Traveling tends to magnify all human emotions.
— Peter Hoeg, 1957 -
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United Kingdom

Background

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has historically played a leading role in developing parliamentary democracy and in advancing literature and science. At its zenith in the 19th century, the British Empire stretched over one-fourth of the earth's surface. The first half of the 20th century saw the UK's strength seriously depleted in two World Wars and the Irish republic withdraw from the union. The second half witnessed the dismantling of the Empire and the UK rebuilding itself into a modern and prosperous European nation. As one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council, a founding member of NATO, and of the Commonwealth, the UK pursues a global approach to foreign policy. The UK is also an active member of the EU, although it chose to remain outside the Economic and Monetary Union. The Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, and the Northern Ireland Assembly were established in 1999. The latter was suspended until May 2007 due to wrangling over the peace process, but devolution was fully completed in March 2010.

About

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the United Kingdom or the UK) is a constitutional monarchy comprising most of the British Isles, and is one of the world's wealthiest nations.

The Union comprises four constituent nations: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It occupies all of the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern portion of the island of Ireland and most of the remaining British Isles. It is important to remember that the Republic of Ireland is a completely separate country to the United Kingdom, seceding from the Union and gaining its independence in 1922. The Isle of Man and the various Channel Islands are "crown dependencies", possessing their own legislative bodies with the assent of the Crown. They are not part of the United Kingdom, nor of the EU, but are not sovereign nations in their own right either. The UK has Ireland, France, Belgium and Netherlands as its nearest neighbours.

The 'Great' in Great Britain (Grande-Bretagne in French) is to distinguish it from the other, smaller "Britain": Brittany (Bretagne) in northwestern France.

The UK today is a diverse patchwork of native and immigrant cultures, possessing a fascinating history and dynamic modern culture, both of which remain hugely influential in the wider world. Although Britannia no longer rules the waves, the UK is still a popular destination for many travellers. The capital and largest city of the United Kingdom is London.

Read more about United Kingdom in our United Kingdom travel guide »

Featured journals from

United Kingdom

Nepal 2014

by raineye95

Dec 2013 - May 2014  »  United Kingdom | Nepal

One Lucky Lady off to see the World!

by Natreadtravels

Let the Adventure begin.............thank you Edwina and Cruise Portfolio for allowing me this wonderful opportunity.

Mar 2014 - Jun 2014  »  United Kingdom | Vietnam | Chile | Argentina | Bolivia | Colombia | Peru

Nippon Express

by yossi

Well, it was bound to happen eventually. After years of thinking about it, months of planning, at least one failed attempt and several bumps in the road, I finally arrived to Japan.

Apr 2010 - Aug 2013  »  Israel | Hong Kong (S.A.R.) | Japan | Germany | United Kingdom

Lan Stark's Even Greater Than the Last Great Adventure... Adventure!!

by LanStark

(or how I got to travel about, talk to lots of interesting - & most likely not so interesting - people - drink, eat, marvel at things & have a stupendous time!)

Jan 2018 - Apr 2018  »  Australia | United Kingdom | France

My journey - 2016

by LadyDebz

And so my journey begins...

May 2016 - Oct 2016  »  United Kingdom | United States | Qatar | Cambodia

Indian Summer 2015

by raineye95

Volunteering with Restless Development in Tamil Nadu, India from June through to August

Jun 2015 - Jul 2015  »  United Kingdom | India

North Wales, or Bust!

by netter74

Jul 2011 - Sep 2011  »  United Kingdom | United States

Alex and Sarah get married

by Pam

The adventures and antics of 28 friends and family members of Alex Baker and Sarah McCary as they travel across the Atlantic Ocean to a remote Castle in Scotland.

