A Day In The UK

Busy Street in London

For the best experience, view this post in a browser.

Daily routine will vary depending on your job and stage of life, but there is an overall pattern to the routine of British citizens. 

Although it’s recommended to sleep eight hours a night, Brits, on average, only sleep around six hours a night. Our alarms go off at around 7am, but we don’t actually get out of bed until about 7.30am.

Woman looking out of the window waking up

The most likely activity that we do when we finally wake up is grab our phone and read emails, scan the news, review the schedule for the day ahead or check our social media.

For those who have breakfast, it’s normally between 7:30am and 8:00am and no, we don’t have a full English breakfast every day. In fact, the most popular breakfasts are a piece of toast, bacon sandwich or cereal. Of course, with a cup of tea!

Plate of English breakfast
Train travelling on the tracks in the UK

Then we head off to work and commute for around 30 minutes. We work just over 38 hours a week on average, between 9am and 5pm daily, but with huge popularity for flexible working, many people stay at home and work from 8am to 4pm instead.

The average lunch break for the British people is around 20 minutes, taken at about 12.30pm. Many people skip lunch all together, but the rest tend to eat lunch alone at their desks. The four most popular meals for lunch are sandwiches- ham, cheese, tuna and egg mayo. We’re also not fond of variety in the UK and often have the same meal for lunch on a daily basis.

Glasses cheering

After a few more hours of work, it’s time to celebrate at 5pm with happy hour. Between 5pm and 7pm, many British workers choose to go to the pub with colleagues and have a few drinks, even on weekdays!

After another 30-minute commute home, we get ready for dinner. Dinner is the main meal of the day in the UK and most people sit down with their families and discuss their working day. Dinner is usually between 6:30pm and 8:00pm.

Woman watching TV with a bowl of popcorn

Next is TV time. Before bed, most Brits settle down to watch TV and our favourite programmes are UK-produced dramas.

By the time it gets to 10pm, most Brits are getting ready for bed. 63% of the population will fall asleep between 10pm and 12pm with only a few night owls going to bed after midnight. And it happens all over again.

Have a quick read of some daily routines from workers and students around the UK…

Germán Idrovo

Managerial Trainee in Supply Chain - Material Planner

Winchester

Image of Germán Idrovo

I wake up at 7am then I get dressed with a shirt, trousers and smart shoes. I wash my face and brush my teeth in the bathroom, and I leave the house and walk to the bus stop. When I am on the bus to work, I eat my breakfast. My bus journey is around 1.5 hours and I need to take two different buses. I work in the supply chain of a big company and I work 8 hours per day. When I arrive at 9am, I prepare all my files to do my job for the day. Most of my job is on a computer. Between 9am and 12pm I have lots of meetings with my team and my suppliers, then from 12pm to 12.30pm I go to the cafeteria to have my lunch break. At 1pm I have the most important meeting of my day with all my department then from 2pm to 5pm I continue working. After work, I go to the company gym where I do exercise for 90 minutes and then I commute home. I arrive at home at around 8pm where I have a shower and help my girlfriend cook dinner. We normally have dinner at around 8.45pm. Usually we watch a TV series or a film until 10pm, then I brush my teeth, put my pyjamas on and go to bed. 

I set my alarm for 8am and then get up and wash my face and brush my teeth. I then get changed and do my makeup ready for my day at work and I leave the house at 8.30am otherwise I will be late. I walk to the tube station which takes just under 20 minutes and I get the northern line to Stockwell and change to the Victoria line to Oxford Circus. My commute usually takes 50 minutes. I then walk to my office from the tube station which takes 5 minutes and I sit down at my desk ready for the day at 9.30am. I usually eat my breakfast at 10am at work because I hate eating early in a morning. I have my lunch break from 1-2pm and I usually have soup or a salad. My working day finishes at 5.30pm and I make my way home. I then get changed out of my work clothes and put something more comfortable on and cook my dinner with whatever I have in the fridge and then I usually watch TV with my housemates or FaceTime my boyfriend. I get ready for bed and go to sleep between 10.30pm and 11pm ready for the next day.

Flo Wilkinson

Classified Sales Executive

London

Image of Flo Wilkinson

Charles Dunn

Student of Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Reading

Image of Charles Dunn

My alarm is set for 7:45am, when I wake up, I brush my teeth and take a shower. I get changed and prepare breakfast for 8:15am. When I have finished my breakfast I prepare my bag for my first lecture of the day. I leave my house at 8:30am and cycle to the university campus, this journey usually takes me fifteen minutes. My first lecture starts at 9:00am, I usually arrive with some time to spare before the lecture has started, this gives me time to open my textbooks and find the relevant course material on my laptop. The lecture lasts until 11:00am. After the lecture I make my way to the library. I study for a couple of hours and then I eat my lunch at around 1pm. I may study for a few more hours but I try and go to the gym at 3pm in the afternoon. After working out for one hour, I make my way home. The evening varies day to day, most likely I spend time with my housemates, and we eat dinner together from any time between 6-8pm. After dinner we go to the university bar which is on campus. If we go to the university bar, we tend to return home at 10pm. I get ready to go to sleep by brushing my teeth and I am in my bed at 10:30pm. I spend three quarters of an hour reading before I go to sleep. I switch my lights off at around 11:15pm.

Telling The Time

In English, there are two ways to tell the time; the 12-hour method and the 24-hour method. The 12-hour method is the easiest, so let’s review that here. Let’s take a look at a time from this text. 

7:30am

To say this time using the 12-hour method, we need three parts.

Part 1

The entire number before the “:”

In our example 7:30am, the number before “:” is 7 (seven)

seven

Part 2

The entire number after the “:”

In our example 7:30am, the number after “:” is 30 (thirty)

thirty

Part 3

AM (Between midnight and midday- morning)

PM (Between midday and midnight- afternoon)

am

Let’s take another example from this text. 

5:00pm

 

Part 1

The entire number before the “:”

In our example 5:00pm, the number before “:” is 5 (five)

five

Part 2

The entire number after the “:”

In our example 5:00pm the number after “:” is 0.

With 0, we don’t say anything. 

-

Part 3

AM (Between midnight and midday- morning)

PM (Between midday and midnight- afternoon)

pm

To learn how to say 24-hour time, times of the day, parts of the clock and vocabulary for time-telling devices, take a look at our “telling the time” course. 

 

Is this similar to the typical daily routine in your country? Tell us in the comments below.

  1. Chemist4u. (2018). UK 2018 Sleep Survey & Statistics. Available: https://www.chemist-4-u.com/sleep-study/. Last accessed 23rd April 2020.
  2. Ofcom. (2019). Media nations: UK 2019. Available: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/160714/media-nations-2019-uk-report.pdf. Last accessed 23rd April 2020.
  3. The Sleep Council. (2018). TIME FOR BED, TIME FOR SLEEP. Available: https://sleepcouncil.org.uk/time-for-bed/. Last accessed 23rd April 2020
  4. TUC. (2019). Annual commuting time is up 21 hours compared to a decade ago, finds TUC. Available: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/annual-commuting-time-21-hours-compared-decade-ago-finds-tuc. Last accessed 23rd April 2020.

Responses

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *