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The United Kingdom (UK)


The United Kingdom, or Britain, is made up of GREAT BRITAIN (England, Wales and Scotland), together with Northern Ireland. Its full title is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK). It is a big island. Along the coast of Great Britain there are many seaside resorts with sandy beaches, hotels, parks and pleasure grounds. Lots of people spend their holidays there.
England is the largest country of Great Britain. In England there are large industrial towns like London, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds and others. Brighton lies on the English Channel some 80 kilometres from London. It is a popular place for holiday-makers. Lots of Londoners go there for the day during the summer. That's why Brighton has been called "London by the sea".
Nearly all English people live in big or small towns. But outside industrial areas the countryside is beautiful. Map of the United Kingdom


London - England

More than 60 million people live in the United Kingdom. 12 million of them live in London (with all its suburbs), which is the capital of England. It has been the capital city for about a thousand years. London lies on the River Thames. London is 52 kilometers in diameter. It is a very busy and crowded city. In it there are lots of interesting things to see, like old and modern buildings, historical places, museums, art galleries, concert halls, large parks and the zoo. In London there are also lots of fine shops and department stores, hotels and restaurants.


Top London Tourist Attractions

In Trafalgar Square you can see Nelson's Monument. It is a tall column with a figure Nelson on top. Nelson was a famous English admiral who lived in the eighteenth century. Piccadilly Circus is very small but it is a famous part of London with a lot of cinemas, shops and hotels. Oxford Street is the shopping centre of London. There are lots of large department stores in Oxford Street. On of the most popular is Selfridges with more than two hundred departments.
The Houses of Parliament are on the north bank of the River Thames. From Westminster Bridge you can have a wonderful view of the building together with Big Ben which is the biggest bell and the biggest clock in England.
Tower Bridge is the most interesting bridge in Lnodon. Sometimes it opens in the middle and large ships enter the pool of London. Inside the towers of the bridge is the lifting machinery. The wheels and engines are about a hundred years old, but they still work and they can open the bridge in less than two minutes.
The London Eye - It is the world's highest observation wheel, with 32 capsules, each weighing 10 tonnes, and holding up to 25 people.
The Tower of London is a very interesting place. It stands on the north bank of the Thames, very near Tower Bridge. The Tower of London is more than 900 years old. Long ago it was a royal palace and a prison, and now it is a museum. There is a collection of old arms and armour there., together with the famous Crown Jewels. The guards of the Tower wear special historic uniforms.
London has many beautiful parks and gardens. One of the most beautiful is Kew Gardens. There are more than 100,000 different plants in the park which come from many distant countries. The plants that like hot weather live in glass houses called greenhouses. Some of the trees in this park are more than 200 years old.
You can go for trips up and down the Thames on a pleasure boat. From the pleasure boat people can see many interesting buildings, like the Royal Festival Hall, the National Theatre and many others on both banks of the Thames.
Outside London the Thames is a narrow river which flows past Windsor Castle and through the English countryside. It is about 200 miles (about 320 kilometres) long. It flows through London under huge bridges past the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London and Greenwich to the English Channel. The water of the Thames is clean. The Thames in London is a wide river and ships sail from the Port of London to many other places in the world.
There are lots of museums in London, but the most popular with children is the Science Museum. In this museum of science and technology you can see the development of cars, bicycles, motor bicycles and trains. You can also see the famous steam engine built by Robert Stephenson, "The Rocket". In a special gallery children can experiment with working models by pushing buttons. They can operate the models of trains and engines. There is a computer terminal which looks like an electric typewriter with a screen. It can be operated by any visitor. You can ask the computer questions and it answers you on the screen.

Thousands of tourists visit London every year. On return, you will fall in love some with complete strangers, some with not such utter strangers, but everyone with London.


Wales - Cardiff

The capital of Wales is CARDIFF. It lies in the south-east of Wales, on the Bristol Channel. It is the industrial centre of Wales. Cardiff is also a beautiful modern town with lots of parks. It is an important sports centre. Its numerous parks offer opportunities for all kinds of outdoor activities: tennis, hockey, baseball, football, cricket. Cardiff is also the cultural centre of Wales. It has theatres, museums and galleries as well as the National Opera. Wales is a land of green hills, old castles and coal mines. It is situated in the south-west of Great Britain. There are more than hundred old castles there. One of the most interesting is CAERNARVON CASTLE on the north coast of Wales.


Scotland - Edinburgh

Scotland is a part of Great Britain, situated in the north of the island. The capital of Scotland is Edinburgh. In Scotland there are high mountains and beautiful lakes which are called "lochs". Lots of tourists explore the Scottish mountains and lakes.


Northern Ireland - Belfast

Northern Ireland is situated in the north of the other big island. The capital of Northern Ireland is BELFAST. The countryside of Northern Ireland is beautiful with mountains, woods and lots of rivers. Along its coast there are cliffs, but also sandy beaches, seaside resorts, fishing villages and small towns. Different kinds of birds live in the Irish countryside, including golden eagles, so bird watching is very popular.

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