Official name:
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
244,820 sq km
56 million people
the Atlantic Ocean, the Irish Sea, the North Sea,
the English Channel
London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham,
Coventry, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cardiff
English, Welsh (about 26% of the population of Wales),
Scottish (as a form of Gaelic, about 60,000 in Scotland)
the Thames, the Severn, the Trent, the Tyne,
the Tweed, the Clyde
Ben Nevis (1,343m, Scotland)
mild, humid
coal, copper, natural gas, tin, silver, iron ,
salt, clay, chalk, lead
Is washed by:
Largest cities:
Official languages:
Main rivers:
The highest mountain:
Natural resources:
The British Isles lie to the north-west of
Europe. They consist of two large islands
(Great Britain and Ireland) and many
smaller ones. Great Britain is the largest
island in Europe. The United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Northern Ireland
consists of 4 parts (England, Scotland,
Wales, Northern Ireland). Great Britain
includes England, Scotland and Wales.
England is in the south-eastern part of
GB. Scotland is in the north of the island
and Wales is in the west. The total area of
the UK is 244,820 sq km. Great Britain is
washed by the Atlantic Ocean and the
Irish Sea in the west, the North Sea in the
east and the English Channel in the
south. There is no place in the country
which is more than 120 km from the sea.
The main rivers of the country are the
Thames, the Severn, the Trent, the Tyne,
the Tweed, the Clyde. The surface of
England and Northern Ireland is flat, and
the surface of Scotland and Wales is
mountainous. The highest mountain is
Ben Nevis in Scotland (1,343m).
The flag
The flag of the United Kingdom is called the Union Flag or the
Union Jack. In fact it consists of three flags: the English, the
Scottish and the Irish. The white diagonal cross on blue
background is the Scottish flag (the cross of St. Andrew). The
red diagonal cross on white background is the Irish flag (the
cross of St. Patric). The thick red vertical cross on white
background is the English flag (the cross of St. George). If to
combine all these flags it will be the flag of Great Britain.
The capital of Great Britain is London which is the largest
city of the country and one of the largest cities in the
world. It is situated on both banks of the river Thames. Its
population is more than 9 million people. London is an old
city. Its history counts more than two thousand years.
London consists of four main parts: the City, Westminster,
the West End, the East End.
The sights of London.
London’s most famous sights are the Tower of London and Tower
Bridge, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square and
St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey.
The cities of Great Britain
Manchester is a leading manufacturing
centre. It is located in the northern part of
England. The population of Manchester is
Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, its
political and cultural centre. It is famous for
its University (one of the best and the oldest
in Britain) and the ancient castle which
stands on the hill in the middle of the city.
Oxford and Cambridge are
famous university cities.
British aristocrats study
The largest ports of Great
Britain are London,
Liverpool, Manchester, Hull
and Glasgow.
The political system
Great Britain is a parliamentary monarchy. Officially the
head of the state is the King (or the Queen). But in fact
the country is ruled by the Parliament which is one of the
oldest in the world. It consists of two Houses: the House
of Lords (1,000 peers) and the House of Commons (630
members). The British government consists of PrimeMinister and other Ministers. The official residence of
Prime-Minister is Downing Street,10.
The climate of Great Britain is mild, humid
and very changeable, without striking
difference between seasons. The winters are
not severely cold, while summers are rarely
hot. The grass remains green all the year
round. Rivers are not frozen throughout the
year. It rains very often in all seasons.
Autumn and winter are the wettest. Britain
has more than 200 rainy days a year. The
weather on the British Isles has a bad
reputation. That’s why the British say that
there is a climate in other countries, but we
have just weather.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland