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Home to the well-known clock tower, Big Ben, and infamous for its rich history, the United Kingdom has been the subject of fascination since around 6500 BC. The country accommodates more than 60 million inhabitants. Of these, 50 million reside in England, 3 million in Wales, 5 million in Scotland, and 1.8 million in Northern Ireland. The terms 'England’, 'Great Britain’ and the 'United Kingdom’ are often used interchangeably: the UK of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a sovereign state, and it includes the countries England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. So it’s like the 50 states in North America, with each state possessing its own laws but ultimately being under the federal government’s power.
Each country in the UK has its own laws, but it is ultimately answerable to the United Kingdom. Great Britain is England, Wales and Scotland. The different teams formed for each country during sporting events pretty much creates even more confusion over these names, but we hope this explanation clears matters up. Investing in a map of England wouldn’t hurt either.
Because of its royal history and enriched culture, England is popular with tourists and locals alike. Covering an area of 50,000 square miles (the United States is 74 times this size) and housing 50 million people, the European country is known for its dreary, rainy weather and temperate climate. The capital is London (shout out to the famous London Bridge). England’s flag is a red cross on a white background, and it features the Union Jack flag of the United Kingdom. England is a constitutional monarchy, which means it’s ruled by the Queen, who is Head of State, and the Prime Minister, who is Head of Government.
Location of EnglandLooking at the political map, one sees that England lies to the south east of Scotland and to the east of Wales. Northern Ireland is the only country of the United Kingdom that does not share any boundaries with any of the state’s countries.
GeographyMost English geography is flat and fertile with gorgeous hills and moors in the west and the north. The beaches on the coastlines are long stretches of sand, coves, and cliffs.
English people were originally Anglo-Saxons. Most people in England speak English as a first language (don’t we all love that posh English accent), but you’ll find a lot of Polish, Bengali and even Punjabi speakers too (immigration from the Indian subcontinent is hitting an all-time high). England was invaded by a whole range of people, from Romans and Vikings to Normans and Celts. The English went on to colonise far-reaching regions on the map, like Tonga, India, Sudan, and yep, even the United States.
ReligionA lot of the British people are Protestants, although there are sizable numbers of Catholics, Methodists, Baptists and other Christians. A small proportion of the population are Jewish, Muslim or Hindu.
EconomyEngland’s economy is mixed: resources are owned by the private sector and the government. It is the largest economy in the United Kingdom, with a GDP per capita of $27,225 (the 37th largest in the world). Citizens use the British pound as currency, and main English products are cereals, potatoes, manufactured products, and fuels.
Places of Interest in EnglandGeography and history aside: what allures people to visit England? Why do tourists place their fingers on this particular spot on the map? We’ll tell you why they don’t: the weather. England gets 1154 mm of rain per year- it’s pretty wet up here. But if you visit any time between June and September, you can enjoy (mostly) sunny days with warm temperatures reaching up to 25 degrees.
Because of its age, England has managed to accumulate quite a history; the architectural sites around the country attest to this fact.
The Stonehenge in Wiltshire is a ring of stones, and the reason behind its construction is still being speculated on. The largest stones soar to heights of 30 feet and weigh 25 tonnes each. Theories for reasons of its construction include ritualistic performances, celestial observations, or even a healing place.
London's St Paul's Cathedral bags the spot as one of the world’s largest churches; it was the tallest till 1962. The Whispering Gallery in the Cathedral is the most popular spot; a whisper against the wall carries to a distance of more than 100 feet away. Painters as renowned as Canaletto and Pissaro have contributed to the art in the church.
And who could forget good-old Big Ben! England’s (read: the world’s) hottest clock tower has been rechristened as 'The Elizabeth Tower’, and it is the world’s largest clock.
England’s geography bolsters beach resorts. Pick up any map of England and you’ll see that the only parts not surrounded by water are those where the country shares borders with Scotland and Wales. Bournemouth, Brighton, and Blackpool beaches are just a few names amongst the many that England has to offer.
People can take countless rides in the amusement park at Blackpool, party hard to the hippest songs in clubs at Bournemouth, or soak up some sun in Brighton. Other famous beaches are Newquay, Camber, and Crantock.
Nightlife is a must-see in England. Cocktail bars, typical English pubs, inns, breweries, cafes, bars or just a plain nightclub for the hardcore partiers: the English country has it all. In London, there are over 16000 clubs and pubs - take your pick!
And if you’re wondering where to stay in the country, there are numbers of cheap, easily available hotels and guesthouses that cater to your accommodation needs, all year round. Despite being (pretty much) an island-country, England is accessible as anything. The world’s most fast-paced airport, Heathrow Airport, is in England, and there are plenty of ferries and boats to carry you to and fro.
- English people consume the most tea in the entire world.
- The first zoo in the world was opened here in 1828.
- Before English took over, French was England’s official language for a good 300 years (1066 to 1362).
- If you’re in England and you accidentally put a postage stamp of the queen’s head upside down on a letter, you’ll be tried for treason.
- You thought Americans owned mac and cheese? The earliest known mac and cheese recipe originated from England in the 14th century!
Stock up on more knowledge of England, which is definitely one of the world’s most fascinating countries. Get your hands on the political map now so you don’t miss out on any more facts on England.
Last Updated on : January 25, 2017
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