Perception of USA tourists have of the UK to the reality of experience

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  1. profile image53
    Britishblondieposted 12 years ago

    I'm an English citizen and I would love to know...

    Is there a difference of a USA tourist's perception of the UK in relation to the reality of their experience of visiting?

    Are you from USA?
    Have you visited the UK?
    What was your experience like?
    What did you do whilst you were there? Where did you go?
    Was it much different to what you thought it was going to be? If so, what was different?
    Would you visit again?

    Thanks so much for you help!

    1. Cagsil profile image68
      Cagsilposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Welcome to HubPages! smile
      Of course there is, because in America there's so much distortion and misinformation about the rest of the world, you would be lucky if many understood.
      Never visited. Therefore no experience
      Again, never visited.
      I didn't.
      Haven't been.
      Not been.

    2. livelonger profile image86
      livelongerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I'm American, and have been to London about 8 times, mostly to visit an American friend who was living there at the time (and once as a child).

      I've only been to London (I'm assuming my flight into Luton doesn't really count), but I'm a "big city" fan so it was a good fit for me.

      I've always had a nice time there; I'd mention that the weather wasn't always agreeable but that's such a stereotypical complaint. You don't go to the UK for warm, balmy weather.

      It was pretty much what I expected from such a large metropolitan city. Maybe the only surprise was seeing how many non-English people were living there.

      Sure, I would go again, especially with my partner or friends. The biggest deterrent is the high cost of everything. I'd really love to see Scotland, especially Edinburgh.

      1. profile image53
        Britishblondieposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you for your comment!

    3. Jeff Berndt profile image73
      Jeff Berndtposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Hi there, and welcome!

      To answer your questions:

      Are you from USA?
      Born and raised.

      Have you visited the UK?
      Yes, twice.

      What was your experience like?
      Loved it both times.

      What did you do whilst you were there? Where did you go?
      The first time, my friends and I landed in Holyhead from Dublin and it was a bit of a mad dash to London to meet up with some friends who were running our university's cultural history tour. We tagged along with them for a few days, did mostly touristy stuff: Brit Museum, Tate Gallery, Highgate, A Shakespeare play, Cabinet War Rooms, Buckingham Palace, etc. We never got out of London until it was time to head back to Ireland, so, another mad dash up to Stranraer to catch another ferry to Belfast, and then across to Co. Donegal. (We were 'really' on a trip to Ireland, but wanted to see our friends in London, too.)

      The next time was a bit more relaxed. My wife and I got to take our time in London and saw lots of the stuff I missed the first go-round--Tower of London, London Bridge, the stuff I didn't get to dwell on at the Brit Museum, a ghost tour (cheesy, but fun), a show in Piccadilly, Nelson's Column (and pigeons!) and a couple more pubs than the first trip. Oh, and we took a day trip to Warwick, which was great, getting out of the city.

      Was it much different to what you thought it was going to be? If so, what was different?
      London was crazy expensive. Most of the attractions were cheap or free, but food and lodging was very dear. I was surprised and pleased to see that milk etc. is (was?) still delivered to people's doorstep in the mornings. The beer was excellent, but I was surprised at the popularity of Budweiser. You people have no idea how good your beer is if you're drinking Bud on purpose. Everyone was very kind to us, except for one guy at a sandwich shop who was kinda rude--maybe he hates Americans, maybe he was just having a bad day, dunno. The days were much longer than I'd expected, but I guess that's the higher latitude? (London is about 10 degrees further North than where I'm from.)

      Would you visit again?
      In a heartbeat, but this time around I'd stay out of London and see more of the countryside. My wife wants to see Beatrix Potter's farmland trust, and I'd like to visit Wales and Cornwall as well as rural England.

  2. iantoPF profile image79
    iantoPFposted 12 years ago

    Welcome to Hubpages!
    You call yourself Britishblondie then say you are an "English" citizen. Hmm someone should write a Hub about that.

    1. Cagsil profile image68
      Cagsilposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      lol lol

    2. profile image53
      Britishblondieposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Yeah I did, I am English and British, does it really matter which one I put on?

      1. SimeyC profile image86
        SimeyCposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I'm an Englishman who lived in Wales and now lives in the US! A lot of my Welsh friends do not consider themselves British - they are only Welsh!

        I'm proud to be both British and English! Although I am more Brit-Eng-Wel-ican!

        1. profile image53
          Britishblondieposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Yeah I get what your saying I know the difference but I am from England, so i'm both, I understand your British if your from Wales! But for the purpose of this, it doesn't matter which I put! Thanks for your comment!

