5 British Summertime Traditions – English Language Reading Comprehension

As you know, the weather in the UK is not as good as in Italy. We usually don’t have nice sunny weather for even 2 weeks, never mind a whole summer! But regardless of that, summer still exists in the UK and we have some time-honoured traditions that we like to keep to during the warmer months. Here are 5 of the best ones…


Britain is famous for its summer festival season. It’s a rite of passage for every teenager to attend their first festival with their friends. The most famous are Glastonbury and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The classic British music festival is a wonderful event. Picture thousands of small tents crammed together in fields stretching for miles and then huge stages where the most famous bands in the world come to play. It usually rains too at some point during the weekend which makes the experience uniquely British. Lots of fun but probably not a lot of sun!


As soon as a ray of sun shines through the clouds in the UK, people are on the phone to their friends inviting them for a good old barbeque! It doesn’t matter what kind of barbeque you have; from a top of the range £1000 grilling machine to a disposable one from the supermarket, everyone loves getting together to grill some meat, have a few drinks, playing some music and having a good time.

Street Parties

This is a funny one because I have never attended one, but apparently they are a tradition! Everyone can imagine the typical British summer scene with a huge long table in the street, families from all across the neighbourhood joining in to eat and drink together, and bunting with UK flags strung up across the street lights. Maybe it was more common in the past, but it is still a charming image.

A trip to the seaside

The UK is an island and we have a lot of coastline to enjoy. Before cheap package holidays and international travel became common, people used to flock to Britain’s many seaside towns for holidays. The most famous of these was Blackpool, with its amazing pleasure beach, complete with rollercoasters and arcades. Aside from that, Britain has many beautiful places to visit: from the charming coasts of North Wales to the simply stunning Cornish peninsula. The UK seaside is a great place to spend time, even if the weather isn’t good, and you can enjoy great ice cream, fish and chips and breath-taking views from these spots.

Complaining about the weather

Now this is a true British summer tradition! All year round people in the UK love to talk about the weather. It’s a classic conversation starter and a guaranteed topic of interest for any British person. After all, our climate is pretty strange. Anyway, as soon as summer comes around, and there is no sun to be seen, us Brits start complaining! Of course, it’s not fair that we only have a few days of sun while pretty much the rest of the world gets lots of sun. But then… when the sun finally arrives, we still can’t stop complaining!!! “It’s a bit too hot now isn’t it?” we tell each other from the minute the good weather arrives. Classic UK, classic summer tradition.


Thanks for reading! Please try the quizzes below to check your understanding of the article and the words in bold.

When you’re finished you can watch our video for a better understanding of British Summertime Traditions!

British Summer Traditions | Definitions Quiz

Match the words to the correct definitions

British Summer Traditions | True or False

Decide if the statement is true or false


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