What Do You Love Most About the USA and UK?

9th June 1982:  British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, American president Ronald Reagan (left) and US Secretary of State Alexander Haig (centre) outside Number 10, Downing Street during Reagan's state visit to London.  (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

We all have different stories to tell regarding where we were born and grew up, and how we fell in love with either the Premier League or one Premier League club in particular. But I believe that despite the banter, there are many readers to this site who respect both the British and American cultures. After all, we have a lot in common.

So I thought it’d be interesting to have each of you share what you love about the United States and the United Kingdom. The answers don’t all have to pertain to soccer, but should focus on the British and American cultures.

Here’s my list of the things I love about the UK and USA. Feel free to share your list in the comments section below.

Things I love about the US:

People have more of a positive outlook on life,
BBQ food,
Lower prices on almost everything,
Open highways with less traffic congestion,
24/7 soccer TV networks such as Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Soccer Plus and GolTV,
Level of attentive service in most restaurants,
The greater percentage of the population who have a college education,
HBO on Sunday night,
Ability to start a new business is easier,
American patriotism.

Things I love about the UK:

Football grounds with stadiums stuck in the past such as Goodison Park and Craven Cottage,
Fish ‘n chips,
Swansea City Football Club,
Nature walks to and from castles,
National Trust,
Public transportation,
Healthcare system,
Home-made Sunday roast dinner,
Quality programming on BBC television,
The number of vacation days.

61 thoughts on “What Do You Love Most About the USA and UK?”

  1. UK–Like:
    Premier League
    TV (Top Gear, Doctor Who, etc)
    Fewer Bible thumpers and a more secular society in general… I HATE anti-evolutionists more so than I hate jihadists

    TV (Speed TV, FSC, ESPN, etc)
    Diversity in dining scene in major cities–you can get the best of everything in NYC
    Highway system
    Lower population density
    Lower gas prices
    Lack of universal healthcare… for now
    Lower taxes
    Fewer vacation days–how can you get anything done with people taking so many days off, European style???

        1. He appears to be from NY guys. There is an idea here that you should always work. At my office, people who take their vacation days are looked at like strangers and often set back in their careers because of it. I even hear people brag about how they worked 80 hours last week and haven’t used a day since last year.

          Regardless, interesting take.

          1. He appears to be from NY guys. There is an idea here that you should always work.”

            New York? Nah, he’s just from the United States. The idea that one’s labor and commitment are part of one’s self-definition is a quintessentially American notion, going back centuries.

            There’s a reason that you hear politicians always talking about “jobs” and “helping to put Americans back to work,” rather than just simply “increasing Americans’ income” or whatever. That framing is not an accident. It’s a recognition of the longstanding American view that work itself, not just money, is part of one’s very worth.

            Also, the commenter didn’t say he likes a “lack of health care.” He said he likes the lack of the system known as “universal health care,” which is another way of saying he appreciates liberty and limited government. You can agree or disagree with him on that, but you don’t get to misconstrue his meaning.

        2. If you are a PM (Project Manager) your subordinates taking vacation only means you the PM will have to pick up the slack.
          If you the PM takes a vacation it only means more work will be waiting for you when you come back… together with angry phone calls from clients who needed your work yesterday.
          … and a million people calling you during your “vacation”…
          Wonder why nothing ever gets done in Europe during the summer?

      1. I enjoy not having Universal Healthcare, a.k.a. you paying for your own healthcare (as you do now) AND the healthcare of several other freeloaders who should have worked hard for theirs… you know, like we all do.

    1. It was actually proven, per hours worked that european countries like Germany(who almost make a certain ammount of vacation days mandatory) they are way more productive than US workers and even the Japanese. People get less burnt out and are generally happier…

      Besides how can you not like vacation?

    1. I believe he is referring to the lack of chavs and yobs in general. He does live in Florida, so most folks are pushing walkers.

