Have you ever wondered why some people, including Prince Harry, choose to stay in the United Kingdom? It’s despite its constitutional monarchy, unique education system, and distinct cultural quirks like sipping tea while watching Downton Abbey. We’ll debunk why you should never move to UK.
While many foreigners and students may dream of staying in the UK, it’s worth pondering if making this your home country is the right decision. People in the United Kingdom speak English, and it’s a good advantage for people who don’t know other European languages.
However, it’s best to check the experiences and lessons that can be learned from staying in a country where people speak English but have different cultures. Staying in the United Kingdom also has disadvantages that might affect your quality of life.
In this blog, we’ll explore the reasons why you should never move – UK, such as:
- The dreadful weather
- British cuisine
- Rude people
- High cost of living
- Massive traffic jams
- Stringent VISA requirements
- Poor work-life balance.
Drawing from my own experience of living abroad for a few months, we’ll discuss life and cultural aspects. These may help you find solutions to the same problems faced by those with regrets about moving to the UK.
The Reasons Why You Should Never Move to The UK or United Kingdom
The United Kingdom, with its rich history, vibrant culture, and global influence, has long been an attractive destination for foreigners looking to embark on a new chapter in their lives. Whether it’s the allure of British accents or the dream of sipping tea in charming gardens, the UK captures hearts.
Additionally, the fascination with the royal family’s glamorous lifestyle often ranks it high on the list of countries to call home.
However, as the world evolves, so do the considerations of those planning a move. Over the last decade, many who once eagerly envisioned themselves embracing British culture and royal duties have had second thoughts.
The reality of life in the UK, even after just a few months, can be quite different from the picturesque image often portrayed.
For those considering a move to this corner of the world, it’s essential to talk about the aspects of life, family, and British culture that may give you pause before packing your bags. Settling into a new country and understanding the education system can be challenging. Navigating the high cost of living and adjusting to the British weather are unique considerations.
To help you make the right decisions, here are why you shouldn’t move to the UK or the United Kingdom.
1. The Dreadful Weather
When it comes to discussing the United Kingdom, the topic of weather inevitably takes center stage. If you’ve grown accustomed to the American culture of sunny skies and balmy temperatures, be prepared for a significant adjustment in the UK.
Over the last decade, it’s fair to say that the UK’s weather has left a lot to be desired. A few months can go by without encountering gray clouds and drizzly rain, which may make you forget the feeling of warmth on your skin.
The UK is known for its unpredictable and gloomy weather, with frequent rain, wind, and fog. The average temperature in London ranges from 39°F to 74°F over the course of the year.
July is the hottest month, averaging 73°F high and 59°F low; February is the coldest at 39°F low and 48°F high. according to weatherspark.com. The UK also has less sunlight than many other countries, with only about 1,500 hours of sunshine per year.
Whether in England or elsewhere in the country, the weather often has its own agenda, and sunny weeks are cherished like rare gems.
This isn’t just small talk among friends; it can significantly impact your daily life. Planning outdoor activities, maintaining a comfortable temperature in your house, or even just small talk with family and British friends often revolves around the ever-changing weather patterns. You’ll quickly learn the art of carrying an umbrella at all times and never leaving the house without a jacket.
Seasons in the UK or United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, the four distinct seasons follow a familiar pattern, but they can be quite variable in terms of weather and temperature. Here’s a general overview of the seasons in the UK:
Spring (March to May)
Spring in the UK is a time of renewal and blossoming. The temperatures start to rise, and you’ll see colorful flowers like daffodils and cherry blossoms in full bloom. The days gradually become longer, and people begin to shed their heavy winter coats.
Summer (June to August)
Summer is when the UK experiences its warmest and sunniest weather. Temperatures can range from pleasantly mild to quite warm, with plenty of daylight hours for outdoor activities. Summer festivals, picnics, and trips to the seaside are common during this season.
