10 fantastic quotes about Britain

Buckingham Palace Credit: VisitBritain/Britain on View

Part of what makes Britain great is its wonderfully diverse people. Here, we round up quotes from writers who have captured the nation’s spirit perfectly.

Calton Hill, Edinburgh
The National Monument of Scotland on Calton Hill inspired by the Parthenon in Athens, an unfinished monument to the Scottish servicemen who died in the Napoleonic Wars Credit: VisitBritain/Andrew Pickett

1 We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language.
Oscar Wilde

2 The English are not a very spiritual people, so they invented cricket to give them some idea of eternity.
George Bernard Shaw

3 If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England.
Rupert Brooke, The Soldier

Cardiff Castle
Wales Millennium Centre. Credit: VisitBritain/David Angel

4 The maxim of the British people is “Business as usual.”
Winston Churchill

5 When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.
Samuel Johnson

6 “The language itself, whether you speak it or not, whether you love it or hate it, is like some bewitchment or seduction from the past, drifting across the country down the centuries, subtly affecting the nations sensibilities even when its meaning is forgotten.”
Jan Morris, Wales: The First Place

Band performing during The Changing of the Guard ceremony taking place in the courtyard of Buckingham Palace. Credit: britainonview/Pawel Libera
Band performing during The Changing of the Guard ceremony taking place in the courtyard of Buckingham Palace. Credit: britainonview/Pawel Libera

7 Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North,
The birth-place of Valour, the country of Worth;
Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.
Robert Burns, My Heart’s In The Highlands 

8 Scotland small? Our multiform, infinite Scotland SMALL?
Hugh MacDiarmid 

9 The land of embarrassment and breakfast.
Julian Barnes

10  The English certainly and fiercely pride themselves in never praising themselves.
Wyndham Lewis

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