        2. WriteAngled profile image74
          WriteAngledposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I was born in London, but my parents had come from Poland with the Free Polish Army after the war. During much of my childhood, I was taunted by English brats about how I might be "British" (said with a sneer) but was certainly not English (said with a tone of moral superiority).

          I never felt "British", nor Polish either since I had no experience of living in Poland.

          Now I live in Wales and feel that, after more than 50 years, I have found my spiritual home at last. I immerse myself in the wonderful Welsh culture and call myself "Welsh by choice". Rather than provoking sneers, this seems to delight most ethnically Welsh people I know.

          I have read the Price Report which shows how Wales would probably be far better off as an indepedent nation. If it were to be such, and if there were to be a Welsh citizenship, I would apply for it like a shot.

          As for Britain and England, the English can keep both as far as I am concerned.

          1. SimeyC profile image86
            SimeyCposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            **deleted as we're highjacking a legitimate query**

            1. profile image53
              Britishblondieposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              I get what your saying but as SimeyC says your taking over what I originally asked in the first place.

      2. Gordon Hamilton profile image95
        Gordon Hamiltonposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Matter??? Yes, it most certainly does, to a great many people.  I'm afraid this subject is the match that lights my firework, the red rag to my bull. lol As a Scot who considers himself passionately British and Scottish only a very remote second, I understand fully confusion originating outwith Great Britain or the United Kingdom (yes - they are two different things as well!) but can't see how such basic errors can be condoned from within...

        1. profile image53
          Britishblondieposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          This is not the question i'm asking about, and i'm from England myself so I do no what  the difference between British and English! So could be get back to the topic I asked in the first place.

        2. IzzyM profile image88
          IzzyMposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I am Scottish first, and British only under duress.

          I also don't support the Conservative right, nor Glasgow Rangers Football Club, all of which seem to be predominantly "British".

          But to Americans, I can accept the title British, but don't EVER CALL ME ENGLISH.

          1. WriteAngled profile image74
            WriteAngledposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Well, with any luck Scotland will soon make its way out of the British (i.e. English) noose.

            Lots of admiration in Wales for the success of the SNP!

            When I lived in Nottingham, I sang in Clarion Choir. Our repertoire included "Parcel of Rogues" - brilliant song!

            Celtiaid am byth!

          2. SimeyC profile image86
            SimeyCposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            IZZYM: I didn't really want to get into this argument.

            I'm an Englishman who lived in Wales for 30 years. Not once was I prejudice against any Welshman, nor any Irishman or Scottishman - nor were any of my many English friends, yet I was always an outsider - I was the Engishman and Welshmen made me know this. My National Anthem was booed, or turned off the TV, anything English was derided etc.

            What I never understood, and still do not is how a whole people can be hated simply because of what our government has done to you in the past. I deal with anyone with respect regardless of how they've treated me or how their government has treated me in the past.

            I'd never say 'don't call me Scottish, Welsh or Irish' because I would be proud to be linked to the PEOPLE. IN this day an age, with our shared heritage can we not get past the politics of the situation and simply realize that despite the fact that I was born in a 'hated' country I am NO DIFFERENT than any Welshman, Scotish man, Irish man, Australian man etc. In an enlightened society where we are supposed to treat each other equal, why do people still hold onto these nationalistic hatreds.....

            I'm not against your views, you are entitled to them and are in a free world - I just do not understand why anyone would hate me simply because I was born on a patch of north England that makes me English.....

            1. IzzyM profile image88
              IzzyMposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              I don't hate you. I have very many English friends. What I said was don't call me English!

              Foreigners tend to make that mistake. English people don't.

              I am sorry you felt treated badly as in incomer to where you lived, but you must remember there are a huge number of communities who distrust any incomer, not just English.

              They will feel the same towards their own countrymen if they came from a different part of the country.

              It is the same here in Spain. I am a guiri, a foreigner, an incomer, but interestingly enough so is my partner and he is Spanish born and bred, just not from this area.

              1. SimeyC profile image86
                SimeyCposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                OK fair enough - and sorry if I misinterpreted your point! I'd be proud if you would accept honorary English Woman though - even though I know how proud you are of your own nationality -which I would never begrudge!

                1. IzzyM profile image88
                  IzzyMposted 12 years agoin reply to this


                  Is is OK if I decline? Pretty please? Can I be an honorary hubber instead?

                  1. SimeyC profile image86
                    SimeyCposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                    LOL OK!

