From a very young age my parents would take me and hold me in a swimming pool with armbands on and they taught me to swim (or at least float) before I can remember. I don’t think it is necessarily in British culture to teach children to swim, despite the fact that our country is an island! That said, lots of primary schools have swimming lessons once a week or less frequently, and private swimming lessons are also quite popular. I would be surprised to meet someone my age from Britain who didn’t know how to swim, even if they weren’t good at it. There are lots of swimming clubs and competitions in my country but swimming is not as big a sport as football, rugby, hockey or tennis.