May 2016  »  United Kingdom

365 Days of Adventure

by Stefan+Iva

The world is a good place full of nice people

Jan 2012  »  United Kingdom

Sailing on a tall ship

by MinnaB

From Aberdeen to Oban, 2010

Jul 2010  »  United Kingdom

EUROPE 2011

by srh8911

May 2011  »  Ireland | United Kingdom | Germany

Summer Holiday Locations

by AnneJeffries

May 2012 - Jun 2012  »  United Kingdom

Cheap Flights to Toronto

by cheapestflight

Toronto is a fastidious holiday trip destination next to the Niagara Falls. It is not just a global city; it is also the financial capital of Canada. Actually, it is considered as one of the world's top economic hub. Its principal economic divisions incorporate commerce services, investments, aerospace, transportation, telecommunications, education, tourism, TV and movie and software production, sports industries and medicinal research. Even the Toronto Stock Exchange is considered the seventh biggest in the world. Due to these, various business and holiday explorers visit Toronto every year, particularly with cheap flights to Toronto offered not just in the US but in other parts of the world. The most famous attraction of Toronto is its CN Tower. It stands as the world's tallest free-standing structure at 553 meters. It has held on to the world record for more than 30 years now. Additional famous attractions are the ROM or Royal Ontario Museum. The Toronto Zoo (ranks are the world's largest), the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Gardiner Museum, the Ontario Science Center, Bata Shoe Museum, Don Valley Brick Works and the Canadian Exhibition Place (ranks as the world's oldest yearly fair). When it comes to shopping spots, you'll never run out of shops to triumph over. In fact, this is where most of the celebrities from all over North America shop, particularly preceding to the Toronto International Film Festival. One of the topmost shopping destinations in North America is the Toronto Eaton Center. It receives more than 52 million visitors every year. All these and more make Toronto the decisive vacation, shopping and industry destination in the world. Through the arrival of visitors, cheap flights to Toronto have turn out to be more accessible throughout the internet. There are numerous airlines that are servicing the Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Oct 2010 - May 2011  »  United Kingdom | Singapore | Sudan | United States | Malta

Summer 2017

by madjeanne

Headed North to cool down a bit.

Jul 2017 - Sep 2017  »  United States | United Kingdom | Norway | Svalbard and Jan Mayen | Sweden | Estonia | Russia | Finland | Germany | Netherlands | Belgium | Ireland | Iceland | Greenland | Canada

Leaving everything for love....

by spannerbruget

long term travelling with someone you love ..... easy right?

Feb 2010  »  United Kingdom | Singapore

Wetheralls Away!!

by WetherallsAway

A month of family adventure in the Seychelles!

Jan 2016 - Feb 2016  »  United Kingdom | Seychelles

Summer 2017 Northern Europepalooza trip! Three weeks / five countries / lots of food and drink....

by LJField14

"Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown.." - Anthony Bourdain

Jun 2017 - Jul 2017  »  Russia | Belarus | Latvia | Ukraine | United Kingdom | United States

Travel With Us

by Dawnrichard

We are here to give you all information about your next trip.

Aug 2014 - Jan 2015  »  Philippines | United Kingdom

The Stephenson's Abroad

by Katrena

Katrena, John and Connor's UK trip

Aug 2017 - Oct 2017  »  Australia | Singapore | United Kingdom

past

by travelblog

travels

Dec 2010  »  United Kingdom | France

Connor's Big Trip

by ConnorLS

Travels around the UK

Sep 2017 - Oct 2017  »  Singapore | United Kingdom | United States

Summer Camping and Summer Traveling Tips.

by CampUSA2015

TYPES OF SUMMER CAMPS

Jun 2014  »  United Kingdom

Sri Lanka Nursing

by Beth97

My elective placement in Sri Lanka

Nov 2016 - Apr 2017  »  United Kingdom | Sri Lanka | United Arab Emirates

The Erwin family's Europe trip!

by ErwinEurope

London, England

Jul 2017 - Aug 2017  »  United Kingdom | France | Germany

Belfast City Trip DAY 1

by briancorbett

Belfast City Center Tour & The Titanic Museum

Jul 2017  »  United Kingdom | Ireland

Travels And Design for the curious-minded

by Travelsanddesign

"Be yourself, everyone else is already taken" - Oscar Wide

Oct 2015  »  United Kingdom

Nigel and Yogi's Travels

by NigeNYogi

Documenting our trip round SE Asia

Jun 2017  »  United Kingdom

Featured hotels in

United Kingdom

United KingdomCliveden 

Cliveden Estate
Taplow
Maidenhead SL6 0JF
United Kingdom

Price (US$): $331 - $869 / night

Check rates »

Location. Near the airport, Cliveden is located in Maidenhead's Taplow neighborhood and close to Cliveden House, Stanley Spencer Art Gallery, and Maidenhead Railway Bridge. Additional area points of interest include Windsor Castle and Eton College. Hotel Features. Dining options at Cliveden include 3 restaurants. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary English breakfast. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, an… more »

