United Kingdom: Overview
- Population: 67,782,742 (March 2020)
- Capital: London, Edinburgh, Cardif, Belfast
- Language: English
- Bordering Countries: Republic of Ireland
- Land Area: 130,395 square miles
- Coastline: 12,400km 
- Highest Point: Ben Nevis at 1344m
- Latitude & Longitude: 55.3781 Degrees north, 3.4360 Degrees west
The United Kingdom of Great Britain has 32 UNESCO World Heritage Sites including 27 cultural sites, 4 natural sites, and one mixed site:
- The Tower of London (1988)
- Durham Castle and Cathedral (1986)
- City of Bath (1987)
- Blenheim Palace (1987)
- Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites (1986)
- Henderson Island (1988)
- St Kilda (1986)
- Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew
- New Lanark (2001)
The UK has a rich cultural heritage spanning back into the Stone Age and beyond. Furthemore, it has a great range of natural landmarks and national parks.
The United Kingdom has an extensive transport system despite its relatively small size as you can see from the United Kingdom map. Main methods of transport include road and rail .
Road – the UK has a well-developed motorway system that connects major cities. For example, the M1 stretches from Leeds in the north, through to London in the south. Roads are maintained by the Highways Agency, and the Department for Transport.
Rail – Railways in the UK were once some of the most extensive and efficient in the world. In recent decades, rail travel has declined, but the UK still operates a host of major rail lines. Popular railway lines include the South Western Main Line, South Wales Main Line, and the West Coast Main Line. The UK also has several major airports facilitating millions of passengers per year.
Main international airports include London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Edinburgh, and Birmingham.
Famous Tourist Attractions
The United Kingdom has some of the most famous tourist attractions in the world . Many of these attractions are located within the capital of England – London. There is a plethora of sites, and parks in other regions too however:
- The Peak District National Park
- Hadrian’s Wall
- Edinburgh Castle
- The Lake District
- The Tower of London
- Tower Bridge
- Natural History Museum
- Snowdon National Park
- The Giant’s Causeway
National Parks like the Peak District and Lake District are renowned for their natural beauty – they have captured the imagination of poets and writers. Furthermore, the United Kingdom has a host of ancient historical sites like Stonehenge. Whether you want to explore the history and culture of London, or travel into the rural areas of the UK, there is something for everyone.
The official currency of the United Kingdom is the Pound Sterling . The main unit of currency is £1 and the sub unit is 100 pence. Current coins include 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1, and £2. Current banknotes include £5, £10, £20, and £50. The Pound Sterling is the oldest currency still in continuous usage. Currency distribution and inflation rates are set by the Bank of England (Otherwise known as the Central Bank). Moreover, circulation of new currency is also organized by the Bank of England. The Pound Sterling is considered one of the most important currencies in the world.
Political System & Economy
The United Kingdom is a Constitutional Monarchy that also operates a democratic parliament system. The Head of State is Queen Elizabeth II. Whilst having sovereign power, the Prime Minister and British Government actually have executive power and control the running of the union.
Government is split into two main sections – the House of Lords, and the House of Commons. MPs are elected by the general public, and the party of the Prime Minister is also elected via a general election.
In terms of economy, the United Kingdom is classified as highly developed and has the sixth-largest economy in the world. It’s population has a high quality of life and it has a Human Development Index of 0.920 which is ranked 15th.
The UK is one of the main importers in the world and mainly offers services. It has a large financial sector with many banks operating in London. Main industries include agriculture, construction, manufacturing, mining, and service industries.
The United Kingdom is primarily split into four separate countries as we can see from the political map of the United Kingdom – England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
England is located in the central and southern parts of the UK. Wales is located in the south west and shares a land border with England. Scotland is located in the north and shares a land border with England. Finally, Northern Ireland is located to the west, across the Irish Sea, and shares a land border with the Republic of Ireland. As an Island, the British Isles is bordered by four different seas:
- English Channel
- North Sea
- Irish Sea
- Atlantic Ocean
In terms of physical land geography, the UK is predominantly formed from rolling hills . It has several mountain ranges including Ben Nevis and Snowdon. Furthermore, it has some large natural lakes including Lough Neagh, and Windamere in the Lake District. As an Island, the British Isles also have a varied and rugged coastline.
United Kingdom FAQs
The United Kingdom of Great Britain includes four countries - England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. People often assume that the Republic of Ireland is also a part of the UK - it shares a land border with Northern Ireland, but is a separate country and not part of the UK.
Bedfordshire, Berkshire, City of Bristol, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, City of London, Cornwall, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Devon, Dorset, Durham, East Riding of Yorkshire, East Sussex, Essex, Gloucestershire, Greater London, Greater Manchester, Hampshire, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Merseyside, Norfolk, North Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Rutland, Shropshire, Somerset, South Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Tyne and Wear, Warwickshire, West Midlands, West Sussex, West Yorkshire, Wiltshire, Worcestershire.
No. Scotland is part of the United Kingdom and has a political union with England that was established in 1707. Scotland has a host of MP’s that represent them in Parliament.
The British Isles are located to the north of France and northwest of Belgium and The Netherlands. The Island is separated from mainland Europe by the North Sea, and the English Channel.