The islands lying northwest of Europe, between the Atlantic Ocean and North Sea, are called the British Isles. Besides the two large islands, Great Britain and Ireland, there are many small islands like the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands in the south, the Hebrides and the Shetlands in the north and the Isle of Man in the west. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland consists of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Southern Ireland is an independent republic.
England is an industrial country, rich in coal and iron. There you can find large industrial towns with many factories producing various kinds of goods and machines. The biggest towns are: London, the capital, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle, Liverpool. Recently there have been many changes in the structure of economy of the country. New modern industries have been developed. The biggest growth has been in banking, insurance, commerce, finance and advertising. In the southeastern part of England you can see fields, meadows and farms with cattle and sheep. At present in this area the British have built big factories which produce the latest types of computers and other articles concerned with electronics, aero-engines, fashionable cars etc.
Scotland is a country of hills, lakes called lochs, swift rivers and deep valleys. It’s visited by many tourists. Scotland is famous for its fishing, shipbuilding and textile industries. Glasgow is the largest city but Edinburgh is the capital.
Wales is a hilly country, too. South Wales is rich in coal. There are large coalmines around Cardiff, the capital. Wales is rich in culture and history. The Welsh people love music and poetry.
The longest rivers of the UK are the Severn and the Thames.
Oxford and Cambridge are the oldest university towns.
Official language is British English.
The National Flag is The Union Jack.
The National Anthem is called “God saved The Queen”.
Political system is constitutional monarchy – the Queen’s name is Elizabeth II.
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