Some Facts about Great Britain
The British Islands form a group of islands lying of the North – west coast of Europe. The largest islands are : Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales), and Ireland (Northern Ireland, the Irish republic), Isle of Man, Isle of Wight, Orkneys, Shetlands and Hebrids Islands. The sea surrounding the British Isles are shallow – usually less then 90 m. this shallow waters are important because they provide excellent fishing grounds.
Britain can be devided roughly into 2 main regions : Highland and Lowland Britain. Highland Britain comprise the whole Scotland, Lake District in England, whole Wales and Cornwall. The highest peaks are : Ben Navis in Scotland (1342 m = 4406 ft) and Snowdon in Wales (1085 m = 3560 ft).
Lowland Britain consists of a rich plains.
The most important rivers of England are the Thames, the Trent, the Severn. Britain is rich in waterways.
Lakes : There is Lake District in england. Lakes in Scotland are called Loch. The best known is Loch Ness for its mysterious monster.
Britain has a generally mild climate. The English weather changes very often. (There is saying : Rain in 7, sun at 11). The autumn is especially unpleasant, as it is often rainy, foggy and windy. Winter is a mild season. It doesn`t snow much and the temperature seldom falls below zero.
The official language of GB is English. Welsh is still spoken a great deal in Wales. You can see road signs in Welsh language all over Wales.
Britain`s flag is called the „Union Jack.“ It is really 3 flags on top of each other. The red cross on white for England, thw white „X“ on blue for Scotland and red „X“ on white for Ireland.
National anthem : God save the Queen.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a monarchy. The king or queen is head of state. In practise the sovereign reigns but does not rule.
The country is governed by Government, formed of ministers who are the leading members of the political party that has won the most recently elections. It is responsible to Parliament, which consists of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. United Kingdom constitution is not written in any document. It is set of rules, many of them are customs.
Is an industrial country, rich in coal and iron.
The most important industries : engineering, mining, textile industry.
Birmingham – centre of car industry, engineering
Manchester, Leeds – textile industry
Newcastle – the best coal is found around this town
London – capital, important port
Oxfod and Cambridge – 2 oldest universities, famous for its first class education. Oxford has 34 colledges and about 12 000 students, amny of them from other countries.
West of England is rich farming country.
Is a hilly country. It inclues Orkneys, Shetlands, Hebrides.
It is known for its fishing, shipbuilding. It is a land of mountains, lakes and romantic castles. Farmers keep sheep and there are many small factories which make fine sweaters from their wool.
Scotish people are very proud on their heritage and culture.
There are special traditions :
- playing bagpipes
- wearing kilt
There are many whisky destilleries with a long traditions.
Edindurgh – capital
Glasgow – the largest town in Scotland, important port
Aberdeen – port
Is hilly country with pretty valleys. Wales has plenty of industry as well as sheep farms. People love music and poetry and their langusge. The name of the Welsh village even has 58 letters. It is probably the longest word at all. The Welsh have their own national teams in football and rugby.
Cardiff – capital
- has its problems (fights between protestants and catholics) but it has beauty, too.
Belfast – capital, large industrial port
Irish republic (EIRE) is an independent state and it does not belong to United Kingdom.