The British have travelled to foreign lands for many centuries. They’ve gone abroad for trade, for science and, most of all, for conquest. Some historians believe the only countries never to have been invaded by the British are Uruguay and Laos. Thriller writer Tom Knox once wrote: “If only they’d stayed sober, given the chance the British would probably have invaded the moon.”
These days the British are less militaristic, but still just as keen on abroad. So why do Brits like to be elsewhere? Is it the get-me-outta-here British winter? Is it the waters that surround our island, enabling exploration and reminding us that adventure awaits? Perhaps it is the irresistible proximity of cheaper countries with superior ice cream? Whatever the answer, the urge felt by British youth to escape has never been documented better than here, in Peter Dench’s piercing, comedic, acute and heroically revealing photo-portrait of one nation, slowly turning pink under a foreign sun.
The British Abroad
Photographer: Peter Dench