      1. Without meaning to get to deep into a debate about education: I think in some ways, the number of people with a “college education” is actually a problem in the US, not a positive. I don’t mean the following is true of all American colleges and their graduates, but from the many Americans I’ve known, what is classed as a “college education” is not necessarily anywhere near the level of academic rigour that is required by a British university.

        I could go on in detail, but I don’t want to sidetrack the thread with an essay on the merits of the two different education systems.

        1. About 39% of adult Americans hold a college degree. That number is about 30% in the United Kingdom.

          But yes, college/university in the United States is basically extended high school at this point. It’s way overrated, and more than anything serves as a quick ‘n’ easy filtering process for employers — not as an actual mark of education.

        2. Well said Dave, some of the high school courses I took in my country were harder than many of the college ones here – many Americans would be better off getting vocational training/learning a trade to be honest.

          1. I agree with Dave and brn442. In fact, many of the classes I took in Wales as a 12-13 year-old in what would have been the American equivalent of a junior high school were, in fact, harder than some of the classes I took in college.

            That said, I really loved my college education in the States. And would love to be back there in classes if I could.

            The Gaffer

          2. and the funny thing is, many jobs in the USA are extremely explicit in requiring a certain title of degree, even though the content of the degree might be junk.

  2. paternalistic attitudes and learning everything about the world be means of tv stereotypes. believing our way is the best way and everyone else in the world is simply a stupid monkey and therefore forcing our way of life upon others. valuing money over family or humanity. therefore, if it gets in the way of our life, we will kill you and all of your family. we pretend to support democracy while killing underpriveledged people in other countries because, let’s face it, they don’t matter. condemning other countries for their warlike attitude and imperialist attitudes when we did it 100 years before you when it was still ok according to us and when we make the majority of the earth’s armaments. the ability to completely fool our populace because if we give you food and a house and an iphone, we know you don’t give a darn about anything else we do behind closed doors. the ability to steal all of the earths natural resources from countries we shall henceforce call 3rd world while we give them nothing but a few beads, like we did for manhattan. the ability to create an imaginary gang and imaginary world system by means you must follow or else you shall forevermore be termed barbarians, monkeys, uncivilized, backwards, and other things. the ability to conceal the reason why the world hates us from our citizens because why would anyone hate the country that brought the country civilization?
    ability to use new media to completely brainwash our populace for over a hundred plus years, but what we say is truth as opposed to other countries and their “propaganda”. money save the queen. and one nation under money. amen.

      1. both intermingled. they are both the best darn countries at white-washing their dirty deeds. isn’t that something to be proud of??

  3. Well, I lived in London for about 3 years before returning to San Francisco about a year ago. So here goes:

    Things I love about the US:
    – San Francisco!!!! It’ll always be home. Seriously, this warrants another section on why I love SF: weather, natural beauty, laid back and tolerant culture, access to everything (ocean, mountains, wine country, etc.).
    – Great Mexican food. Tortilla in Islington and Taqueria in Notting Hill aren’t bad, but don’t hold a candle to a good burrito from the Mission. Interestingly enough, the best Mexican food we found in Europe was in Paris.
    – Laid back, positive, and friendly disposition of Americans (mostly).
    – The ability to buy just about anything you might possibly want (how come you can’t get a good quality Ziplock bag in England?)
    – Incredible diversity in one country.
    – Driving on the right.
    – Ditto on service – so much better and more friendly here in the States.
    – No TV license fee. Though that also means no BBC (see things I love about England).

