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  • The United Kingdom, The Land of Hope and Glory

    A quintissential view of London with its trademark double decker, the capital  and largest city of the UK, London ©Nikos Koutoulas/flickr

    A quintessential view of London with its trademark double decker, the capital and largest city of the UK, London ©Nikos Koutoulas/flickr

    The United Kingdom is an island country situated in Europe. France lies to the south and Ireland to the west. It is one of the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world, known for its vast, dynamic and influential history and culture as well as for its unique charm and beauty.

    The total area of the UK is 243,305 sq km while the coastline is 12.400 km.

    The capital and largest city is London. Pound Sterling is the currency of the country. The political status is constitutional monarchy under Queen Elizabeth II.

    The United Kingdom consists of four countries, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The rest of the three countries have their own devolved administration as well having their own capital city. Cardiff is the capital of Wales, Edinburgh for Scotland, and Belfast for Northern Ireland.

    English is the official and national language of the country. Each of United Kingdoms countries have their own national and recognized languages like Scottish and Scottish Gaelic in Scotland and Irish and Ulster Scot in Northern Island. Welsh is the only Celtic language that is official in Wales alongside English. Many numerous minority languages can be also heard, particularly in big cities like London, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham.

    The UK also has overseas territories like Gibraltar, Bermuda, Anguilla, Falkland Islands, Akrotiri and Dhekelia. The three islands of Guernsey, Isle of Man and Jersey are crown dependencies and are not part of the United Kingdom, but the government is responsible for their defense and foreign policy. The British had the largest and most powerful empire in the world, spreading its influence all around the globe. The British influence (culture, legal system and language) still can be seen on many of its former colonies.

    The United Kingdom Travel Deals

    Tourism plays a very important role for the country. It has diverse and renowned cultural and natural places. Some of many famous places of the country are:

    • The Castles and Town Walls of Gwynedd are renowned to be one of the finest 13th and 14th century military complexes of Europe. It consists of 4 castles, Caernarfon, Conwy, Beaumaris and Harlech. These castles were built by Edward I
    The lovely castle of Conwy, Wales as its finest, the town is also a noteworthy visitRuth/flickr

    The lovely castle of Conwy, Wales as its finest, the town is also a noteworthy visit ©Ruth/flickr

    • Bath. The town is said to be the most well preserved the UK. It was founded by the Romans as a thermal spa. The town features many architectural elements from Ancient and Middle Age times to Victorian style. However the town is most famous for its 18th century Neoclassical Palladian buildings built by George III.
    The famous Royal Crescent in Bath, well known for its beautiful Georgian architecture  ©MonkeyMyshkin/flickr

    The famous Royal Crescent in Bath, well known for its beautiful Georgian architecture
    ©MonkeyMyshkin/flickr

    • Snowdonia is one of the most picturesque mountainous natural park in the country. It is situated in Wales. It is a well known destination for hikers and nature lovers. Lakes, vast mountains cover the entire area.
    Snowdonia, an outstanding and scenic natural landscape ©Les Haines/flickr

    Snowdonia, an outstanding and scenic natural landscape ©Les Haines/flickr

    • Canterbury is a very charming English town on Kent. Known for its religious background, It has the famous Canterbury Cathedral, known for being one of the oldest cathedrals inside the country. The church is also the headquarters for the Church of England and the Anglican community. The church of St Martin also lies here, being the oldest church in England. The Abbey runis of St Augustine is another important sight of the town. The center is also worth a visit.
    Cathedral of Canterbury, during night Phil Trease/flickr

    Cathedral of Canterbury, during night Phil Trease/flickr

    • Stonehenge is the infamous megalithic monument of the United Kingdom and one of the most well known in the world. Its origins is still largely unknown, but it is stated that the sight was used as an astronomical significance as well as a place for sacrifice.
    The mighty and venerable Stonehenge as its finest. ©Neil Howard/flickr

