United Kingdom, island country located off the northwestern coast of mainland Europe. The United Kingdom comprises the whole of the island of Great Britain—which contains England, Wales, and Scotland—as well as the northern portion of the island of Ireland. The name Britain is sometimes used to refer to the United Kingdom as a whole. The capital is London, which is among the world’s leading commercial, financial, and cultural centres. Other major cities include Birmingham, Liverpool, and Manchester in England, Belfast and Londonderry in Northern Ireland, Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland, and Swansea and Cardiff in Wales.
Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
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Contents of this Page
|Capital & Largest City||London|
and national language
|Recognized regional or minority languages||Scots |
|Ethnic groups(2011)||87.1% White|
|Religion (2011[)||59.5% Christian|
|Upper house||House of Lords|
|Lower house||House of Commons|
|Laws in Wales Acts||1535 and 1542|
|Union of the Crowns under James VI & I||24 March 1603|
|Acts of Union of England and Scotland||1 May 1707|
|Acts of Union of Great Britain & Ireland||1 January 1801|
|Irish Free State Constitution Act||5 December 1922|
|EC accession||1 January 1973|
|Total||242,495 km2(93,628 sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2018 estimate|
|GDP (nominal)||2018 estimate|
|Gini (2014)|| 31.6 |
|HDI (2017)|| 0.922 |
|Currency||Pound sterling GBP £|
|Time zone||UTC ( Greenwich Mean Time, WEST )|
|Summer (DST)||UTC+1 ( British Summer Time, WEST )|
|Date format||dd/mm/yyyy (AD)|
|ISO 3166 code||GB|
The United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments,each with varying powers. The nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation.
The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
There are fourteen British Overseas Territories,the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed almost a quarter of the world’s land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language, culture and political systems of many of its former colonies.[
The United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world’s fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a very high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world. It was the world’s first industrialized country and the world’s foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence internationally. It is a recognized nuclear weapons state and is sixth in military expenditure in the world.
It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946. It has been a leading member state of the European Union (EU) and its predecessor, the European Economic Community (EEC), since 1973; however, a referendum in 2016 resulted in 51.9% of UK voters favoring leaving the European Union, and the country’s exit is being negotiated. The United Kingdom is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Interpol and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Climate of United Kingdom (UK)
The United Kingdom has a temperate climate, with plentiful rainfall all year round. The temperature varies with the seasons seldom dropping below −11 °C (12 °F) or rising above 35 °C (95 °F). The prevailing wind is from the south-west and bears frequent spells of mild and wet weather from the Atlantic Ocean, although the eastern parts are mostly sheltered from this wind since the majority of the rain falls over the western regions the eastern parts are therefore the driest.
Atlantic currents, warmed by the Gulf Stream, bring mild winters; especially in the west where winters are wet and even more so over high ground. Summers are warmest in the south-east of England, being closest to the European mainland, and coolest in the north. Heavy snowfall can occur in winter and early spring on high ground, and occasionally settles to great depth away from the hills.
Because the United Kingdom stretches almost 800 miles from end to end, temperatures can vary quite considerably between north and south. Differences in rainfall are also pronounced between the drier east and wetter west. Scotland and north-western England (particularly the Lake District) are often rainy and cold. Alpine conditions with heavy snowfall are common in the mountains of northern Scotland during the winter.
The north-east and Midlands are also cool, though with less rainfall. The south-east and east Anglia are generally warm and dry, and the south-west warm but often wet. Wales and Northern Ireland tend to experience cool to mild temperatures and moderate rainfall, while the hills of Wales occasionally experience heavy snowfall. Even though the highest land in the United Kingdom rarely reaches more than 1,100m, the effect of height on rainfall and temperature is great.
List of Regions of United Kingdom (UK)
|Brighton & Hove||2000|
|Glasgow||18th century |
|Kingston upon Hull1||1897|
|Newcastle upon Tyne||1882|
50 Popular Tourist Places Must Visit in United Kingdom (UK)
1. Big Ben : London’s iconic national timepiece 16-storey Gothic clocktower and national symbol at the Eastern end of the Houses of Parliament.
