History of the UK
The United Kingdom has a rich history spanning many millennia. Today, one would recognize the UK for its colonial conquests and establishing a vast empire upon which the sun would never set. But many centuries ago, the United Kingdom was not a major power but itself formed a part of the great Roman Empire
The Romans ruled from 43 AD to 410 AD until the Anglo Saxons invaded Britain. They reigned over Britain until the Norman Conquest in 1066.
By 1282, the English took over Wales, and by 1536 an act was signed to complete the union of England
By 1603, England and Scotland were also united under the crown. Finally, England and Scotland
were unified as Great Britain
The political union of England, Wales, Scotland (called Great Britain), and Ireland was completed on 1801, and lasted until 1921.
During this period, Ireland continued its struggle for independence. In 1921, the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed and the Irish Free State was established. In the early 20th century, Northern Ireland
officially separated from the rest of Ireland
If you are inclined to know more about the UK's past, visit our page on the history of the United Kingdom
UK Geography Facts
- The UK is located in Western Europe, between the North Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, separated from Europe mainland by the English Channel.
- The United Kingdom is a political union of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales with each region having its unique history and culture.
- A man-made tunnel beneath the English Channel, popularly called the Chunnel, links France to the United Kingdom.
- The UK has a coastline of 7,723 miles and is surrounded by water on all sides.
For more tidbits on the geographical aspects of the United Kingdom, click on this page
The UK is the world's eighth most popular destination. Major cities for tourism in the United Kingdom include London, Belfast (Ireland), and Edinburgh (Scotland). Having several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the UK is an appealing tourist destination. Some of the famous tourist attractions in the country are:
London is a fascinating destination comprising a rich culture and history showcased in art galleries and museums. London is home to amazing green parks, shopping malls, a vibrant theatre scene and fine dining experience. Some of the most amazing attractions here include the Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Big Ben, Thames River, Tower Bridge, and the famous double-decker buses.
Steeped in mystery, Stonehenge is one of the most popular historical sites in the UK. Tracing its origin back to 3100 BC, Stonehenge comprises a circular setting of large standing stones.
Cambridge is not only a popular tourist destination but is also home to the University of Cambridge, which is one of the top universities in the world. Here one can also visit The King's College Chapel.
It is the second largest national park in the country and is located in the county of Cumbria. Known for its scenic beauty, the national park is popular among hikers and climbers. About 14 million people visit the park annually.
The capital of Scotland, Edinburgh
is steeped in Scottish history. The Old Town is best known for its famous street, the Royal Mile, while the New Town is popular for its Neoclassical architecture.
When you watch this interesting video
on famous tourist destinations in UK, you will get to know Edinburgh better.
Culture and People
English is the official language of the United Kingdom. Recognized regional languages include Scots, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Irish, and Cornish.
Christianity is the largest religion followed in the United Kingdom. Other prominent religions are Islam and Hinduism.
Some of the prominent writers, philosophers, and poets of the country include Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare, John Milton, Alexander Pope, Robert Burns, Samuel Johnson, Percy Shelly, Lord Byron, and HG Wells.
The West End is the main theatre district in the United Kingdom.
Getting In and Around
The largest airport in UK by traffic volume is London Heathrow Airport
. The second largest airport is Gatwick Airport
and the third largest is Manchester Airport.
UK's rail network consists of two independent parts, Northern Ireland and Great Britain. Since 1994, Great Britain has been connected to mainland Europe through the Channel Tunnel, while the network of Northern Ireland is connected to that of the Republic of Ireland.
London Underground, which is commonly known as the Tube, is the most well-known rapid transit system in the country. Opened in 1863, it is the oldest rapid transit system in the world.
See our detailed London Tube map
to learn more about the its network.
- Windsor Castle is one of the most prominent tourist attractions in the United Kingdom. It is also the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world.
- The ravens are the most celebrated residents of the Tower of London.
- English physician and scientist Christopher Merret is said to have invented Champagne.
- The British Library in London is among the largest in the world.
- The United Kingdom does not have a written constitution.
- One of the most developed countries of the world, the United Kingdom was once famous for controlling a quarter of the earth's land area.
- An Indian delicacy, the Chicken Tikka Masala, has been named as the new national dish of the United Kingdom.
Have a look at some of the other interesting facts about UK
before you take this quiz on UK
APOD – 220616
Last Update on : June 23, 2016