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the United Kingdom, general information

Interesting facts on the United Kingdom

Note that some of the information (gas prices!) can be outdated since we made this page after visiting the country for the last time!
Official name United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (or short United Kingdom)
Area 244,820 km², of which 3,230 km² water (6 x the Netherlands)
Number of inhabitants 60.4 million (July 2005)
Population density 246 people per square kilometer, but in southern England the density is much higher than in the north (Scotland for example)
Capital London
Monetary unit Pound; £ 1 = about € 1.01 (Jan. 2009).In 2002 the pound was 50% higher!. (1 € = $ 1.24; 1 Dollar = € 0.7; Rate in Jan. 2009)
Fuel prices Gas and diesel: € 1.55; LPG: between € 0.45 and 0.75 (September 2005)
License plate of cars GB
Telephone country prefix 44
Internet country code .uk
Time difference GMT; one hour earlier than in Holland. The summertime starts and ends as in the rest of Western Europe (starting on the last sunday of March, ending on the last sunday in October).
Road network The road network is 392,931 km long, and is in good shape. In the north there are quite a few single track roads (with passing places).
Prices in general Great Britain is not really a cheap country to go on holiday, especially in cities like London. But outside the cities you pay about € 6 for a coffee and a beer. For staying on a (simple) campsite we paid from € 4 to € 21 per night.
The best in United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (or short United Kingdom) We still like Scotland (especially the west coast of the Highlands) best, but regions like the Lake District and Wales are also very beautiful. And the other areas also have their own charm, for example with nice medieval towns. Just a great country!

Geographical data

Great Britain is comprised of several areas: the formerly separate realms of England and Scotland, and the principality of Wales. Further Northern Ireland (also known as Ulster) and numerous smaller islands including the Isle of Wight, Anglesey, and the Scilly, Orkney, Shetland, and Hebridean archipelagos. No one in the UK lives more than 120 km from the sea. The UK is bordered by four seas: to the south by the English Channel, which separates it from continental Europe to the east by the North Sea to the west by the Irish Sea and the Atlantic Ocean The only land border connecting the Uk to another country is between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
More information at insidecountryinfo.com.

Population

In July 2005, more than 60 million people live in Great Britain, of which almost 80% in England (which comprises just over 50% of the surface). 9% lives in Scotland (with a third of the area), 3% in Northen Ireland and 5% in Wales. London is the biggest city where in some parts (for example Chelsea and Kensington) the population density is over 13,000 people per square kilometer.
More information at insidecountryinfo.com.

Languages

English is the main language of Great Britain, but Welsh is also officially recognised in Wales and Gaelic in Scotland.
More information at ethnologue.com.com.

History

Great Britain once was one of the dominating player in the human history and still there are many remains left: from the abundantly number of prehistoric sites to well-preserved medieval towns and hundreds of castles and monuments from its time of glory. Great Britain as we know it today only exists since 1707 when England, Wales and Scotland were really united. In 1801 Ireland joined the union but in 1921 part of Ireland voted for independance and only Nortern Ireland stayed within the United Kingdom.
We have decided not to write a detailed history anymore, since there is already a huge amount of information on this topic on the internet. Instead a few links with more information the history of Great Britain:
History pages, from 4.000 BC to 2000 AD. Numerous articles about the history of Great Britain Overview of the history, from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia History of the British royal family

Climate

Being an island Great Britain obviously has a sea climate. Great Britain has quite cool summers and mild winters. The weather changes from day to day. The climate is temperate ­ the country does not have long periods when it is hot or cold. Western parts of Britain receive more rain and snow during the year than south and east. This is because southwesterly winds bring water from the Atlantic Ocean to the west, which falls as rain where it meets the mountains on land. There are large amounts of water in this area and a shortage in the south and the east.

Flora and fauna

Not much is left of the forests that once covered Great Britain. But good care has improved the situation a lot over the past 100 years. There are not many species of animals (especially mammals). There are plenty of regions with a protected status, from national park to special nature reservate. On wikipedia.org you will find more details about the flora and fauna in Great Britain.

The actual weather in Great Britain:

London Cardiff Glasgow Belfast
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