2. Buckingham Palace : Home of the British Queen & State Rooms.Visitors can tour the palace’s opulent private and state rooms or watch the changing of the guard.
3. Coca-Cola London Eye : Iconic riverside observation wheel.Huge observation wheel giving passengers a privileged bird’s-eye view of the city’s landmarks.
4. Stonehenge : Iconic prehistoric standing stone circle in UnitedKingdom. Legendary neolithic monument made using stones transported from Wales and built for unknown purpose.
5. Tower of London : Medieval castle housing the Crown Jewels.Centuries of bloody history around a medieval castle, home to Crown Jewels and iconic Beefeaters.
6. Tower Bridge : Iconic Victorian turreted bridge.Panoramic views from high level walkways and behind-the-scenes access to original lifting machinery.
7. Edinburgh Castle : Spectacular old fortress with city views.An 11th-century castle and barracks housing the Crown Jewels and National War Museum of Scotland.
8. Giant’s Causeway : Unique hexagonal landscape feature.Basalt columns jut upwards out of the sea at this iconic landform with a modern visitor’s centre.
9. River Thames : Rivers, estuaries, clock towers, and canals in United Kingdom.The River Thames, known alternatively in parts as the Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London. At 215 miles, it is the longest river entirely in England and the
10. The British Museum : A historian’s treasure trove.Huge showcase for global antiquities, including Egyptian mummies and ancient Greek sculptures.
11. Hyde Park : Acres of greenery in Central London.Huge green space, home to Diana Memorial Fountain, with boating and swimming in the Serpentine lake.
12. Westminster Abbey : Gothic church & site for coronations.Protestant abbey hosting daily services and every English and British coronation since 1066.
13. St. Paul’s Cathedral : Iconic cathedral’s churchyard & garden in United Kingdom.Churchyard and gardens outside Saint Paul’s cathedral, with a floor-plan of the original building.
14. Palace of Westminster : Iconic home of UK parliament.Neo-Gothic masterpiece and seat of the UK government. Guided tours on Saturdays and in summer.
15. Windsor Castle : Queen’s residence, tours & exhibitions.Tour the historic royal castle full of spectacular art and antiques, plus grounds and chapel.
16. Trafalgar Square : Nelson’s Column, fountains & lions.Nelson’s Column rises above this iconic square’s LED-lit fountains, artworks and lion statues.
17. Loch Ness : Large lake famed for a folklore monster23-mile freshwater lake in the highlands, best known for its namesake mythical monster, “Nessie.”
18. Covent Garden : Shopping hub & Royal Opera House in United Kingdom.Covent Garden is in the West End, London’s main theatre and entertainment area. Tourists fill its elegant, car-free Piazza, home to fashion stores, crafts at the Apple Market and the Royal Opera
19. Loch Lomond : Lake with outdoor recreation & cruises.Scenic highlands lake with waterside paths, cruises, adventure attractions, golf & quaint villages.
20. The Roman Baths : Roman baths, museum and restaurant.Roman bathhouse and temple, with spring water, Pump Room restaurant, museum and audio tour for kids.
21. Natural History Museum : Natural phenomena & hands-on activities.Landmark museum of animals and natural phenomena, with hands-on exhibits and animatronic dinosaurs.
22. Scottish Highlands : Loch Ness, medieval castles & mountains in United Kingdom.The Scottish Highlands are a mountainous region encompassing northwest Scotland. Loch Ness is at the centre, overlooked by the ruins of medieval Urquhart Castle and known for mythical monster
23. Peak District National Park : Natural area with recreation options.Large year-round recreation area encompassing villages, museums, hiking trails & camping.
24. The National Gallery : Major art from 13th to 19th centuries.Trafalgar Square art museum whose masterworks trace the development of Western European painting.
25. The Shard : 306m-high glass & steel tower with views87-floor glass skyscraper with a jagged peak, with restaurants, offices, hotel and viewing platform.
26. London Bridge : 1970s bridge spanning the River Thames in United Kingdom. Concrete pedestrian and traffic bridge that gave a major railway station its name.
