United Kingdom

The United Kingdom, also called the U.K., consists of a group of islands off the northwest coast of Europe.

FAST FACTS

1. England is part of the United Kingdom. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are the other countries that make up the UK.

2. For a small country, England has a big population – it’s estimated to be about 54.3 million!

3. London is England’s capital city and it’s visited by millions of tourists each year. There are 51 cities (including Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield) and 935 towns in England.

4. There are lots of different landscapes in England, including forests and moorland. England also has a very long coastline.

5. The River Thames flows through London and is the longest river in England at 346 kilometres long.

6. Scafell Pike is England’s highest point. It’s found in Cumbria and is 978 metres high.

7. Football is the most popular sport in England, but rugby and cricket are also very well supported.

8. The currency used in England is the British pound sterling.

9. England has been home to many famous authors but William Shakespeare is perhaps the most well-known!

10.  St George is the patron saint of England and St George’s Day is celebrated on 23 April. The English flag is the red St George’s Cross centred on a white background.

  • GEOGRAPHY

  • The United Kingdom, also called the U.K., consists of a group of islands off the northwest coast of Europe. It is a unique country made up of four nations: England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. England, Wales, and Scotland also make up Great Britain.Much of the north and west of the U.K. is covered in high ground, knife-edged mountain ridges separated by deep valleys. This terrain was shaped in the last Ice Age, when thick glaciers covered the land.

    In the south of England, the countryside is mostly rolling hills.

    In northwest England and the Scottish Highlands are dozens of lakes, called lochs. These were left behind when the Ice Age glaciers melted. They tend to be long and narrow, and some are very deep. Legends say that a giant monster called Nessie lives in Loch Ness in Scotland.

  • Great Britain’s rugged mountains, like the Scottish Highlands, offer habitat that is relatively untouched by humans.
  • PEOPLE & CULTURE

    The British are the creation of waves of invaders and migrants, including Celts, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, and Normans. In the 1950s and 1960s, people from former colonies in the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia came to the United Kingdom to work.

    Sports and literature are among the United Kingdom’s cultural claims to fame. Soccer, rugby, cricket, boxing, and golf were all invented in Britain. And the U.K. has produced many great writers, including William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and Robert Burns. J.K. Rowling, the writer of the Harry Potter books, is British.

    Did you know?

    Although the Thames is the longest river in England, the Severn is actually the longest river in the UK. It stretches 220 miles in length and is located in both England and Wales!

    Windermere is England’s largest lake.

    London is home to 8 million people and many nationalities and in fact more languages (about 300) are spoken in the capital’s schools than in any other country in the world!

    England and France are perhaps closer to each other than you might think! At its closest point, England is only 21 miles from the coast of France. England and France are connected by the Channel Tunnel which opened in 1994. The Channel Tunnel is the second-longest underground tunnel in the world.

    England has a huge coastline – nowhere in the country is more than 75 miles from the sea!

    The ‘Industrial Revolution’, a time when many new machines were invented, began in England. Many famous inventors and scientists were born in England like Isambard Kingdom BrunelGeorge StephensonCharles Darwin and Isaac Newton. English inventions include the steam engine, passenger railway, the telephone, the lightbulb, the vacuum cleaner and the chocolate bar!

    Everybody has heard of William Shakespeare, but England has also produced many other world-famous authors, such as Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Lewis Carroll and, more recently J.K.Rowling.

    Tea is probably the English national drink! Every day, the British drink 165 million cuppas.

    England has 24 native types of mammal, including badgers, foxes, deer and hedgehogs.

    The famous places:

    1. The Houses of Parliament in London
    2. Bodiam Castle, East Sussex
    3. Sunrise at Stonehenge
    4. The Jurassic Coast in Dorset
    5. A full English breakfast
    6. The village of Shaftesbury
    7. Tower Bridge in London
    8. A cream tea
    9. Cambridge
    10. The Angel of the North
    11. Buckingham Palace
    12. The Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
    13. Cumbria in the Lake District
    14. The Yorkshire Dales
    15. Cromer Pier, Norfolk
    16. Gloucester Cathedral cloisters
    17. Oxford
    18. Sterling currency
    19. Whitby Abbey
    20. The White Cliffs of Dover