The UK Basics Quiz



By: Teresa McGlothlin

6 Min Quiz

Image: Sam Edwards/ OJO Images/ Getty Images

About This Quiz

You don't need a passport to go on this trip! During this quiz, you're going to travel to the UK without leaving your seat. Take your brain on an adventure across the pond with us, and find out just how much knowledge about the island nation you have rolling around in your head. From Stonehenge to PG Tips, we bet you know a lot more than you think you do. 

The United States and the United Kingdom might speak the same language, but their histories and customs are quite different. The entire nation could fit inside a state the size of Maine, but its 66.44 million residents know how to make the most of all its spaces. Towering mountains like Ben Nevis and rolling waters like the River Severn allow plenty of escape into nature. How much do you know about the rest of it, though?

Grab yourself a spot of tea and put on your thinking cap. We won't dive too deeply into the monarch's history, but we will ask you about some of the royal names you might now. Remember that we're covering the basics, and try to get as many rights as you can. Will you earn the right to call yourself an honorary citizen, or will you need to sign up for university? Let's find out how well you do on this UK basics quiz!

What famous prehistoric monument would you find near the English town of Amesbury?

Sitting in the fields of Wiltshire, England, the Stonehenge monument has been dated 3,000 years older than the Egyptian pyramids. Each of the structure's 13 stones weighs over 25 tons. Historians still debate its purpose and its origin.


She's sometimes called the Iron Lady, but what's the real name of the UK's first female prime minister?

Elected as prime minister in 1979, Margaret Thatcher was the country's first leader. She also holds the record as being the longest-serving Member of Parliament in history. She held her seat for 33 years!


What's the informal name of the red, white and blue flag that flies over the country?

The flag of the United Kingdom is often called the Union Jack, and it first appeared in 1625. Its red, white and blue design is made by combining the crosses of Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.


France is often mistakenly credited for the invention of which fizzy drink?

Champagne is often credited as being invented by the French monk named Dom Perignon. However, there are records of a similar fermentation recipe being used in England 30 years before the monk's invention.


With a population of 280,000, Belfast is the largest town in which UK country?

Those who are fascinated by the Titanic would feel right at home in Belfast. The legendary ship was built there, and there's an entire section of the city dedicated to celebrating the workers who built it.


Where would you have to travel to visit Scotland's most famous mythological creature?

Fans of cryptozoology know that you would have to head to Loch Ness to hope to get a glimpse of Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. Sightings of the beast have been reported since the year 565!


Can you correctly choose the name of the official royal residence of Queen Elizabeth II?

Windsor Castle might be the biggest royal residence, but the Queen lives at Buckingham Palace. If you are visiting and you see the Union Jack flying above it, it means that she is not home.


Who would you find living at 10 Downing Street in London?

You probably wouldn't get close to the door, but if you knocked at 10 Downing Street, you would meet the Prime Minister. As of 2019, you would find Boris Johnson greeting you.


Which one of these royals will inherit the throne from Queen Elizabeth II?

In the event of Queen Elizabeth II's passing, the throne will be passed down to the next royal in line. At that moment, Prince Charles will become King, but he will need to be appointed by the Accession Council before it's official.


If you live to be 100 years old in the UK, what will the Queen send you?

While life expectancy in other English speaking nations has fallen, it's gone up in the United Kingdom. If you live to be a centenarian, Queen Elizabeth will, upon request, send you a personalized greeting card.


With over 200 train stations, what's the name of one of the world's oldest transportation systems?

London has over 8 million citizens, and it takes a lot of transportation power to move them. The London Underground has over 200 working stations, 70 dormant stations and a fleet of red buses that get the job done.


One of these British authors wrote their way into being a billionaire. Which one?

Any fan of the Harry Potter series knows the author's name. J.K. Rowling is certainly not the first or the most famous writer in British in history, but she is the first to make over $1 billion in sales.


Which one of these Welsh cities is both the largest and the capital?

Cardiff wasn't recognized as the capital city until 1955, but it has always been a hub of industrial activity. Now famous for the world-renown Cardiff University, it was once a huge coal exporting town.


Would you say it's true or false that Queen Elizabeth II doesn't have a passport?

It's true! The Queen issues British passports, and citizens are considered her subjects. Because of her endorsement, she herself is not required to hold a passport. She has visited over 100 countries without ever needing a stamp or a visa.


Since 1745, it's been the UK's national anthem. Do you know what it's called?

"God Save the Queen" became the national anthem in the 18th century, but it was originally called "God Save the King." When the next king takes the throne, the word queen will be swapped out, and the song will have its original title again.


When a royal wedding occurs, why do citizens of the UK get the day off?