Autumn (September to November)
Autumn, also known as “fall,” is characterized by cooler temperatures and the changing colors of leaves on trees. The UK’s countryside becomes a picturesque landscape of red, orange, and yellow hues. It’s a season for harvest festivals and cozy evenings by the fireplace.
Winter (December to February)
Winters in the UK are typically cold and damp, with occasional snowfall in some regions. Daylight hours are shorter, and temperatures can drop near or below freezing. Christmas is a highlight of the season, with festive decorations and holiday markets.
It’s important to note that the UK’s weather can be unpredictable, and variations can occur from year to year. Rainfall is a common feature throughout the year, so having an umbrella on hand is advisable regardless of the season.
See our top cities to live in the UK with the best weather and climate.
Is The Weather Really A Hindrance?
The seasons in the UK may not be “bad” per se, but they can be quite different from what people in other parts of the world are accustomed to. The influence of UK seasons on the decision to stay or move can vary based on individual priorities and preferences.
The UK’s weather, characterized by frequent rain and overcast skies, can affect one’s daily life and activities. It may limit outdoor pursuits and influence leisure choices. Those who thrive in outdoor activities or enjoy long periods of sunshine might find the UK’s climate less appealing.
Family and Children
Families with children might consider how the UK’s seasons affect their kids. Shorter daylight hours during the winter can limit outdoor playtime, and rainy days might keep children indoors. On the other hand, the UK’s green landscapes and cultural attractions can enrich families’ experiences.
The weather can impact the choice of housing. People may prefer homes with good heating during the cold months and properties with outdoor space for the summer. Weather considerations can also affect the maintenance and energy costs of a house.
Social and Cultural Impact
The UK’s weather often becomes a topic of conversation and can influence social interactions. The tendency to talk about the weather is a cultural norm; for some, it can be a charming aspect of British life. However, others may find it less engaging.
Embracing British Culture
Those who move to the UK might need to adapt to British culture, which includes embracing the weather as an integral part of daily life. This might involve learning to appreciate the beauty of rainy walks in the countryside or enjoying cozy afternoons in a traditional British pub during the colder months.
Ultimately, the impact of UK seasons on the decision to move or stay in the country is personal. Some individuals may find the seasons a minor inconvenience, while others may see them as a significant factor in their overall quality of life. Potential expatriates need to consider their preferences and priorities when making such a decision.
2. British Cuisine
While the United Kingdom boasts history, culture, and scenic landscapes, British cuisine often baffles foreigners due to its peculiarities.
For those accustomed to American culture, with its diverse and flavorful culinary traditions, the UK can be a bit of a shock to the taste buds.
“British cuisine offers delectable dishes, yet you may miss the tastes of home due to its unique food culture. The stereotypical image of bland and boiled vegetables, heavy pies, and the infamous “black pudding” might come to mind. And let’s not forget the love-hate relationship people have with the traditional “Marmite” spread!
Unlike American cuisine, which often celebrates bold flavors and a melting pot of influences, British food can sometimes leave you yearning for more excitement. This is where work-harder past meals might have been forced to adopt a higher standard.
If you’re from America, where food is an integral part of the culture, the British dining experience could take some getting used to. So, before you move across the Atlantic, consider your taste preferences and whether you’re prepared for the unique culinary journey in the UK.
Worst Food in The UK
Here are some of the worst foods in the UK according to tourists:
- Black pudding: A sausage made of blood, fat, and cereal, often part of a traditional English breakfast.
- Jellied eels: A dish of chopped eels boiled in a spiced stock allowed to cool and set into a jelly-like substance.
- Haggis: A savory pudding made of sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs, mixed with onion, oatmeal, suet, and spices, traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach.
- Fruit scone: A type of scone that is sweetened with sugar and contains dried fruit, often served with jam and clotted cream.
- Trifle: A dessert made of layers of sponge cake, fruit, jelly, custard, and whipped cream.
