UK Panorama Photo


Guide to United Kingdom

Where is UK?

The United Kingdom is an island which lies off the coast of mainland Europe across from France and Holland. Scotland occupies the northern tip of the island, Wales a small sliver of land to the west and most of the mainland is taken up by England. Off the coast to the west lies Northern Ireland, although the Republic of Ireland is a completely separate country. The UK is also referred to as the British Isles as there are a number of islands. Various seas around the UK include the British Channel, the Irish Sea and the North Sea as well as the Atlantic Ocean.

What is UK?

The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy which is made up of four other countries – England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. There are also 14 overseas territories and three Crown Dependencies. Those are a reminder of the fact that Britain once had the biggest empire in history. Today the country is governed from the seat of parliament in London and the monarchy only plays a notional role in affairs.

Why go to UK?

The UK is highly developed and it has the 6th largest economy in the world so many people travel there for business reasons. They certainly don’t come for the weather which is almost always rainy and often cold. However the UK has a massive tourism industry because of its wealth of history and culture - visitors flock to cities such as Edinburgh, Dublin and Cardiff. The capital London is the main attraction though with sites such as Buckingham Palace, the Tate Galleries and Big Ben. The fact that the UK still has a functioning monarchy has proved a massive draw for international tourists. 

Who lives in UK?

The UK is an incredibly multicultural country with every race and nationality of people that you could think of represented. In fact immigration is a massive issue in the UK considering that it was recently revealed that Muhammad has become the most popular name for boys in the country. Two thirds of the UK population are either Catholic or Anglican but other religions such as Islam are rising fast. Nevertheless 15% of the UK population has no religion at all.

How do you get into UK

All EU members can get into the UK. It is partially a member of the Schengen agreement which means that there will be systematic passport checks for most countries while crossing the border (that does not apply to Ireland). A number of visa requirements which may apply to other countries. For instance people coming from Romania and Bulgaria need permission to work in the UK despite being EU citizens. 

1) By Air
London Heathrow International Airport is the largest airport in the country and the busiest airport for international flights in the world. It is one of five airports which serve London including Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and London City Airport. There are also major airports in Dublin, Edinburgh and Cardiff. While only having half the traffic of Heathrow, Gatwick is a huge airport which deals with more than 30 million passengers per year. There are busy regional airports right across the country including Manchester Airport and Bristol Airport. The national carrier is British Airways.

2) By Land 
It is possible to transport cars by ferry across from Continental Europe with ferries leaving from Calais in France and Hook of Holland in the Netherlands. The country shares a land border with Ireland and of course you can cross the Channel via the underground Eurostar train tunnel.

3) By Sea
There are numerous busy ports in the UK with ferries sailing from Southampton across the Atlantic to Fort Lauderdale or New York. There are also ferries from Harwich to Esjberg in Denmark, and from Newcastle Amsterdam in Holland.

 

What to do in UK

Visit London, one of the world’s great cities for art, shopping, food and entertainment.

See the changing of the guard outside of Buckingham Palace and hope to catch a glimpse of the Queen. 

 Experience the wide open plains of Salisbury with the old druid sites at Stone Henge and Avebury.

Head down to Cornwall for a sub-tropical climate and some of the best surfing beaches in Europe.

Take a small boat through the amazing network of waterways which make up the Norfolk Broads.

What to do in UK

Head north to the lively cities of Manchester and Liverpool for eclectic nightclubs or see two of the world’s most respected football clubs, Manchester United and Liverpool compete.

Take in stunning countryside in the Lake District National Park in Cumbria which is a climber’s or hiker’s paradise.

See the most exciting up-and-coming comedians get a grilling at the Edinburgh Festival.

Head over to Dublin for a thrilling weekend break which involves lots of live music and Guinness-drinking in various pubs.

Big Ben in London

Big Ben in London

Enjoy a pint of Guinness in Dublin

Pint of Guinness

Visiting UK?
Check out our Top Ten Things to do?

CHECK OUT OUR TOP TEN THINGS TO DO IN Edinburgh
CHECK OUT OUR TOP TEN THINGS TO DO IN Bath
CHECK OUT OUR TOP TEN THINGS TO DO IN Manchester
CHECK OUT OUR TOP TEN THINGS TO DO IN Bristol
CHECK OUT OUR TOP TEN THINGS TO DO IN London
CHECK OUT OUR TOP TEN THINGS TO DO IN Glasgow
CHECK OUT OUR TOP TEN THINGS TO DO IN Birmingham


Quick facts
Government  Unitary Parliamentary Democracy
King   Elizabeth II
Prime Minister  David Cameron
Population  62,041,708
Date Format  dd/mm/yyyy
Drives on the  Left
Internet TLD  .uk
Dialling Code  44
Time Zone  GMT
Currency  GBP - £

UK Public Holidays

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