over Britain. In addition, you can have pizza, fried chicken and burgers pretty much anywhere you go.

Celebrations in Great Britain

Enjoy these unique days with your family and new friends.

Shrove Tuesday - 40 days before Easter - date varies each year.

Many years ago, people in Britain would stop eating certain foods during the 40 days before Easter, an important Christian holiday. Shrove Tuesday marks the night before this fast, and also the last chance to eat things like milk and eggs, which are cooked into pancakes. This day is also called pancake day.

Eating pancakes for the evening meal is still the custom on Shrove Tuesday. In some parts of Great Britain, people hold pancake tossing competitions, where each competitor tries to see how high he or she can throw a pancake into the air and catch it in a frying pan.

Easter - In the spring – varies each year

Around Easter, most schools close for a week or two and many families take short holidays. On Easter Sunday, sweet treats such as egg shaped chocolates and Hot Cross buns are enjoyed by British children of all religions.

Halloween - October 31

On Halloween, British children carve pumpkins and eat toffee coated apples. Some kids even dress up as witches or ghosts and go from door to door ‘trick or treating’ for candy from neighbours.

At Halloween parties, children play funny games. One involves a big bucket of water full of floating apples. Guests have to try to bite an apple and take it out of the bucket without using their hands. Another game is to try to eat a bar of chocolate while wearing gloves and using a knife and fork.

Guy Fawkes Night - November 5

On Guy Fawkes night, also called bonfire night, many towns and villages organise special firework displays with bonfires. Residents burnt giant dolls known as ’guys’ and recall the story of Guy Fawkes. This man and his group of friends did not like King James, so they planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament on November 5, 1605. However, through an anonymous letter, Guy Fawkes was found and stopped before he could hurt anybody.

Christmas Day - December 25

Schools in Britain close to 2 to 3 weeks to observe Christmas, a Christian festival marking the birth of Jesus. As that date approaches, stores and streets are filled with Christmas trees and lights. Many families decorate Christmas trees at home and sing Christmas carols. Children hang stockings on the ends of their beds or above fireplaces on Christmas Eve (December 24) for Father Christmas (Santa Claus) to fill with presents. Father Christmas visits every home in Britain that night, usually entering the home by going down the chimney. To help him on his journey, each child leaves him a sweet, fruity mince pie and a carrot for his reindeer.

On Christmas day, Christmas crackers are pulled apart. These are colourful tubes that make a loud bang have a toy, a funny joke and a paper hat inside. After a delicious meal, it is custom to have a mixed fruit treat call ‘Christmas pudding’ for desert.

Boxing Day - December 26

The day after Christmas is a quiet day for playing, watching TV or walking in the park. It is called Boxing Day because long ago, Great Britain’s poor people were given boxes of food and small gifts by the lords the day after Christmas.

Am I really going to love it?

Of course! With all the fun things to do and see in Britain, you will never be bored.

You will make friends everywhere! And it does not matter what country you come from or what language you speak. Other kids will be looking for new friends, too!

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