Britain lies off the north-west coast of Europe across the English Channel, the Strait of Dover and the North Sea. It consists of two large islands and about 5,000 smaller ones (e. g. the Isle of Man, the Isle of Wight, the Isles of Scilly, the Hebrides, the Orkneys, the Shetlands and the Channel Islands.) Its neighbours are Ireland to west and France to south-east.
England is mostly rolling land, rising to the Uplands of southern Scotland. The main mountain regions here are the Cornish Heights (south-west England), the Cambrians, The Cumbrian Mountains (in the Lake District), The Pennines (the Backbone of England) - they run north-south through the central part of northern England. The Cheviot Hills are on border between England and Scotland. The Highlands of Scotland are the highest mountains in Britain (with the highest mountain Ben Nevis - 1,342 m).
Coast is heavily indented, especially on west. There are beautiful lake areas in Cumbria and the Highlands of Scotland. British Isles have milder climate due to the Gulf Stream which comes from the Gulf of Mexico to Western Europe.
Besides London, which is in the centre of each tourist's attention, there are many other fascinating places: Oxford and Cambridge are the old university towns. Stratford-upon-Avon is the birthplace of William Shakespeare and the place where his plays are performed at the Shakespeare Memorial (or Swan) Theatre.
The English countryside is full of peaceful harbour-towns with fishing boats, yachts,cottages and the English like to spend their holidays here. Resorts such as Brighton,Portsmouth, Blackpool have fine sandy beaches and a nice atmosphere.
Southern part of England is full of historical monuments and romantic sceneries. Canterbury is an ancient city with a majestic cathedral. It is famous due to Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. The other old cathedral town is Winchester - once it was the capital of England. Salisbury is in Salisbury Plain where we can see a beautiful historic monument of Stonehenge with its giant stone circles which are more than 3,000 years old. The purpose of this construction is unknown - probably religious and astronomical reasons.
The West Country has its own character, the country is still unspoiled by industry. Plymouth has a proud maritime heritage.
On the north there is Birmingham which is the second largest city in Britain. Northwest is sometimes celled the "Black Country" due to the mining industries. The other big cities here are Liverpool, Sheffield, York.
Northern England is the country of beautiful nature, and cultural traditions. The Lake District National Park is popular with tourists and painters.
The land si full of mystery and beauty. The biggest cities here are Cardiff, Newport.
It is historically and culturally separate country from England. It has its own legal and educational systems and currency (different banknotes - the design). It has many special traditions.
The biggest city is Glasgow, it is the heart of Scotland. The North of the country is a large and magnificent lake and mountains area. The biggest lake here is Loch Lomond, and the most famous is Loch Ness.
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