            2. WriteAngled profile image74
              WriteAngledposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              Perhaps it is something to do with the fact that the English killed the last true Prince of Wales in 1282 and now  we have the farce of an English (of German extraction) woman with a Greek spouse calling her son, who does not live in Wales and has done nothing for Wales, prince of Wales.

              Likewise, perhaps Welsh people are not keen to have a hymn praising this English (German) woman being forced onto them as their national anthem, when their own anthem Mae hen wlad fy nhadau is infinitely superior emotionally, artistically and furthermore is totally non-jingoist.

              Add the whole history of the Welsh Not, when the English language was rammed down the throats of people in Wales while their own language was suppressed and punished.

              Not to mention how Wales was raped of its coal, continues to be raped of its water and is now being raped of its wind energy so that people in England can have lower utility bills.

              Added to which, communities in parts of Wales, such as the Rhondda, are seeing basic services cut day by day. Food banks have been set up and are being overwhelmed by the demand in South Wales.

              Yet, despite all this, Welsh culture, particularly Welsh language culture thrives. In what other community would you see people getting excited about the enthroning of a poet? Certainly not in England, where illiteracy seems to prevail and the average inhabitant would not recognise a poem if bitten by one on the backside.

              When I lived in England, the kids I came across only wanted to be "cool", i.e. do nothing. In contrast,Welsh kids are active in instrumental music, singing, dance, recitation. I have also found Welsh kids infinitely more respectful and courteous than English ones.

              I'm not ethnic Welsh, but it took me only a couple of months after moving to Wales to recognise why Wales needs to be free of the English straitjacket.

              1. SimeyC profile image86
                SimeyCposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                That's not the point I'm making! I'm not arguing that Wales has had a bad deal with the English GOVERNMENT - but why should I as a humble Englishman, who has nothing but respect for the people of Wales be subjected to a hatred that is hundreds of years old - especially when I grew up in Wales (for thirty years) - I'm not going into the politics, because there are many valid arguments on both sides, I'm just appealing as a human being to be given the same treatment and respect as any other human being - judge me on what I do, not on what my government or my distant relatives do.

                As a Yorkshire man, I understand the feelings of working class Wales and to me that is what the struggle is about - not about creed or race...but to many Welshman the hatred of the English is one that is taught at an early age, and is not something they truly have experienced...

                I am in a unique position to be subjective as I was born in England and bred in perception of both sides shows that there is ignorance and arrogance on both sides - and to me that is wrong.....judge me for the person I am and I will do the same to any Welshman, Scotsman, Irishman, Englishman etc...

                I just noticed this "Certainly not in England, where illiteracy seems to prevail and the average inhabitant would not recognise a poem if bitten by one on the backside" - I have nothing against you, and respect your writing and views on HP - but why would you tar the whole of England with this?

                I note that I should not write forum posts after a few beers - my spelling is realllllly bad!

                1. WriteAngled profile image74
                  WriteAngledposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                  I am going by my experience of living in England 1954-1979, 1983-2006, versus my experience of living in Wales 2007-onwards.

                  The hatred is not for you personally. However, you mentioned people not wishing to hear your English national anthem. This is the sentiment which I have attempted to clarify.

                  Even when I lived in England, I loathed the English anthem because it fawns over a parasitic family who lives in luxury while others starve. I always made a point of walking out or sitting down when this music was played.

                  In contrast, I spent a whole year carefully learning to sing Mae hen wlad fy nhadau even before I could understand the words, because I was so moved the first time I heard it sung by all the audience at the close of a concert at Theatr Parc a Dar. I feel emotional when I hear it played, and glad I am able to join in and sing it.

                  Even though I am only Welsh "by choice", my heart leaps with joy whenever I drive past the sign that says "Croeso a Gymru" and as I head over the mountain and see the lights of my valley open up. England only showed me contempt, Wales has given me a spiritual home and increasing joy as I move deeper into its culture.

                  1. SimeyC profile image86
                    SimeyCposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                    I agree that the English anthem is not inspiring, however I show respect to every other anthem in the world and expect the same for my 'boring' anthem! I know every word of the Welsh National Anthem having sung it many many times - I stand proud with the Welshmen when it is sung in the pub before an England Wales rugby game and the true Welsh friends who have respect stand through my anthem!

                    As someone who lived in Wales I love to see the Croeso a Gymru as I come back into Wales, but also I love to see the ER as I drive towards England in the trees.

                    I know deep down that no Welshman hates me, but where's the respect for my heritage especially as they know there's an Englishman in the pub with them! Should a Welshman walk into any venue I was in I would never turn off the Welsh National anthem....nor would I boo it!

