It's illegal to be drunk in charge of a cow and 36% of Londoners are born in another country: Mind-blowing facts about the UK revealed

  • Online community has been sharing lesser known facts about the UK 
  • Brits sip 165million cups of tea daily or 60.2billion per year
  • The UK is home to the world's shortest flight and largest inhabited castle

The UK is world famous for many things - its long history of innovation, the monarchy and as the inventor of sports such as football, rugby and golf.

But did you know that Britain is also home to baffling historic drinking laws, the world’s shortest flight and that 36 per cent of Londoners were born overseas?

Internet users shared some of the most mind-boggling facts about the UK and MailOnline Travel has selected some of the lesser nuggets spanning topics such as tourist attractions and conflicts.

Drinking culture 

Since 1872 it has been illegal to be drunk in a licensed premise and anyone caught inebriated can be fined (file image)

A nation known for its fondness for alcohol, beer and wine were consumed as part of a medieval breakfast, it was revealed in a thread on Quora

Despite the belief that the French invented Champagne, many believe a Gloucester doctor called Christopher Merret recorded a recipe for a Champagne-style drink in around 1662 some 20 years before the French Benedictine monk and cellar master, Dom Pierre Perignon, who is officially recognised as the drink’s father.

Highlighting strange historic rules still in place centred around alcohol consumption, Quora user Bias Nag revealed it is illegal to be drunk and in charge of a cow in Scotland. He touches upon the Licensing Act of 1872, which has also made it illegal for people to be drunk in charge of a steam engine, carriage, firearm and horse. Perpetrators can face hefty fines and as much as 51 weeks of jail time.

In the same act, it is illegal to be drunk in a licensed premise and anyone caught inebriated can be fined. Furthermore, under the Metropolitan Police Act 1839, pub landlords can be fined if they allow people to get drunk on their premises.

Upholding the stereotype, when Brits aren’t boozing they are a nation of tea drinkers. According to the UK Tea and Infusions Associations, Brits sip 165million cups of tea daily or 60.2billion per year.

Tourist attractions 

Windsor Castle is the largest inhabited castle in the world. It has been the family home of British kings and queens for almost 1,000 years

Windsor Castle is the largest inhabited castle in the world. It has been the family home of British kings and queens for almost 1,000 years, according to the Royal Collection Trust. It is currently home to around 150 people.

Buckingham Palace has its own police station.

The name Big Ben originally referred to the bell and not the clock. 

While most assume that number 10 Downing Street is the home of prime ministers, their personal apartment's address actually stretches into number 12.  This fact was shared by Ernest W Adams, who also revealed that ‘Number 10 is supposed to be the home and office of the First Lord of the Treasury’ and says so on the door. Nowadays it is an honorary title bestowed on all prime ministers. 

The population

Picture of London: This map shows the largest foreign born populations in London by borough, with people from India being the dominant nationality in ten areas

One in three (36 per cent) of Londoners are now born abroad, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics in 2015. 

This year, London’s population reached an all time high of 8.6million with two million more people moving to the city in the past two decades, many of them from abroad, according to the Mayor of London's Data Store. 

Residents originally from India dominate ten of the capital's 32 boroughs while Londoners born in Nigeria, Poland, Turkey and Bangladesh have the highest numbers in at least three areas each. 

The UK's current population is 65,288,114 million based on the latest United Nations estimates. 

Temperatures

Brits are renowned for their obsession with the weather but it is more varied than many foreigners realise. The highest temperature ever recorded was a stifling 38.5 degrees Celcius on 10 August 2003 at Brogdale near Faversham, Kent.

The Met Office revealed that the coldest temperature ever recorded in Britain was -27.2 degrees Celsius, which hit Braemer in East Scotland on 10 January 1982 and Altnaharra in North Scotland on 30 December 1995. 

Conflict and crime

The shortest war in history was between England and Zanzibar in 1896 – it lasted for 38 minutes before Zanzibar surrendered.

UK police fired their guns just seven times in one year, according to Home Office statistics. The stats were recorded between March 2015 and March 2016. 

Transport

The capital’s shortest underground journey is Leicester Square to Covent Garden

The world’s shortest scheduled flight is a 1.5mile trip across the Orkney Islands from Westray to Papa Westray. The journey takes less than two minutes.

Angel tube station in London has the longest escalator in Western Europe.

It is illegal to jump the queue in the Tube ticket hall. Under the Transport for London Railway byelaws 'any person directed to queue by an authorised person or a sign must join the rear of the queue and obey the reasonable instructions of any authorised person regulating the queue'.

The capital’s shortest underground journey is Leicester Square to Covent Garden. Despite being a distance of just 0.6miles it is one of the most popular routes among tourists. 

Landscape

Up to 71 per cent of land in the UK is used for farming (17.2 million hectares), according to the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs.     

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