    Things I love about England:
    – Hampstead Heath (used to live 10 minutes from it)
    – The English countryside and access to public footpaths (the Peak District was a fave).
    – Pubs, pubs, pubs
    – English footy announcers (especially the BBC’s Jonathan Pierce). I’ll take “that was a lovely ball” to “that was suweeeeeet!” any day.
    – The people’s passion for footy
    – Being able to walk to Emirates Stadium
    – English dairy products
    – English humor (or should I say “humour”?). Dry, sarcastic, but very funny.
    – The politeness of the English people (mostly good, sometimes a little too stuffy).
    – Their passion for flowers. Nothing beats a spring day in London with everything blooming.
    – I’ll second Sunday roast. Lamb shank on a Sunday afternoon at your favorite pub – yum!
    – London’s Borough Market. Beats SF’s Ferry Plaza Market by a long shot.
    – Monkey World! (Look it up)
    – Weekends in Paris and less than a 2 hour flight to every major European city
    – English politics. WAY less partisan and annoying than US politics.
    – The Beeb. Great programming.
    – Match of the Day. I loves my Golden Boots, Shearer and Hansen.

    1. Great comments, have to agree with most of that

      One more plus for England – this won’t be a popular one but I love the weather and dark, low-lying clouds in the UK

      1. I often pine for the weather of my English homeland too. You can generally dress in a respectable manner all year round.

  4. USA Likes
    * Guaranteed summer season
    * Tailgating and all the great food that comes with it
    * Driving on interstates around the country
    * Good Mexican food
    *Spacious homes (except in NYC)
    *Cheaper prices on gas, cars, electronics and clothing
    *BBW ( Yes, I love the larger sized ladies)
    American football and basketball

    UK Likes
    *Plenty of sidewalks
    *The wonderful parks and green spaces across the country
    *Easy access to public transport
    *Match of the Day
    *Football First
    *Lack of biased news reporting such as Fox News
    *No Sarah Palin
    *More racial integration rather than segregation especially in schools,
    *Going to the Emirates to see my beloved Arsenal

  5. I don’t know if I can list what I like better or worse. So I’ll leave this “Thank you” list.

    Thank you, U.S., for:
    – The 1956 Ford Thunderbird.
    – The San Francisco Bay Area and all its diversity.
    – The general lack of interest in soccer making it “exclusive” and “cool” to be an American who is into soccer.
    – PBR.
    – Not throwing intellectual titans such as Beck and Limbaugh into jail for the stupid s#!t they say–no matter how much they fetishize that happening.
    – The San Jose Earthquakes.

    Thank you, U.K., for:
    – The Clash
    – Joe Strummer
    – My 1964 Norton
    – My 1971 Triumph
    – My 1979 Triumph
    – PJ Harvey
    – Simon Pegg
    – Rockers
    – Liverpool FC
    – Hob Nobs

    1. Yep, England should always get credit for taking American music forms and pushing them in brilliant new directions. The Beatles did it with rock ‘n’ roll, the Stones did it with R&B, Led Zeppelin did it with the blues, the ’80s pop bands did it with Motown, on and on. The ongoing musical trade between America and England is one of the greatest cultural cross-pollinations in world history.

  6. Things I love about the US:

    Cost of living
    How Diverse the US is
    Different kinds of restaurants and standard of service
    How you can become anything
    Not having a class system like the UK

    Things I love about the UK:

    Chip Shop
    Good beer
    Football being the main sport
    Health Care
    News that reports the facts
    25 vacation days as a new hire
    Good olde English Breakfast

    1. Tim,
      Just out of interest, are you British or American?
      I find it intersting when people say America doesn’t have a class system. I’m not saying I entirely disagree with you, but I know that there absolutely IS a class system in the US.
      I think it is perhaps easier to transcend the class system in the US, but there is undoubtedly still a class system in operation. If you want evidence, just look at your nearest “projects.” You think those kids are going to grow up with the same chance of being a doctor or lawyer as someone brought up in Westchester or the Hamptons?

      1. Dave C I’m British but have lived in the States for the last 13 years. I feel there are many layers of a class system in Britain. I take your point about the projects, but I also feel if you want the opportunity it is there for you whereas in Britain for example if you don’t go to the right public school then certain opportunties are already gone.

        1. Tim – thanks for the response. I’m British too…from my anecdotal experience, I think there is still a class system in the US, but it seems easier for people to climb the ladder than it is in the UK.

          I wonder if this is something to do with accents…in the US, there doesn’t seem to be the same range or depth of accents – they tend to be more subtle, and hence easier to shake off. So in the US, the child of a blue-collar worker might grow up to have a fairly “standardized” US accent, and hence not be marked for life as a product of his background. On the other hand, English regional accents seem to be more pervasive, so you seem to be marked as “working class” for life. (I speak from experience as someone with Yorkshire accent).

          1. Dave,
            I think you might not have been in the US long enough if you think that most people have the a “standardized” US accent. The people on the news have the “standardized” US accent as do most people from southern New England, New York State, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Depending where you come from in the south you will have a different accent, people from Louisiana have a different from people from North Carolina. People from Boston have a very distinct accent from the rest of the northeast as do a lot of people from the midwest like Minnesota or Wisconsin.

            I think the big difference in this country is that people don’t really care about your accent expect for maybe on a competitive level. Like I can’t stand people with a Boston accent because I root from the Yankees, but other than that I don’t think people really care. The only accent in the US I think is looked down upon is the thick southern hick accent, but southern girls accents just make them even hotter.

          2. CT Blues,
            Yeah I realize I exaggerated slightly by saying that most people have a “standardized” accent… I’ve met enough people from the South to see that their accent is obviously very different to the North East. But at the same time, I think accents are still fairly “standardized” within any given locale within the US. By this, I mean that in any given city or state, the accent of the working class and the upper/middle class is not as clearly delineated as it is in the UK. People still have regional accents, but the effect of social class on an accent does not seem so profound. So people tend not to have accents that mark them for life as a member of a particular class.

            Also, I still think that compared to the UK, the difference in accents between say the NYC area and the Boston area is not nearly as profound. I can tell them apart, but given that Boston and NY are about 4hrs apart by car, they’re not THAT different. Now if you look at the UK, any city 4 hrs out of London (such as Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull) will have a massively different accent.

            Even between cities that are relatively close to each other (Manchester and Liverpool, only about an hour apart if that), there are massive differences in accent that even the most untrained ear could easily distinguish.

    1. If you’re talking about mass produced chocolate yes but now that Cadbury was taken over by Hersheys – that may change.

  7. Great post. I love this website; just started checking in a few weeks ago and I love the articles. Starting up a bit of my own blog/pundit-oriented site. Thanks for all your work and check out footyintheusa(dot)blogspot(dot)com

  8. Interesting subject – likely to stir a trollfest perhaps, but interesting nonetheless.

    For my part, many of the things I like about the two countries are contradictory. For example:

    I like the fact that England has historic towns and cities where buildings are older than the US nation itself. But I like how even fairly non-descript small cities in the US seem gleaming and new in a way that similarly-sized cities in the UK never are.

    I also like “some” of the BBC’s programming, while I like the fact that in the US I’m not forced to buy a stupid license to fund a certain TV network, even if I don’t want to watch any of it.

    I like how my part of the US has 4 clearly defined seasons. But at the same time, I like how the UK generally has fairly temperate weather all year round, so I never have to dress like either an arctic explorer or an 8 year old kid.

    Also, it’s good to remember that in comparing the two nations, we’re all relying on our own fairly narrow experiences of both countries (even if you live in one of them). I don’t think any of us really has the experience of both the US (both in the major cities, tourist centers, and rural outposts) and the equivalent areas of the UK to really compare the two countries fairly.

  9. Fun post Gaffer. While I agree with many of the lists above, I thought I’d add a few of my favorites:

    American Football and Baseball
    Collegiate Sports
    Southern Accents
    Cost of Living
    Hip-Hop music
    The beaches and coasts
    Lost, 24, The Wire, and Mad Men


    British Accents
    Seeing 5 a side courts where one would see basketball courts in the US
    The great beers
    Fashion sense/style
    British GQ and Esquire
    Soul music (which of late has had a freshness not found in the US)
    BBC News, Sky Sports, Top Gear, and the Inbetweeners

  10. US:
    New York City (and Brooklyn, in particular)
    All of the freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution (f off, right wing)
    Mexican food
    California road trips up and down the coast
    Football on TV, from all over the world, almost all the time … spoiled, we are!
    Four seasons
    Television (in general, not the band, though they’re OK)
    The grandeur of the American Southwest

    The Clash, The Damned, The UK Subs, Wire, Gang of Four, etc.
    Proper pubs
    The Tate

  11. Limited experience in U.K. (Scotland 2 yrs. ago), but in no particular order:

    “Old” history
    Ease of public transportation
    Daily Special menu that warns “pheasant may contain shot”
    Local butchers, bakers and shops
    People flat out friendly to foreigners
    Less histrionic announcers
    Weather you can count on
    Popularity of soccer and rugby


    Beer (micros-brews)
    College football
    Variety and availability of consumer goods
    TV choices, especially sports
    Being able to live without winter
    Diversity of just about everything
    Education system
    Cost of living

  12. I have never been to the U.S so everything I know of it comes from T.V.

    As such I will just list what I hate and love about England.


    Football being the main sport
    Sky sports news 24hrs a day
    Match of the day
    football first
    The health system
    fish and chips
    driving on the left
    The history
    The countryside
    The fact i can drive from one end of the country to the other in 5hrs
    SKY TV
    Being English


    The weather
    TV licence
    The small houses
    The overcrowding
    The scumbags
    The cost of living
    crap beaches
    crap roads
    crap pavements
    litter all over the place in towns and cities

    1. Overcrowding, scumbags, cost of living, crap roads, crap pavements, litter all over the place… sounds like you’re talking about NYC!

  13. Cool post, Gaffer:

    US Likes:

    – Having a “season” for our number one sport American football: when the calendar strikes September, it is football season across the nation for 5 straight months (high school, college and NFL)
    – Mexican food, best in the world
    – Texas (if you’re not from there you won’t get it)
    – The open road
    – Incredible work ethic
    – Less government interference
    – Wonderful diversity, unmatched in the world
    – Positivity and optimism as a nation
    – Patriotism (and not the guy with the Old Glory bandana using the flag as a hate weapon, but true patriotism)

    UK Likes
    – Football: the songs, the chants, the passion, the fast-paced nature of English football
    – Edinburgh: my favorite city in Europe
    – London Underground, far superior to NY’s Subway system
    – Radiohead
    – Coldplay
    – The Rolling Stones
    – British people understand what good music is and isn’t more than Americans, like how the Strokes and Kings of Leon made it big in UK before US, because US radio is a joke and plays teeny-pop crap 24/7
    – Frank Lampard

  14. US:
    Kim Kardashian
    Jessica Beal
    Marilyn Monroe
    Jessica Alba
    Katie Holmes
    Phoebe Cates
    Danica Patrick
    Jennifer Lopez
    Mia Hamm

    Kate Beckinsale
    Victoria Beckham
    Elizabeth Hurley
    Scary Spice
    Kate Moss
    Kate Winslet
    Keira Knightley
    Rachael Weisz
    Cathrine Zeta Jones
    Her Majesty the Queen

  15. U.K.

    Chip Shops
    Manners and Courtesy
    Free Health Care
    Good Education
    Nice People
    Public Transport
    Football – Man Utd

    My Partner and Our Dog
    Mall of America
    North Shore
    Cost of Living
    Friendly People in Mn
    North Shore (Lake Superior)
    Relaxed pace of life

  16. Some good lists here(especially Joe Dirt!)
    UK loves –
    BBC tv and truly local radio
    Fish & chips
    black taxis
    red phone boxes
    british sausage & HP/Heinz beans
    double deck buses
    beautiful parks & countryside
    Musical diversity – “discovered” Hendrix and embraced reggae,ska and soul
    footy and cricket

