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The United Kingdom is an island nation located in the northwestern part of Europe. There are four smaller nations that make up the United Kingdom. They are England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. There are also a number of territories which belong to this nation, many of which are in the Caribbean.
Quick Facts about United Kingdom
- The capital of the United Kingdom is London. It has a population of over 8 Million people.
- It is currently a member of the European Union. A vote held in 2016 narrowly passed to remove the U.K. from the union, but that issue is still being resolved.
- The United Kingdom survived a large scale attack by the Germans in World War 2. This battle eventually became known as the Battle of Britain.
- The population of the entire nation (all four countries) is just over 66 Million.
- There are fourteen additional territories in the U.K. They are found around the world in the Caribbean, South Atlantic, South Pacific, and Middle East.
As it is an island, it is surrounded by completely by water. This water has been geographically divided into separate seas and channels. The United Kingdom is bordered by the North Sea to the north and east, the English Channel to the south, the Irish Sea to the west, ,and the Atlantic Ocean to the northwest.
The land area of the U.K. is approximately 93,600 square miles, or about 242,400 square kilometers.
English is the primary language spoken by the vast majority of people, and also the official language of the country.
The government of the U.K. is called a constitutional monarchy. In this constitutional monarchy, the citizens elect members to a governing body called Parliament, where policies are debated and voted on. A Prime Minister is the leader of Parliament. A king or queen, known as a monarch, was once an extremely powerful ruler over the nation, but now only holds limited governing power.
- London - London is the capital of England. It is a wonderfully diverse and antiquated city known for its cobblestone streets, bookstores, pubs and architecture. It is located toward the southeastern part of the nation.
- Plymouth - A city in the southwestern part of England where rocky crags meet beaches along the English coastline. It was a major military staging point for the Allies during World War 2, due to its strategic location near mainland Europe.
- Liverpool - Liverpool is located near the middle of the main island on the western coast. It has amazing food and culture, but is perhaps best known worldwide for its elite soccer club.
- Glasgow - A city in the southwestern part of Scotland, on the northern part of the main island. Glasgow is known for its beautiful medieval and Victorian architecture, as well as its cultural scene.
- Belfast - Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland. It showcases a blend of Irish and English culture, and at the same time has well-defined Protestant and Catholic districts.
- Big Ben - A large and extremely famous clock tower found on the Palace of Westminster in London
- London Bridge - The object of a famous children's song and one of the most iconic places in England, as well as one of the most iconic bridges in the world.
- Stonehenge - A mysterious circular rock formation built by ancient civilizations. No one knows for sure what its purpose was, but most of it still stands today just to the north of Salisbury, a city located in the south-central part of the U.K.
- Canterbury Cathedral - This majestic cathedral is located in the smaller town of Canterbury near the southeastern shores of the U.K. It was first built in 597 A.D., and rebuilt in the 11th century.
- Giant's Causeway - A step-like basalt formation located on the northern coastline of Northern Ireland