United Kingdom (UK)
- Continent: Europe
- Area: 244,101 km²
- Population: 60,441,457
- Capital city: London City
- ISO code: UK
- National language: English
- International dialing code: +44
- Currency: Pound Sterling
- License plate number: GB
- Alternative spelling: England, Vereinigtes Königreich, Schottland, Wales, Nordirland,
- Flight routes from United Kingdom: 28046
- Flight routes to United Kingdom: 22927
- Popular airports: London (LON), Shetland Islands (SDZ), London Heathrow (LHR), London Gatwick (LGW), Manchester (MAN), Birmingham (BHX), Edinburgh (EDI), Doncaster Sheffield (DSA), London City (LCY), London Stansted (STN)
- Large cities: London City, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Bristol, Manchester, Leicester, Coventry, Kingston upon Hull, Cardiff, Bradford, Belfast
- Airlines based in United Kingdom: British Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways, easyJet, bmi regional, Aurigny Air Services, Astraeus Airlines, Blue Islands, Jet2.com, Thomas Cook Airlines UK, OpenSkies, Eastern Airways, Loganair, TUI Airways, flybe, Monarch Airlines, Titan Airways
United Kingdom travel guide (Europe)
Great Britain, officially called “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”, is an island state composed of the countries England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are subject to the British crown, but do not form part of the United Kingdom.
Weather: The climate of Great Britain is characterised by cloudy skies and high humidity, with mild and relatively constant temperatures. Due to the easterly winds bringing dry and cold air, the climate on the eastern coast tends to be continental, whereas on the west coast westerly winds prevail, bringing with them typically wet and mild weather, resulting in an insular climate. In the lowlands of the British isles, the temperature tends never to drop below freezing point as the temperatures are evenly distributed due to the various winds.
Geography: England consists to a large part of flat lowlands, but is crossed by several mountain chains such as the Cumbrian Mountains, the Pennines, the Peak District, the Cotswolds and the Chilterns. The most important rivers are the Thames, the Severn, Trent, Great Ouse and the river Humber. Large cities in England include London (which is at the same time the capital city of England and the United Kingdom), Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool and Bristol.
Wales on the other hand is very hilly. The highest mountain is Snowdon with an altitude of 1,085 m (3,560 ft) and the biggest city is Cardiff on the south coast, which is also the capital city of Wales. The island of Anglesey is also part of Wales, and is located north of the mainland.
Scotland is the part of the British isles famous for its flat lowlands in the south and east and the partly mountainous Highlands in the north and west. Ben Nevis, with an altitude of 1,344 m (4,406 feet), is the highest mountain in the United Kingdom and is located in the highlands of Scotland. There are also many long and deep firths and lochs in Scotland. The Hebrides, the Orkney and the Shetland islands are off the north and west coast and also form part of Scotland. The largest cities in Scotland are Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, Glasgow and Aberdeen.
Northern Ireland also forms part of the United Kingdom, and is in the northern part of Ireland. The terrain here is very hilly and in the middle of the country is the largest lake of the United Kingdom, Lough Neagh. The most important cities in Northern Ireland are Belfast and Derry.
National and International Travel: The United Kingdom is the most important hub of world air traffic. It disposes of eight international and many regional airports, the most important being Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Birmingham and Manchester.
Due to its island position and the surrounding groups of islands, shipping is of great significance in the United Kingdom. The major ports in the country are Dover, London, Southampton and Belfast.
Capital city: London is the capital of England and Great Britain. The city is on the River Thames in south-east England, and has a population of about 7.5124 million. London is an important cultural, financial and trade centre in the United Kingdom and in the world. There are numerous universities, colleges, theatres and museums in the city. London is also the headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The British Museum is one of the largest and most famous museums in the world. Another famous attraction is the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square, which features a large collection of paintings, including works by Botticelli, Leonardo Da Vinci, Raffaello, Bellini, Tintoretto and Michelangelo. One of the biggest attractions of the capital is Madame Tussaud's wax museum, with lifelike wax figures of celebrities from past and present. Other attractions in London are the Tower of London, which served as a fortress in the Middle Ages; Buckingham palace, the official London residence of the Queen; St Paul's Cathedral, Big Ben, and the Houses of Westminster, seat of the British Parliament.
Amongst the highest buildings in the United Kingdom are the Belmont transmitter with 385 m (1,263 feet), the VLF transmitter in Skelton: 365 m(1,197 feet) and the skyscrapers One Canada Square with 235 m (770 feet) and 8 Canada Square with 200 m (656 ft).
Cities: the largest cities in England are London (the capital), Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool and Bristol.
Religion: 56.8% Anglican, 15% other protestant churches (Presbyterian, Methodist), 13% Catholic and Muslim, Hindu and Jewish minorities.