England and Wales occupy the southern part of the British Isles, Northern Ireland comprises the six north eastern counties of the island to the west of Great Britain. The area of the United Kingdom is 94,251 sq miles. The capital of England is London, Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland and Cardiff is the capital of Wales. The total area of England is 50,327 sq. miles.
Climate: Britain enjoys a temperate climate. High summer temperatures are around 70 degrees; in winter the average low is about 35 degrees. The rainiest months are November, January and February. Spring and autumn are particularly delightful seasons in Britain.The North East is cold in winter and subject to easterly winds in summer. the South coasts of Devon and Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly, and the Isle of Wight have the best sunshine records.The annual rainfall averages about 34. in., the Lake District and the W. being the wettest regions. Expectation of sunshine from May to July is about 52 to 72 -Ins daily. London’s once notorious fogs have abated since the introduction of smokeless fuel.
Rivers:`The Thames, is England’s most famous river, flows 210 miles. The Severn flows 220 miles and is the longest in England and Wales. Other important English rivers are the Trent , the Ouse, and the Warwickshire Avon . The East coast is generally sandy. The chalk cliffs of Kent and Sussex, the stone of Portland, and the granite outposts of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are distinctive features of the S. The Isle of Man (227 sq. m.), midway between England and Ireland, is a high plateau cut into by deep glens.
Woodlands occupy about 7 per cent of the surface of England. The overall impression is of cultivation, from the orchards of Kent and of the W. to the grasslands of the Shires and the ploughed fields of East Anglia.
Population: England 49,753,000, Scotland 5,119,000 ,Wales 2,937,000,N. Ireland 1,692,000 (60.6 million)
Currency :Though United Kingdom is part of the European Union the national currency is the British pound £ (7.45=1 EURO)
Language: Main languages of the United Kingdom is English, Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, Irish Gaelic.
Government: United kingdom’s Government is Constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as Head of the state
GDP per Capita: $31,800 $
Religion: The major religion of the UK is Christianity with a variety of Christian denominations ,with the Church of England as the main one, following by the roman Catholic Church. Other religions in the UK are Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainis
Characteristics: The English, although reserved, are friendly, unfailingly courteous, and their country is filled with history. It is one of the few remaining countries in which royalty is respected and that in itself creates a tradition and dignity not found elsewhere. London has magnificence and the English countryside is utterly charming. There are places of historic and cultural interest from one end of the isle to the other. The British Isles is the home of many species of birds. Especially famous is the nightingale, the homely little bird with a glorious song. The forests contain deer and many varieties of small game and fowl. The mild climate and lots of rain make English gardens and countryside look like something out of a seed catalogue. The ardent English gardeners are well rewarded by beautiful colours and lush greenery.
Food : Despite the generally unspectacular reputation of British cooking, there are some world-famous restaurants in Britain that have superb food. Its multi-ethnic population has created also a plethora of restaurants from all over the globe in most large towns and cities. This, too, has had an effect on the British attitude to food and , although you will find the traditional ‘meat and 2 veg’ cook you will also find that their repertoire of home cooking spreads much further now than it did, say, 25 years ago. It probably is not true any more to say that roast beef and Yorkshire pudding or fish and chips are typical British dishes. Certainly they are traditional and will always be found on a pub menu. Afternoon tea, however, is still a universal meal in England. It can mean anything from bread and butter to a spread of cooked dishes, followed by cakes. Don’t miss having hot scones with jam and cream!
Horse racing goes on all year in England. The flat racing season lasts from March to December when the steeplechasing and hurdle racing begin. The Oxford and Cambridge boat race on the Thames happens in March or early April. The first week in June is Derby Week. People come from miles around to see this great world-famous race and gypsies camp on Epsom Downs, giving the whole event a carnival air. It is one of the most interesting events in the world and one of the jolliest. A visit to Lord’s Cricket Ground in London is interesting. The biggest soccer event in England is the Cup Final played at Wembley in April or early May. Other major sport events in England are the world championship tennis matches at Wimbledon in London during June and July. Other summer sports events are the Henley Royal Regatta rowing race in early July and the British Open Golf Championships in mid July.
Festivals and Events:
January 1st sees London’s New Year’s Day Parade. The parade starts at mid-day with marching bands and dance displays parading through Central London. During the last week of May is the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show. Beautiful displays of plants, flowers and garden designs. On the last day the plants are sold off at bargain prices. In mid-June is the famous Glastonbury Music Festival. A huge tented city that houses the largest performing music arts festival in the world. Held on a greenfield site. Performances take place out of doors and under canvas. Expect to queue to get in, queue to buy food or drink and queue to visit the toilet. Difficult to get tickets, they sell out very quickly. Well worth the experience though. Also in June is the Stonehenge Midsummer Day Ritual, where thousands gather to welcome the sunrise on the Summer Solstice. In July, The Royal Albert Hall in London holds its Promenade Concerts of classical music (‘The Proms’). Finally on the last weekend of August the Notting Hill Carnival festival is held. This is a parade of music and dancing and held by London’s Caribbean community in Notting Hill, West London.