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The United Kingdom is a sovereign state consisting of four countries including England, Wales and Scotland, which are a part of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. All these countries are united under one monarch. The United Kingdom is located off the coast of north-west of Europe and is separated from the European Continent by the English Channel and North Sea.
The full name of United Kingdom is United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and it is informally referred to as Britain. The formation of United Kingdom with so many countries took centuries and was mainly a result of alliances, conquests and royal nuptials. England and Wales were the first countries to unite in 1536 followed by Scotland in 1707, thereby forming the Great Britain. Later in 1801 when Ireland was added, the name was changed to United Kingdom. However, in 1922, Ireland fought and freed itself from British rule, which left Northern Ireland as a part of the United Kingdom.
The United Kingdom has been a very powerful sovereign state, which played key role in shaping the parliamentary form of government across the world. The UK functions as a constitutional monarchy with parliamentary democracy. The Queen is the head of State and the prime minister is the head of the government. There are two houses that consist of the parliament including House of Lords and House of Commons. The people of UK vote and elect MPs (members of parliament) to represent them in the House of Commons.
United Kingdom is spread across an area of 243 610 sq km with 241 930 sq km land area and 1680 sq km water. It has a coastline of 12, 429 km. United Kingdom is located in Western Europe towards the north east of France. The geographical coordinates of United Kingdom is 54 00 N, 2 00 W. The country experiences temperate climate, which is moderated by existing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current. The country’s more than one-half of the days are overcast.
United Kingdom has the reputation of being world’s 7th biggest destination for tourism. With a range of attractions throughout the nation including castles, museums, art galleries, palaces, gardens, theme parks, zoos, stately homes, and much more, UK is undoubtedly one of the most visited destinations by tourists across the globe. Tourists in UK can experience the natural beauty of the highlands of Scotland as well as the fun and madness of city life in London.
Some of the popular cities across the United Kingdom are London, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham, Manchester, Isle of Wright, Southampton, and so on. UK possesses many beautiful natural destinations, which are not to be missed by tourists. These wonder of nature include Lake District of Cumbria, Peak district in Derbyshire, and Cairngorm mountains in Scotland. In addition, places like Snowdonia, Brecon Beacon National Parks and Gower Heritage Coast are some extremely beautiful places in Wales.
Culture & People
British culture has been around for hundreds of years now. The customs and traditions followed in Britain are popular all over the world are highly regarded. The culture of Britain is no more limited to the custom of tea drinking and wearing bowler hats. In fact, it is spread far beyond and covers fields like sports, music, food, literature and much more. The society of UK is multi-cultural as well as open and cosmopolitan. English is the main language and Christianity the primary religion. In addition, UK has large population of Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, and Jews mainly belonging to Pakistan, India and Bangladesh amongst other places.
United Kingdom enjoys a free economy and is one of the best in Europe. The British economy is based on the economy of all the four countries in the United Kingdom including England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The major exports of the country comprises of fuel, manufactured goods, chemicals, food, beverage and tobacco. Germany, Netherlands, France, Ireland, and Belgium are the prime export partners of UK.