    The mighty and venerable Stonehenge as its finest. ©Neil Howard/flickr

    • Durham is a beautiful medieval town in Northern England. It is, however, famous for its cathedral and castle. Both the castle and the cathedral represents the finest Romanesque(also known as Norman by the British) architecture in the country. They were built between the 11th and 12th century. From the castle you can also have a commanding view of the whole cathedral and the town.
    Durham castle during night, shining above the town ©Alan/flickr

    Durham castle during night, shining above the town ©Alan/flickr

    • Giant Causeway is made of around 40.000 black basalt columns that comes out from the sea. It lies on the Antrim plateau of Northern Ireland. According to scientists, it was created 50-60 billion years ago by a volcanic activity during the Tertiary.
    The Giant Causeway with an expectional view ©Chris Lofqvist/flickr

    The Giant Causeway with an expectional view ©Chris Lofqvist/flickr

    • Dorset and East Devon Coast are cliff exposures along the Dorset and East. It is well known for its outstanding views and for its fossil and coastal geomorphologic features.
    The East Devon coast is not only known for its vast cliffs and views, but also for its beaches ©Graeme Churchard/flickr

    The East Devon coast is not only known for its vast cliffs and views, but also for its beaches ©Graeme Churchard/flickr

    • Blenheim Palace is situated near Oxford. It a beautiful and opulent 18th century palace known for its outstanding baroque architecture. The garden is also a noteworthy and important place to visit. It was the residence of the Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill.
    The lavish and opulent Blenheim Palace ©Baz Richardson/flickr

    The lavish and opulent Blenheim Palace ©Baz Richardson/flickr

    • Liverpool played an important role for the economy and merchandise of the British empire, being a vital major port for the mass people movement(particularly from Europe to America). It is well known for its dockyards like the Albert Dock as well as other commercial, civic and public buildings in the city center and what is surrounded by the dock itself, like St George’s Plateau.
    Albert Dock shines proudly. Liverpool was also famous for the creation of modern docking technology ©Ronald Saunders/flickr

    Albert Dock shines proudly. Liverpool was also famous for the creation of modern docking technology ©Ronald Saunders/flickr

    • Saltaire played an important role with its textile mills, public buildings and workers housing. It is the best example of an 19th century industrial village. It has beautiful Victorian buildings and houses and much of the buildings are still quite intact.
    A typical street in Saltaire ©James F Clay/flickr

    A typical street in Saltaire ©James F Clay/flickr

    • Bibury is a traditional English village known for being one of the most beautiful and picturesque places in the world. It is a popular tourist destination.
    Like a fairy tale, Bibury is the Shire of Great Britain ©Stephen Lee/flickr

    Like a fairy tale, Bibury is the Shire of Great Britain ©Stephen Lee/flickr

    • Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Park is one of the most unique landscapes not only in the UK, but also in Europe. Studley Park is a 18th and 19th century garden and canal, known for its pleasant views and green plantations and vistas and also has a neo-Gothic castle. Studley Park was built around the ruins of Fountains Abbey. The Abbey was once a former Cistercian abbey built in the 11th century but destroyed by Henry VIII in the 16th century.
    The old and strong Fountains Abbey guarding the Studley Park ©james perkins./flickr

    The old and strong Fountains Abbey guarding the Studley Park ©james perkins./flickr

    • St Kilda has one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world. It is a volcanic archipelago that lies on the Hebrides. It is is split in four islands: Dun, Boreray, Soay and Hirta. Although it was inhabited during the 1930’s, evidence of human settlement 2.000 years ago was discovered in later years. It has one of the highest cliffs in Europe and also the home of unique bird species like gannets and puffins.
    The entire St Kilda island seen from above ©Jim Richardson

    The entire St Kilda island seen from above ©Jim Richardson

    • Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is an 18 km long canal and a symbol of the 19th century civil engineering and industrial revolution. It is the longest and highest aqueduct in the UK. It bears an outstanding example of new technical possibilities. It was opened in 1805 and was designed by Thomas Telford. You can take walk and even a boat cruise along the canal of the aqueduct.
    The aquadect seen from a side, tall and mighty, Wales ©John Roberts/flickr