- Plum pudding: A type of pudding made with suet, breadcrumbs, dried fruit, spices, and sometimes alcohol, traditionally served at Christmas
- Saveloy: A type of sausage made of pork and beef that is often boiled or deep-fried.
It’s worth noting that taste is subjective, and what one person considers the worst food may be a delicacy to another. Additionally, the perception of British food as being bad is not universal, and many people enjoy the cuisine.
My Take: It’s worth noting that taste is subjective, and what one person considers the worst food may be a delicacy to another. Additionally, the perception of British food as being bad is not universal, and many people enjoy the cuisine.
Is The Food Really That Bad?
While the reputation of British cuisine may not be as internationally celebrated as Italian or French fare, it’s important to note that the food scene in the UK has evolved significantly over the years. So, before we write off British food completely, be sure to check why some may quickly criticize it and yet others still find it appealing.
The UK has made remarkable strides in recent years, with a burgeoning food culture that embraces diverse influences. In the UK, from street food markets to Michelin-starred restaurants, diverse dining experiences await, pleasing even the most discerning palate.
If you explain to a friend that you’re considering staying in the UK, their comments about British food may vary. Some may have encountered traditional dishes they dislike, while others might rave about modern British fusion cuisine. It’s all a matter of perspective and personal taste.
So, don’t let stereotypes deter you from exploring the UK’s culinary delights. British food has had its moments, but it’s also had its triumphs. Discover the dynamic story of UK food, fostering appreciation for its diverse and vibrant society.
3. Rude And Unfriendly People
The United Kingdom, with its rich history and traditions, can be an enticing destination for those seeking to explore a different way of life. However, one aspect of UK culture that some newcomers may find challenging to navigate is the perception of British people as being rude and unfriendly.
A report by BPS.org, suggests that rude and disrespectful behaviors are prevalent in organizations and workplaces in the UK.
For those accustomed to the warmth and openness often associated with American culture, the reserved nature of many UK residents can be unexpected. While it’s essential not to generalize, some might expect a more effusive and outgoing demeanor when they arrive in the UK.
The British approach to interpersonal interactions might be a bit more reserved. People in the UK often value their personal space and may not initiate conversations with strangers as readily as in some other countries. This can sometimes be mistaken for unfriendliness when it’s a cultural difference.
Furthermore, issues related to racism and discrimination can affect the perception of friendliness. Some individuals, particularly those from diverse backgrounds, might have encountered challenges related to racism or exclusion in the UK. Acknowledging that such experiences can vary widely and do not apply universally is crucial.
My take: If you’re considering a move to the UK, it’s essential to be prepared for cultural differences in how people interact. While some may find the British reserved nature refreshing and polite, others might need time to adjust to the more reserved social norms.
4. High Cost of Living
If you’re considering a move to the UK or United Kingdom in the next few months, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons carefully. One of the significant factors that might affect your decision is the high cost of living in this beautiful country.
Food and energy prices have been rising markedly over the past year, particularly gas prices, largely in response to the conflict in Ukraine. This has caused a significant strain on the budgets of families across the UK. The rising cost of essentials can make maintaining a comfortable standard of life challenging.
According to ONS, consumer goods and services prices rose by 9.6% in October 2022, the fastest rate in four decades. This means that everyday items you might take for granted in other countries can quickly eat into your budget in the UK. From groceries to housing, the prices continue to soar, making it difficult for the average family to make ends meet.
Prices of Common Grocery Items In The UK
Here are some prices of common grocery items in the UK, according to NimbleFins:
- Local cheese (1 lb): £5.37
- Chicken fillets (0.20 kg): £2.39
- Beef round (0.10 kg): £1.52
- Apples (0.25 kg): £1.22
- Loaf of fresh white bread (1 lb): £3.21
- Pasta, spaghetti (500 g): £0.40-£0.60
- Breakfast cereals and cereals (per 500 g): £1-£1.50
- Fresh vegetables: £5.87
- Fresh fruit: £4.96
- Bread, rice, and cereals (per week per person): £6.69
- Non-alcoholic drinks (per week per person): £6.76
- Poultry (per week per person): £3.02
It’s worth noting that prices can vary depending on the location, the store, and the brand. Additionally, prices of groceries in the UK have been rising in recent months due to inflation and supply chain disruptions.
