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UK - United Kingdom | United Kingdom | History, Geography, Facts, & Points of Interesting Facts | Global Learning

The official name of the UK is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

UK  [United Kingdom]

    The island country located off the northwestern coast of mainland Europe. The name Britain is sometimes used to refer to the United Kingdom as a whole. The United Kingdom comprises the whole of the island of Great Britain—which contains Wales, England and Scotland—as well as the northern portion of the island of Ireland. The capital is London, which is among the world’s leading financial, cultural and commercial centres. Other major cities include Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland, Londonderry and Belfast in Northern Ireland, Manchester, Cardiff and Swansea in Wales, and Birmingham and Liverpool in England.

     The UK is an island nation in Western Europe just off the coast of France. The mainland areas lie between latitudes 49°N and 59°N and longitudes 8°W to 2°E.

     The UK lies between the the North Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, and comes within 35 km (22 miles) of the northwest coast of France, from which it is separated by the English Channel. The Channel Tunnel bored beneath the English Channel, now links the UK with France. Northern Ireland shares a 360 km international land boundary with the Republic of Ireland.

History of UK [United Kingdom]

    The United Kingdom is an island nation located in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of France. It is actually a union of four countries including Northern Ireland, England, Wales, and Scotland.

    This brought the local islanders into contact with the rest of Europe. The islands that are today the United Kingdom were invaded by the Romans in 55 BC. After the Roman Empire weakened, the islands were invaded by the Vikings, the Saxons, and finally the Normans.

    The English conquered Wales in 1282 under Edward I. In order to make the Welsh happy, the king's son was made the Prince of Wales. The two countries became unified in 1536. Scotland became part of the British crown in 1602 when the king of Scotland became the King James I of England. The union became official in 1707. Ireland became a part of the union in 1801. However, many of the Irish rebelled and, in 1921, the southern part of Ireland was made a separate country and an Irish free state.

    In the 1500s Britain began to expand its empire into much of the world. After defeating the Spanish Armada in 1588, England became the world's dominant sea power. Britain first grew into the Far East and India and then to the Americas. In the early 1800s the UK defeated France in the Napoleonic Wars and became the supreme European power.

    In the 1900s, the United Kingdom became less of a dominant world power. It continued to lose control over colonies and was weakened by World War I. However, under the leadership of Winston Churchill, the United Kingdom was the last western European nation to oppose Germany in World War II and played a major role in defeating Hitler.

   The United Kingdom played a major role in the history of the world, taking a leading role in developing democracy and in advancing literature and science. At its peak in the 19th century, the British Empire covered over one-fourth of the surface of the earth.

The UK Land

   The UK Landscape is very varied, ranging from the Grampian Mountains of Scotland to the lowland fens of England which are at or below sea level in places.Scotland and Wales are the most mountainous parts of the UK. A ridge of hills, the Pennine, runs down the centre of northern England. Many coastal areas are low-lying, especially in the east and south of England. These include the wetlands of the Somerset levels, that regularly flood during heavy rain.

   Most of the UK is made up of gently rolling hills with isolated areas of high ground such as Dartmoor in the south-west of England or the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland.

The UK is bordered by four seas:

* to the west by the Irish Sea and the Atlantic Ocean
* to the south by the English Channel, which separates it from continental Europe
* to the east by the North Sea

UK Climate

   The UK's climate varies greatly according to season and location, but on the whole can be described as mild with few extremes.

UK Lakes And Rivers

    Northern Ireland is also home to the UK's largest lake, Lough Neagh, which covers an area of . Other major lakes include Windermere in the English Lake District and Loch Lomond in Scotland. Another of Scotland's lakes, Loch Ness is famous for sightings of 'Nessie', a mythical monster.

    Being a relatively small Island, the UK's rivers are not very long. The Severn, its longest river, is just 338 km in length, beginning in Wales and entering the Atlantic Ocean near Bristol in England. Other major rivers include the Thames, which flows through Oxford and London, and the Trent and Mersey rivers, which drain rainfall from large areas of central England.

UK [United Kingdom] Facts

1. London, England was the first city in the world to have an undergound subway system.

2. Automobiles comprise a large part of the nation's GDP, generating around 26.6 billion pounds of revenue each year.

3. Scotland is home to many small lochs, or narrow streams of water. Legend has it that a giant monster named Nessie can be found in Loch Ness in Scotland.

4. They have a total nominal GDP of $2.434 trillion, with a per capita GDP of $38,591. Their total nominal GDP is the 6th highest in the world, and the 3rd largest economy in Europe.

5. The sports soccer, rugby, golf, boxing, and cricket were all invented in the United Kingdom.

6. The last Ice Age shaped the geography of the United Kingdom. Today, most of the nation is covered in steep mountains and low valleys.

7. The author of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling is from the United Kingdom.

8. Agriculture is also a large part of the nation's economy. They grow over 60% of their own foods, and therefore keep their food imports low. The United Kingdom also has a large amount of natural resources. Their lands are rich in iron, limestone, clay, gypsum, lead and coal.

9. The Summer Olympics were held in England three times

10. England is the largest country in the United Kingdom.

11. The United Kingdom is also the 8th largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity, and they contribute greatly to the world's economy.

12. For over 300 years, French was the official language of the nation.

13. St. Patrick’s Day is a public holiday celebrated in Northern Ireland. Irish people drink beer and spirits while eating pink bacon and celebrating with grand parties.

14. Whenever a royal is married, there is often a holiday. In 2011 when Prince William and Catherine Middleton were married the day was considered a national holiday and everyone was given the day off from work and school.

15. Buckingham Palace in England has its very own police station.

16. Big Ben in London actually doesn’t refer to the clock. Big Ben is the bell that is located in the clock tower.

17. The Queen’s Birthday is celebrated each year in the United Kingdom during a weekend in June. On the day of celebration there is a parade and many parties. Most businesses are closed, and families get together to have family time.

18. There is not a point in Britain that is more than 75 miles away from a coastline. Due to this, many British people find themselves vacationing on the beach.

19. In Scotland, Boxing Day is celebrated each year on the day after Christmas. It commemorates the day in which servants used to receive their gifts from their employers. Today, it is simply known as a bank holiday, and often isn’t celebrated very extravagantly.

20. Each year it is estimated that over 80,000 umbrellas are lost in London.

21. The first King of England, William the Conqueror made a law that everyone had to be in bed by 8pm.

22. The earliest rail lines in the world were found in the United Kingdom.

23. There are more chickens in England than there are humans.

24. The United Kingdom includes the following countries: Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and England.

25. The United Kingdom's 7,700 miles of shoreline is the perfect habitat for a variety of seabirds and seals.

26, England is the most populous country in the United Kingdom.

27. The official name for the United Kingdom is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

28. When Scotland was added in 1707, the area became known as Great Britain. The addition of Ireland in 1801 brought about the name change to the United Kingdom.

29. In 2016, citizens voted for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.

30. It is legal for children over 5 to consume alcohol at home or in other private areas in the United Kingdom.

31. In terms of area, the United Kingdom is smaller than the state of Oregon.

32. The United Kingdom is home to 28 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Cities, including Bath, Canterbury, and Chester.

33. Almost 60% of people in the United Kingdom are Christian.

34. English is the official language of the United Kingdom. However, there are several regional languages that are recognized, including Welsh, Irish, Cornish, and and Scottish Gaelic.

35. The United Kingdom runs under a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy, while the head of state being Queen Elizabeth II.
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