    USA likes –
    huge highways
    air conditioning
    they bag your groceries!
    all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants
    ‘Spring Break” in Daytona
    Fox Soccer Channel
    ‘Have a nice day”

  17. I have lived in the USA for nearly 3 years.


    Proper Summers
    My wife
    not having to deal with the DVLC
    No coucil tax
    To TV licence
    More space
    no chavs
    more EPL games on tv here
    movies out here before the UK


    Fish and Chips
    Trains and buses
    5 weeks vacation
    Goodison Park
    The view of Liverpool from my old appartment
    Going on holiday to Spain

  18. Really interesting read, well done Gaffer! This has brought about a lot of interest from folks, including me!

    My Wife! She is nice!!
    Being able to afford a better life (even though pound to dollar I earn less than I did back home)
    Automatic gear-shift is standard
    Getting a driver’s license is a piece of piss
    Dedicated Football, sorry “Soccer” channel
    Weather (sometimes)
    Samuel Adams: Summer Ale
    I have a “cool accent” here
    Room to breathe

    My Family
    My Friends that consider family
    Proper Full English/Irish Breakfast!!
    Heinz Baked Beans
    Chip shops
    Commercials every 15 minutes instead of every 5!
    Sky Sports
    Pub Pubs
    Going to the pub to watch a game!
    Public Transport
    Being able to say Football and not have to correct myself and say Socca!
    Harry Hills TV Burp!
    Holiday time! (I was taken aback when I was told I get 10 days holiday and a week of personal/sick time! My last UK job I got 26 days and sick time was sick time.)
    Less of a Gun culture (although that changes everyday)

    I’m sure I’m missing things and if I think of them I’ll add them…

  19. US:
    FREE drink refills
    FREE napkins
    FREE ice
    FREE public toilets
    FREE extra ketchup packets
    FREE parking (as opposed to most pay and display places in the UK)

    English-heritage properties
    John Smith beer
    Heinz Salad Cream
    Mushy peas
    Cheese (whether imported from mainland or otherwise)
    Tomato Juice in a box
    Thresher Wine Shops

    1. Agreed on the issue of free refills. When I first visited the US and travelled around a bit, the concept of the free refill completely blew my mind. It’s sadly lacking in NYC though, as far as I know.

      But free ice??? You mean you’ve been to a bar/restaurant outside the US and actually been charged for the ice in your drink??

  20. well, looking at the picture, I can tell you the thing I love most about both countries is that both Reagan and Thatcher are dead. What horrible people. And what business does a football website have posting a picture of Thatcher? Even Stalin was more favorable to football than the Iron Lady was.
    Beyond that, I would have to say that, generally speaking, patriotism is a social disease, and that the best thing about football in either country is that is increasingly a sport that is detached from a particular national association. In the UK this is because the premiership is increasingly populated by non-English players, the importance of which can be seen in the dismal predictability of the English national team, while in the United States soccer is the most popular sport among only one segment of the population–people born outside the country. So I’d have to take issue with the premise of the question. But to be less snarky,

    the UK:
    Eels in a tin
    shrimp in a paste

    The US


  21. Great post . . . only been to UK once, but my brother-in-law is Brittish: here’s my list anyway:

    Space (at least where I live)
    Cost of living / Quality of living
    Diversity (in almost everything)
    American sports (baseball, football)
    Sports TV channels
    Soccer/Football specific TV channels

    Sporting culture
    Intelligent and understated sports commentary/presentation (vs. American hyperbole and glitz)
    Pub names
    News media
    BBC (I listen to 5live and other BBC more than American radio)
    Proximity to Europe

    1. First I believe when the previous poster said Europe he meant continental Europe. And second, Britain considers itself to be separate from the rest of Europe where as here Britain is lumped in with the rest of Europe. You can see this in how most people in Britain have at best a complicated relationship with the rest of Europe re the EU.

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