    The aquadect seen from a side, tall and mighty, Wales ©John Roberts/flickr

    • New Lanark is an 18th century Scottish village known for being a symbol of the cotton mill industry. It was built for mill workers. It is renowned for its buildings like workers houses and cotton mill buildings.
    New Lanark, an example of cotton industry in Scotland ©Andrew Green/flickr

    New Lanark, an example of cotton industry in Scotland ©Andrew Green/flickr

    • Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape was the sign of cooper and tin mining during the 18th and 19th century. It also took a vital role for the industrial revolution in Great Britain and a great influence for the fundamental mining world. The sight is known for its beautiful and panoramic views, natural cliffs and beaches, villages, old mining structures, underground mines, engine houses, smallholdings, ports and harbors.
    The Crown Mines are part of the Mining Landscape in Cornwall, a unique yet outstanding landscape ©George Thomas/flickr

    The Crown Mines are part of the Mining Landscape in Cornwall, a unique yet outstanding landscape ©George Thomas/flickr

    • Edinburgh has been the capital city of Scotland since the 15th century. Edinburgh is a very beautiful and charming city known for its exceptional natural surroundings and also for its architecture. It has two important areas: the old town and the new town. The old town has many medieval houses and other structures and is surrounded by a fortress while the new town is famous for its many 18th and onward structures, particularly Georgian and Victorian era architecture. Edinburgh is also famous for its nightlife, pubs and both whisky and ale culture. Some famous pubs that you may try are The Sheep Heid Inn, The Three Sisters, The Greenmantle Pub, Arcade bar and many other. Whisky lovers are recommended to visit the “Scotch Whisky Experience” distillery.
    The Scottish capital seen from above, delightful and mysterious ©Moyan Brenn/flickr

    The Scottish capital seen from above, delightful and mysterious ©Moyan Brenn/flickr

    • London is the capital and largest city of the United Kingdom. It has all types of architecture styles thanks to its long and ancient background. It is also one of the worlds leading global city alongside Paris, New York and Tokyo. It was also the capital of the worlds most powerful and largest empire that also shaped London. Vibrant and dynamic, it has everything from cuisine to architecture.
    The European Time Square, The Picadilly Circus in London, United Kingdom ©David G/flickr

    The European Time Square, The Picadilly Circus in London, United Kingdom ©David G/flickr

    The topography of the United Kingdom is very diverse. England is mostly low lying while Wales is highly mountainous. In fact, the entire country is very hilly and mostly mountainous except England. Scotland has more than 300 peaks. The country is also well-watered, filled with lakes and navigable waters like Thames, Trent, Severn and Tyne. The northern part has also many fiorded island chains. The flora of the country is very green and unlikely compared to most European countries. 80% of the land is covered by forests and there are more than 15 national in the country.

    The climate is oceanic, mild and cool temperate. Rainfall is unpredictable yet it gives warmer climate than usual for its latitude.

    The infrastructure and transportation is very modern and developed, 100% of the roads are in good shape and paved. There are 420,000 km of roads. The traffic is on the left side. Cars can be hired from all around the country, especially from car hire companies such as Hertz and Avis

     

    The UK has an excellent railway system that is widespread all around the country . The system itself was nationalized in 1948 and the privatization was completed in 1994. The channel tunnel is one of the best example. The tunnel is a fast undersea train shuttle that operates the United Kingdom with France. The UK also features more than 100 ports and harbors. The main harbors are in London, Liverpool, Dover and Southampton.

    The biggest international airport is Heathrow International. It is connected with almost every important airports of the globe. The immigration and customs is one of the most severe in the world. Visas are required for most foreign visitors except for those who are part of the European Union. Prohibited imports are milk and meat.

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