When a royal wedding occurs, citizens of the UK have more to celebrate than the addition of a new royal family member. The day is declared a national holiday, and everyone gets the day off.


How old do you and your mates need to be to legally drink in the UK?

Drinking laws in the UK are a little different than those in the United States. At the age of 18, you can legally drink there. You can drink when you are younger, but you must be at home with your parents.


The Beatles grew up and started in which one of these British cities?

There are two things they love in the town of Liverpool, England — The Beatles and the Liverpool Football Club! Whether you're a sports fan or a fan of the British invasion, the city of nearly 500,000 has a lot to offer to any visitor.


England is home to the world's largest royal residence. Which one is it?

Built in 1080, Windsor Castle is the world's oldest standing royal residence. It's also the largest. With 484,000 feet of living space spread across 13 acres, there are over 1,000 rooms!


Out of 3,500 roaring pubs in London, 500 of them are named what?

Pub culture is very much a part of life in the United Kingdom. With over 40,000 across the country, London has the most at 3,500. There, over 500 of them are given the popular name of The Red Lion.


Any idea which of these London buildings is the tallest in Europe?

At a height of 1,016 feet, The Shard stands 95 stories tall. Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, you'll also hear the building called The Shard of Glass and the Shard London Bridge.


King Charles II decreed that the monarchy would fall if what birds were removed from the Tower of London?

There are six ravens, and one bonus raven, kept at the Tower of London. They are named Jubilee, Harris, Gripp, Rocky, Merlina, Poppy and Erin, and it's believed that the country will fall into a state of disarray should they ever leave.


How many people live within the 607 square miles that make up London?

If you were looking for a similar-sized US city, you would have to look at New York. Both cities are home to upwards of 8 million people, but London sprawls over a bigger area of land.


The UK's currency is the oldest in the world. How old is the pound?

Many things have changed throughout the nation's history, but the Pound Sterling has held strong for centuries. It was redesigned in 2017, and many places also accept the Euro as payment.


The Channel Tunnel connects England and France. How many miles long is the "chunnel?"

Affectionately called "The Chunnel," The Channel Tunnel connects England and France through a series of three separate tubes that lie 150 feet below the water's surface. You can't drive a car through it, but you can take a 20-minute ride on the Eurostar.


Football might be the most popular sport, but which one is the nation's official sport?

Cricket has roots that date back to the 16th century, but it did not become the national sport for another 200 years. On any given sunny day, you can find a local cricket team practicing in the UK.


The largest mountain in the UK stands 4,441 feet above sea level. What is it named?

Found in Grampian Mountains of Scotland, Ben Nevis is the country's highest peak. When translated back to the original Gaelic language, the name means "malicious mountain." Still, you can scale it in under four hours.


Big Ben is the name of the large clock found at the Tower of London. True or false?

Despite popular misconceptions, Big Ben is not the name of the clock found at the Tower of London. Named after Benjamin Hall, the man who installed the giant bell inside, Big Ben is actually the name of the Great Bell that's housed inside the tower.


Every year, UK citizens will fork out $187 for a licensing fee that allows them to do what?

Every household in the UK is required to pay a TV licensing fee every year. The funds are used to pay for programming on the nation's publicly owned network, the British Broadcasting Corporation.


What's the name of the world's largest library located in King's Cross, London?

Erected in 1973, the British Library houses more titles than any other library in the world. At last count, the number of books from around the world totaled an impressive 180 million!


If you walked the entire length of the United Kingdom, how many miles would you have put on your trainers?

Every year, dozens of charitable souls walk or bike the entire length of the UK for charity. From John o' Groats to Land's End, the journey measures 874 miles, and it can be completed in around two weeks.


Americans drink 20% less tea, but how many cups of tea are poured in the UK every day?

You can find plenty of great coffee in the United Kingdom, but you're much more likely to be offered a cup of tea. Black tea is the most popular kind on the island nation, but other varieties are readily available.


At 220 miles long, it's the longest river in the UK — can you name it?

The River Thames is the longest river in England, but the River Severn is the longest in the United Kingdom. It starts in the Cambrian Mountains of Wales and runs all the way through the English area of Gloucestershire.


When the UK voted for their national dish, which one took home the prize?

You can find a chip shop on nearly any corner in the UK, but fish and chips is not the national dish. In 1971, citizens voted. The clear winner was chicken tikka masala. There are over 100 languages spoken in the UK, but the dish reflects the nation's international appeal.


As of 2019, which of the United Kingdom's countries has the most golf courses?

Scotland gets the credit for inventing the game of golf, and it might have some of the world's most beautiful courses. England, however, has nearly twice as many holes as its northern neighbor.


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