The United Kingdom
The UK includes four countries: Northern Ireland and Great Britain, which is subdivided into England, Scotland and Wales. This union has a long history, and we can’t say that it’s a firm structure, but still due to political and economic reasons we call it the UK.
The UK is located on the British Isles, which are numerous (there are around 6,000 all in all).
The modern population of the UK consists of the descendants of different ethnic groups that have ever inhabited the Isles. They are Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Romans, vikings and others. At the present time nearly 63,5 million people live in the UK.
The Union Jack is the official flag of the UK adopted in 1801, when the UK itself came into existence. The flag is made up of three crosses, related to patron saints of England, Scotland and Ireland.
The relief of the Isles varies greatly from the lowlands in the South to the highlands of Scotland in the North. It’s a land of lakes and rivers. The geographical position once made Great Britain world’s most powerful marine empire with a great fleet that used to be undefeated in the past. No part of England is farther than 120 km from the sea.
The climate is also different – it is moderate in the South and harsh in the North of Scotland. England is the most densely populated region thanks to its climate.
The UK has an important industrial meaning – it produces heavy machinery, wool, cotton, cars, engines. The UK has coal and ore mining regions too.
Each part of the UK has its long and rich history, its own symbols and traditions.
London is the capital of England. The red rose is the national floral emblem of the country. It symbolizes the end of the Wars of the Roses. London was founded by the Romans and today it’s one of the most important financial and cultural centres of the world. The city of London is situated on the river Thames. Around 7 million people live in London. If you once come to London, you should see its main sights – the Tower, Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye – a giant observation wheel; visit its numerous parks.
Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland. Thistle is the national flower of the country. It was first used in the 15th century as a symbol of defence. Scotland has always been fighting for its freedom and independence. There were periods in history, when the country got it, but then it was subjected to the Crown again. In the near future it’s possible, that Scotland will be an independent country.
Daffodil is the national emblem of Wales. The capital of Wales is Cardiff. The country is known for its old literature and traditions. It’s an important industrial region with different mineral resources. The scenery is beautiful here. Snowdonia, the land of mountains is the national pride. The highest mountain, Snowdon, is situated here.
Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland. Shamrock, a three-leaved plant, similar to clover, is the symbol of Northern Ireland. It’s a symbol of trinity. Today Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic are different countries, but they are for the reunification, though there are some objective political obstacles in their way.
Everyone knows the traditional music and dancing of Ireland and Scotland. The bagpipe is a very special instrument. Once you’ve heard it, you’ll never forget its pure sound, that remains in your heart forever.
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