United KingdomThe Vineyard 

Stockcross
Newbury RG20 8JU
United Kingdom

Price (US$): $400 - $600 / night

Check rates »

Location. The Vineyard is located in central Newbury, close to Donnington Castle, Newbury Town Hall, and West Berkshire Museum. Nearby points of interest also include Newbury Racecourse. Hotel Features. Dining options at The Vineyard include a restaurant and a coffee shop/café. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves English breakfasts each morning in the restaurant (surcharges apply). Recreational amenities include an… more »

United KingdomSanderson 

50 Berners Street
London W1T 3NG
United Kingdom

Price (US$): $425 - $472 / night

Check rates »

Location. Located in central London, Sanderson is a business friendly hotel within walking distance of Oxford Circus, Bedford Square, and London Palladium Theatre. Additional points of interest include London Senate House Library and Piccadilly Circus. Hotel Features. Sanderson's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 2 bars/lounges are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts each morning in the restaurant (surcharges apply).… more »

United KingdomME London 

336-337 The Strand
London WC2R 1HA
United Kingdom

Price (US$): $395 - $1501 / night

Check rates »

Location. Located in central London, ME London is a business friendly hotel within walking distance of King's College London, Royal Courts of Justice Law Courts, and Covent Garden. Additional points of interest include Banqueting House and Trafalgar Square. Hotel Features. In addition to 2 restaurants, ME London offers a snack bar/deli and a coffee shop/café. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves English breakfasts each morning in the… more »

United KingdomThe Balmoral Hotel 

1 Princes Street
Edinburgh EH2 2EQ
United Kingdom

Price (US$): $250 - $658 / night

Check rates »

Location. Located in central Edinburgh, The Balmoral Hotel is within walking distance of Princes Mall, St. Giles' Cathedral, and Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre. Nearby points of interest also include Princes Street Gardens and Greyfriars Kirk. Hotel Features. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a health club, and a sauna. The property's full service health spa has body treatments, massage/treatment rooms, and facials. This 5 star property has a 24 hour business center and offers… more »

Browse more hotels in United Kingdom »

United Kingdom

Full name
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Capital
London
Location

Western Europe, islands including the northern one-sixth of the island of Ireland between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, northwest of France

Geographic coordinates

51 30 N, 0 10 W

Area comparative

slightly smaller than Oregon

Border countries

Ireland 360 km

Coastline

12,429 km

Climate

temperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current; more than one-half of the days are overcast

Terrain

mostly rugged hills and low mountains; level to rolling plains in east and southeast

Lowest point

The Fens -4 m

Highest point

Ben Nevis 1,343 m

Natural resources

coal, petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, lead, zinc, gold, tin, limestone, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, potash, silica sand, slate, arable land

Population

62,348,447 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

white (of which English 83.6%, Scottish 8.6%, Welsh 4.9%, Northern Irish 2.9%) 92.1%, black 2%, Indian 1.8%, Pakistani 1.3%, mixed 1.2%, other 1.6% (2001 census)

Religions

Christian (Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist) 71.6%, Muslim 2.7%, Hindu 1%, other 1.6%, unspecified or none 23.1% (2001 census)

Languages

English

Government type

constitutional monarchy and Commonwealth realm

Independence

12 April 1927 (Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act establishes current name of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland); notable earlier dates 927 (minor English kingdoms united); 3 March 1284 (enactment of the Statute of Rhuddlan uniting England and Wales); 1536 (Act of Union formally incorporates England and Wales); 1 May 1707 (Acts of Union formally unite England and Scotland as Great Britain); 1 January 1801 (Acts of Union formally unite Great Britain and Ireland as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland); 6 December 1921 (Anglo-Irish Treaty formalizes partition of Ireland; six counties remain part of the United Kingdom as Northern Ireland)

National holiday

the UK does not celebrate one particular national holiday

Chief of state

Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); Heir Apparent Prince CHARLES (son of the queen, born 14 November 1948)

Head of government

Prime Minister David CAMERON (since 11 May 2010)

Internet country code

.uk

Internet users

51.444 million (2009)

Airports

505 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Dover, Felixstowe, Immingham, Liverpool, London, Southampton, Teesport (England); Forth Ports, Hound Point (Scotland); Milford Haven (Wales)

Other countries in the region