27. Piccadilly Circus : Bustling Theatreland traffic junction.Buzzing Theatre-district square with giant neon signs & the 19th-c. Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain.
28. Cotswolds : Scenic countryside & historic buildings.Famous area of picturesque hills & meadows dotted with villages, grand residences & castles.
29. Oxford Street : Shopping and fashion. Oxford Street is a major road in the City of Westminster in the West End of London, running from Tottenham Court Road to Marble Arch via Oxford Circus. It is Europe’s busiest shopping street,
30. Tate Modern : Contemporary art & cafe with river views in United Kingdom. Modern-art gallery with international works on display, plus a cafe with panoramic river views.
31. Palace of Holyrood house : 16th-century royal palace & abbey tours.The 16th-century palace of the Stuarts, with tours of royal reception rooms, antiques and relics.
32. Ben Nevis : Landmark mountain for hiking & climbing.The highest peak in Britain, attracting visitors for hiking, ice climbing & glacial-valley views.
33. Kensington Palace : Royal museum in state residence.Royal palace and gardens, with exhibits on former residents like Queen Victoria and Princess Diana.
34. The Regent’s Park : Cafe & sport centre with changing rooms in United Kingdom. Modern, glass-clad cafe and sports administrative centre, with pitches and changing rooms.
35. Madame Tussauds London : Wax museum featuring notable celebrities.Museum chain for life-size wax replicas of famous celebrities & historic icons in themed galleries.
36. Victoria and Albert Museum : World-class decorative art & design.Blockbuster exhibitions and permanent decorative arts collection, with design shop and ornate cafe.
37. Urquhart Castle : Loch-side, ruined 16th-century fortress.Large, ruined castle dating from 1509, overlooking Loch Ness, with visitor centre and cafe.
38. Borough Market : Fresh produce & groceriesHuge market under the railway lines, for British-reared meat and artisanal baked and dairy goods.
39. Windermere : Large lake with islands & boating in United Kingdom.This large glacial ribbon lake features 18 islands, plus ferries & other boating activities.
40. Stirling Castle : Royal castle dating from Middle Ages.12th-century castle and former Renaissance royals palace, with great hall and regimental museum.
41. Soho : Buzzy area for West End theatre & dining.The energetic streets of Soho, in the West End, feature an eclectic mix of dining, nightlife and shopping options. Dean, Frith, Beak and Old Compton streets are the epicentre of activity day
42. Camden Town : Camden Market shops & live music.Camden Town is famed for its market, a warren of fashion and curiosities by the Regent’s Canal. A haven of counter culture, the area is popular with tourists, teenagers and punks. The thriving
43. Hadrian’s Wall : Ancient Roman defensive wall remnants in United Kingdom. The remains of the Roman Emperor, Hadrian’s northern defensive fortifications to walk and explore.
44. Titanic Belfast : Museum about sunken ocean liner.Hands-on displays, including dark ride, underwater exploration theatre and re-created decks/cabins.
45. South Bank : Southbank arts complex & London Eye.Right beside the River Thames, the South Bank is a dynamic area at the heart of London’s cultural scene. The Southbank Centre, National Theatre and BFI film theatre are all world-class arts venues
46. Yorkshire Dales : Outstanding scenery & wildlife habitat United Kingdom. National Park straddling the Pennines over 680 square miles of scenic dales and rustic villages.
47. Old Town, Edinburgh : Edinburgh Castle & pubs on Royal Mile.Visitors pack the Old Town, a bustling area of centuries-old buildings and narrow alleys. At its heart, perched on an extinct volcano, Edinburgh Castle is home to Scotland’s crown jewels. The
48. Notting Hill : Portobello Road market & annual Carnival.Notting Hill is a vibrant, trendy area. Casual cafes line bohemian Portobello Road, famed for its busy market selling antiques and vintage fashion. Filmgoers relax in posh armchairs at the Electric
49. Snowdon : Mountain with panoramic views.Accessed by trail or rail, this soaring mountain features sweeping views, abundant flora & a cafe.
50. Arthur’s Seat : Peak known for hiking & sightseeing in United Kingdom. Mountain offering hikes from moderate to advanced, plus panoramic city & Firth of Forth views.