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BRITAIN, AS THE UNITED KINGDOM of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is usually known, is not one country but four. I tis made up of England, Wales and Scotland, which together from the island of Great Britain, and the provincie of Northern Ireland. Each of the four parts is quite different. The English contryside is famed for its gently sloping hills and rich farmland. Wales and Scotland are mostly wild and mountainous Much of Northern Ireland is low-lyingand marshy. Although English is the national language i tis spoken with a strong accent in the different regions of the country. In Wales and parts of Scotland, many of the people speak a language of their own. Britain is a multicultural country, for the English. Scots, Welsh, and Irish are all separate peoples. And in the last lOO years refugees and immigrants from Europe, Afrika, India, and the Caribbean have settled in Britain, bringing with them their own languages and religions. Britain is a rich country and once controlled a vast empire that stredched around the world. In recent years its economy has declined, but the discovery of oil in the North Sea has helped to make the country self – sufficient in energy.

LONDON: When the Roman armies invaded Britain almost 2000 years ago, they built a fortified town called Londinium to safeguard the crossing over the River Thames. By 1100, the city of London had grown in size to become the capital of the entire country. Today, London is a huge city of nearly 7 million people and is the political, financial, and cultural centre of Britain. Tourists come from all over the world to admire the historic buildings, particularly the Tower of London an 11th-centure fortress.

Typical London Bus (red-black colour)

STATISTICS: Area: 244017 km2
Population: 57065000
Capital: London
Languages: English
Religions: Protestant, Roman Catholic
Currency: Pound sterling
Highest point: Ben Nevis (Scotland) 1343m
Longest river: Severn (England, Wales) 354km
Main occupation: Service industry, manufacturing, financial services
Main export: Manufactured goods, machinery, vehicles, textiles, chemicals, electrical, goods, metal products, aircraft
Main imports: Machinery, fruit, vegetables, metals, minerals, raw materials

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