How does living in London compare to Toronto?
Housing Prices Are On The Rise
Finding an affordable house in the UK can be daunting, especially in places like London. The housing market is notoriously competitive, and property prices have increased. Many people find themselves renting for years on end because buying a house is simply out of reach.
ONS also reported that house prices across the UK increased 5.5% in the year to February 2023, with the average UK house price being £288,000 in February 2023
Additionally, the UK’s education cost can be a significant concern if you have children. While education is of high quality, it comes with a hefty price tag. International students, in particular, may struggle with tuition fees rivaling some countries’ universities.
Even if you manage to secure a job in the UK, the high cost of living may offset your earnings. It’s important to consider whether your job prospects and potential salary will allow you to live comfortably in the United Kingdom.
While the UK offers a rich history and unique culture, the current economy can overshadow its attractions and landmarks. It’s essential to weigh the financial aspects carefully and consider whether you can maintain a good quality of life.
Is There A Way To Live Comfortably In The UK Despite The High Cost of Living?
Yes, living comfortably in the UK is possible despite the high cost of living. To do so, it’s essential to budget carefully, prioritize expenses, and consider alternative living arrangements in more affordable regions.
Seeking well-paying job opportunities and taking advantage of employee benefits can also help offset costs. Exploring local markets for groceries, using public transportation, and enjoying low-cost cultural activities can make a significant difference.
To navigate the UK’s high cost of living, use financial planning tools and seek expert advice for a comfortable lifestyle.
My Take: The situation can vary from country to country. For example, if you’re coming from Canada, you might find that the cost of living in the UK is significantly higher. This can impact your freedom to travel, save money, and provide for your kids’ future.
5. Massive Traffic Jams
Another factor that can significantly impact your quality of life in the UK is the massive traffic jams that plague the country.
London, the capital of the United Kingdom, was ranked as the most congested city in the country in 2020. Commuters in London often find themselves stuck in traffic for hours, with an estimated 69 hours lost annually. This congestion can take a toll on your daily life and affect various aspects of living in the UK or England.
If you plan to move to the UK with your family, traffic jams can be a major inconvenience. Spending long hours in traffic can mean less time to spend with your children or engage in leisure activities. The constant congestion can bother even the most patient and add stress to your daily life.
Moreover, the traffic situation in the UK can have political and environmental implications. The government and local authorities continually work to improve transportation services, but it remains a challenging issue.
Efforts to reduce carbon emissions focus on combatting traffic congestion, contributing to air pollution and environmental degradation.
In addition to daily commuting, traffic jams can also impact your work. If you expect a smooth commute to your workplace or university, the reality of traffic congestion in the UK might surprise you. This can be particularly frustrating if you work hard and value punctuality professionally.
While the UK or England offers a rich history, world-class universities, and a diverse culture, it’s essential to consider the practical aspects of living there, including the traffic situation. Traffic in cities like London and Manchester can be challenging when moving to the United Kingdom.
6. Stringent Visa Constitutional Monarchy Requirements
Consider the UK’s strict visa and constitutional monarchy requirements when contemplating a move to England. While the UK offers a unique and rich cultural experience, these requirements can significantly impact your life.
You’ll need to navigate a complex visa process to reside in the UK for an extended period. Depending on your nationality and the purpose of your stay, obtaining the necessary visas and permits can be a time-consuming and expensive endeavor. For some, this process can take several months, which might affect your plans and disrupt your life.
To enter the UK, you must have a valid passport that is valid for the whole of your stay. You may also need a visa, depending on which country you’re from.
Moreover, the UK’s visa requirements often come with financial implications. You’ll need to allocate a significant amount of money for visa fees, healthcare coverage, and other associated costs. The cost of living in cities like London can be high, and these visa expenses can further strain your finances.
As of April 2023, here are the fees for some common types of visas, according to Gov.UK:
- Visitor visa: £95-£822
- Work visa: £244-£1,408
- Student visa: £97-£475
- Settlement visa: £1,523-£3,250
My Take: The cost of UK visa fees tends to be notably higher compared to those in several other countries. This financial aspect can be a significant concern for individuals planning to relocate to the United Kingdom.
The expenses associated with obtaining a visa, in addition to the high cost of living in places like London, can place a considerable financial burden on prospective residents. Budget carefully for these expenses; they can significantly impact the overall cost of settling in the UK.
7. Poor Work-Life Balance
The work culture can be demanding in England and the UK, particularly in major cities like London. Many employees work long hours, sometimes well into the night, to pursue their career goals. This work-centric lifestyle is often driven by the high cost of living in cities like London, where the need to earn more money to cover expenses can be overwhelming.
In contrast, countries like Canada prioritize a better work-life balance, allowing employees to enjoy more free time with their families and pursue personal interests. In the UK, maintaining a high standard of living may lead to sacrificing time with loved ones or leisure activities.
It’s also important to mention that the work-life balance can vary across the UK. Urban England often has an intense work culture, while other areas provide a better work-life balance. People often move to the UK countryside or smaller towns for a relaxed lifestyle and a quieter environment to raise children.
Salaries Across The United Kingdom
According to express.co.uk, the average salary in different cities in the UK varies depending on the region, industry, and occupation. Here is a list of some of the cities with their average salaries:
• Guildford: £38,040
• London: £33,970
• Reading: £30,925
• Oxford: £30,575
• Edinburgh: £30,172
• Bristol: £29,923
• Southampton: £29,496
• Cardiff: £2,162.09 per month or £25,945.08 per year
• Glasgow: £2,061.88 per month or £24,742.56 per year
• Hull: £1,958.13 per month or £23,497.56 per year
• Leicester: £1,976.45 per month or £23,717.40 per year
In-Demand Jobs In The UK or United Kingdom
Despite the high cost of living, it’s also worth noting that the UK offers various opportunities to earn money. Cities like London are global financial hubs, providing numerous job prospects across various industries. You can build a successful career and achieve financial stability with hard work and determination.
Here are some in-demand jobs in the UK:
- Programmers and Software Developers
- Cyber Security Specialists
- Health Services and Residential Care
- Graphic Designers
- Project Managers
- Java Developers
- Business Analysts
- Operations Managers
- Recruitment Specialists
- Customer Service Representatives
- Financial Analysts
How much do you need to make to cover your living expenses in the UK? Read this post about British salaries.
Good Things About Staying In The UK
Staying in the UK or England for an extended period can pose challenges, including high living costs, unfriendly encounters, and work-life balance. However, it’s important to remember that despite these drawbacks, there are still numerous good things about life in this vibrant and historic country.
The UK boasts a rich cultural heritage, with England offering numerous historical sites, museums, and art galleries for exploration. Whether wandering through the historic streets of London or taking a trip to the countryside, you’ll find a wealth of cultural experiences to enjoy.
Another positive aspect of life in the UK is the freedom it offers. The United Kingdom has a long history of valuing individual rights and freedoms. This commitment to personal liberties ensures that you can freely express your opinions, beliefs, and values, whether during the day or even at night.
Moreover, the UK provides access to a well-developed healthcare system. In England, you can rest assured that if you or your children require medical attention, you’ll receive high-quality care without worrying about excessive medical bills. This healthcare system provides peace of mind to residents.
In contrast to other countries, the UK maintains a strong sense of community and offers a safe environment for families and children. Discover well-maintained parks and quality education in a country prioritizing children’s future and recreation.