  3. iantoPF profile image79
    iantoPFposted 12 years ago

    LOL I only said someone should write a Hub about it.
    I haven't submitted a Hub in some time and I rarely write on the forums, so it seems like a good subject for someone.
    Britain and British are geographical terms like Europe and European. Being Welsh, Scottish or English is to say you identify with one of the historical nations of those islands. You are a citizen of the United Kingdom because that is the political entity that governs the British Isles. It's a complex subject and could make an interesting Hub.That's all I was suggesting.
    WriteAngled; I think I love you  smile

    1. rebekahELLE profile image84
      rebekahELLEposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I actually did read a hub on this not too long ago. I had never known the difference and the author explained it well. I can't remember who the hubber was, but it was an interesting hub.

      In response to the OP, I've never been to the UK.. but have been to France.  I would love to visit the UK some day.

  4. davenmidtown profile image68
    davenmidtownposted 12 years ago

    I am from the US though distant ancestors were from the UK...before it was the UK.  I spent 18 days in Scotland. For all of the places I have been in the world... Scotland is the only place that within 5 seconds of stepping off of the airplane felt like home.  I spent the 18 days with a guide and we drove about 1700 miles in those 18 days. We visited many of the Scottish authors of fame such as Robert Burns, Beatrice Potter, etc. We toured many of the ruins and many of the modern places. I think we pretty much went back and forth across the country... highlands, lowlands, skye, etc.

    We went in 2002 during Pres. George Bushes reign and during the anti-french comments such as changing the name of French fries to Victory Fries in the white house.  and not long after 9/11... So my concerns were more about how Americans would be treated.  What I found was a very warm and hospitable country, with wonderful people who carried a grim expression but very warm hearts. Now... another thing that surprised me was the beer.  I am not a drinker but I do enjoy a beer now and then and the beer in Scotland... fine I will call it Ale... was WOW... the best.  Nothing wipes the grim off the face of a Scot like ale... The politics also surprised me a great deal coming from America.  It was very surprising to me to see and talk to socialist and see the signs openly displayed. I think in America we are born to fear socialism. So that was quite a shock for me.  The Green... nothing really prepares you for how green things are.Evan a few of the sheep were green....The history is amazing it is almost a keening pulse that you can feel. Like I said... it felt like home... yes I would visit there again... and probably never leave.

    1. profile image53
      Britishblondieposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you very much for you comment!

  5. wytegarillaz profile image58
    wytegarillazposted 12 years ago

    I am Welsh , born in Newport but we went to NZ by ship in 1970 so I have a kiwi accent & are traveling around Australia .

    When in England a while back I heard people from the USA talking about how small Britain is + food they missed ( which english people do in France) . From what I have read a lot of people in the USA don't know much about other places except their own town unless they travel.

    I have had Americans ask where New Zealand is !

  6. calpol25 profile image60
    calpol25posted 12 years ago

    I am British I was born in Carlisle in Cumbria, still live there.
    We are so lucky here in Cumbria as we are in the Lake district national park or as many may know to be the home of Beatrix Potter,
    My father Dutch and my mother Scottish, to avoid confusion I say British.
    Although the cumbrian accent is very strange its a mixture of scottish, norwegian, geordie, yorkshire and lancashire accents put together. We also have our own language which is a form of gaelic its west cumbrian and hard for an english person to understand as its very near norwegian.

  7. maxoxam41 profile image64
    maxoxam41posted 12 years ago

    Here is a stupid question! What is your point?

  8. Pcunix profile image93
    Pcunixposted 12 years ago

    I don't have any particular impression  of  the UK. 

    We love British TV shows on Netflix, I have read a lot of British and Irish literature, my ancestors were from there, but I have no interest in visiting.  .

    I traveled in the U.S. so much in my younger days that honestly I never want to visit anywhere again.  Your hotels and restaurants are surely just as bad as they are here and even if I could afford the best, I think I still prefer home.

  9. SimeyC profile image86
    SimeyCposted 12 years ago

    As an aside - I have a friend in Wales who is very proud to be 4th generation Welsh. He is a huge Welsh Ruggby fan and we've had much banter about how much better Wales are than England! However, when England have beaten Wales fairly and squarely he's been the first to come up to me and shake my hands and tell me that England deserved to win - while he will always support Wales first, he will support any nation that plays good rugby whether they are French, English, Irish, Australian etc - he does not judge me for being English, he judges me for being me - he is a true Welshman and is one of the best people I know!

    In every country there are idiots - England is full of them, so is Wales, so is Scotland, so is the USA.....

    Umm sorry I didn't mean to hijack this thread!!!!


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