How To Anger Londoners: Never Do These 10 Things

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Daniel is a copywriter who has well and truly been bitten alive by the 'travel bug'. After ticking off several North American National Parks and exploring Europe by train, his sights are now set on South East Asia. Usually with at least one camera locked and loaded, you'll find Daniel wherever there are mountains, lakes or beaches.

Just like any other city across the globe, London has its own set of dos and don’ts. However, there are a handful of things you should absolutely avoid doing unless you’re prepared to endure the passive-aggressive wrath of its locals.

So, grab your notepad and prepare to take notes on the 10 things tourists do that annoy Londoners.

Stand on the Left-Hand Side of the Escalator

London Escalator
Image Credit: Tom Parsons on Unsplash.

This might be the number one way to cause a tired, commuting Londoner to lose their mind. When it comes to escalators, always stick to the right side if you plan to stand still. The left-hand side is for commuters and the ultra-fit, who like to run up moving stairs. Or, expect some very passive-aggressive coughs and harrumphing, as the British are so well known for.

Talk About British Politics

Politics Definition
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Most Brits are fed up with politics, so to hear a tourist give their two cents will never end well. If you haven’t lived there, you won’t understand the nuances of their political system, and you’re more than likely to offend. Plus, you probably won’t like what the British have to say about your politics, so it’s all best left untouched. You’re actually safer getting into the football vs soccer debate!

Board the Middle of the Tube

London Tube Platform
Image Credit: Fabian Jones on Unsplash.

Most tube platforms are very long, so why 90% of tourists decide to walk straight to the middle will always perplex Londoners. It makes getting to the quieter end sides that much more difficult and results in the middle of the tube being unbearably claustrophobic. Take those extra 30 seconds to walk to either end of the platform, and you’ll most likely be rewarded with a seat, too!

Try and Make Conversation on the Tube

London Tube
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Londoners do not like idle small talk, and most of all, they don’t talk to strangers. The Tube has more of a prison mentality; put your head down and don’t make eye contact. It’s an odd, unfriendly world down there, but one that residents of England’s capital have abided by for decades!

Talk Loudly on the Tube

London Tube Onboard
Image Credit: Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash.

If you’re with a friend on the Tube and fancy a chin-wag (British for ‘chat’), keep the volume low. Despite the sometimes loud, and disconcerting, noises the Tube makes, it’s a place commuters enjoy some peace and relative quiet. So, if you’re screaming over the piercing noises of the train at your friend, you’ll be enraging an entire carriage.

Stop in a Group Immediately After the Tube Barrier

London Ticket Barrier
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When you exit the Tube, you’ll leave via the ticket/contactless barriers. Most of the time, this can be a tight squeeze, so whatever you do, don’t start looking around for your family or friends as soon as the barrier shuts behind you. Walk out of the station, and then scout out your group.

Skip Lines

Queuing London
Image Credit: Samuel Regan-Asante on Unsplash.

This isn’t just a London thing; this is the Golden Rule across the UK. The Brits take queuing very seriously, and anyone who skips them will aggravate an entire nation. It’s not that they actually enjoy the process of waiting in line; it’s just deep-rooted in their way of living. So if you see a big old line, suck it up, and take your place at the back!

Walk Too Slowly

London Street
Image Credit: David Marcu on Unsplash.

Like any major city, walking slowly will irritate its residents no end. Everyone is in a rush, usually tired, and probably fed up about something. So, never dawdle. Sure, take a leisurely stroll in Leicester Square or Covent Garden but get a move on in any working area of London.

Try to Buy a Physical Ticket on the Bus

London Buses
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If you’re fed up with the Tube, but your next destination is too far to walk, you might consider jumping aboard one of London’s famous red buses. Just a heads up: all buses are now cashless, so don’t hold up the whole queue (see previous point) by attempting to purchase a ticket. Simply use your Oyster card, credit/debit card, or a purchased Travelcard to board the bus.

Say British Cuisine Is Awful if You Only Eat at Chain Restaurants

Street food
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The Brits feel like their food has got an unjust target on its back, and for good reason. Thanks to immigration, Britain has some of the best foods from across the globe all on one small island. Make sure you try out food markets for some authentic delights and stay away from clinical, uninspired chain restaurants.

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Arches National Park
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