Prince Harry’s Advocacy For Mental Health Awareness And Support
One of the most prominent and influential figures in the UK and the world who has been advocating for mental health awareness and support is Prince Harry.
Prince Harry is the younger son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana. He’s the sixth in line to the British throne. He’s been vocal and active about his mental health struggles, highlighting the importance of seeking help and breaking the stigma.
Prince Harry’s commitment to mental health began in childhood, with his mother’s tragic death when he was just 12 in 1997. Prince Harry later revealed that he suppressed his grief for many years and did not seek professional help until his late 20s. He admitted to battling anxiety, depression, and anger, feeling on the verge of lashing out or breaking down.
He also said that he turned to alcohol and drugs to cope with his pain and hated being in the public eye.
Prince Harry said he decided to seek help after his brother, Prince William, encouraged him. He said that talking to a therapist was “one of the best things” that ever happened to him and helped him understand himself better and heal. He found solace and purpose in a 10-year military service. He witnessed courage and resilience among fellow soldiers, some with injuries.
Prince Harry’s experience inspired him to launch initiatives and campaigns. He aims to raise awareness and support for mental health, focusing on veterans, youth, and frontline workers.
One of his most notable projects is Heads Together, which he co-founded with his brother and sister-in-law, Prince William and Kate Middleton, in 2016. Heads Together is a coalition of eight mental health charities. Its mission is to change the conversation and offer support.
Heads Together partnered with organizations like the London Marathon, FA Cup Final, Virgin Money Giving, YouTube, Spotify, and more. They aim to engage millions in conversations about mental health.
Another project Prince Harry launched is the Invictus Games, an international sporting event for wounded, injured, and sick servicemen and women. In 2014, Prince Harry founded Invictus Games. He was inspired by the Warrior Games in Colorado, USA, where he witnessed sports aiding veterans’ recovery and confidence.
Invictus Games has been held in four countries so far: London (2014), Orlando (2016), Toronto (2017), and Sydney (2018).
The fifth edition was supposed to take place in The Hague in 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Invictus Games draws participants and spectators globally. It garners celebrity support, including those of the president and Michelle Obama, Bruce Springsteen.
Prince Harry has also been involved in other mental health initiatives, such as Sentebale, a charity he co-founded with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho in 2006. Sentebale supports children and young people affected by HIV/AIDS in Lesotho and Botswana.
Prince Harry has also supported Mind, one of the UK’s leading mental health charities. Prince Harry collaborated with Oprah Winfrey on ‘The Me You Can’t See,’ a documentary sharing diverse mental health stories. The series premiered on Apple TV+ in May 2021.
Prince Harry’s Awards and Honours for Mental Health Issues Advocacy
Prince Harry’s advocacy for mental health awareness and support has been widely praised and recognised by many people and organisations. He has received several awards and honours for his work on mental health issues. For example,
- In 2017, he received the Attitude Legacy Award for his contribution to reducing the stigma around HIV/AIDS.
- In 2018, he received the Campaigner Award from GQ magazine for his work on Heads Together.
- In 2019, he received the Bauer Radio Impact Award for his role in launching Shout, which is a free text messaging service for anyone who needs mental health support.
- In 2020, he received the Humanitarian Award from the Ripple of Hope Awards for his work on Invictus Games.
- In 2021, he received the Vax Live Hero Award for promoting vaccine equity and access.
Final Thoughts About The Reasons Why You Should Never Move – UK
In conclusion, while the United Kingdom offers many attractions and opportunities, it’s important to approach a potential move carefully.
Factors such as the unpredictable weather, culinary differences, perceptions of social interactions, the high cost of living, traffic congestion, stringent visa requirements, and demanding work culture are aspects of life in the UK that may not align with everyone’s expectations and priorities.
However, it’s crucial to remember that individual experiences vary widely, and many people have found fulfillment and success in the UK. To explore these topics further and gain a more comprehensive understanding of life in the UK, click the links below. Your continued support helps keep our blog running.