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United Kingdom — by Avanti Destinations

While the individual parts that make up the United Kingdom have a history going back thousands of years, the United Kingdom (or Britain) as we know it is relatively new. The history of the United Kingdom as a unified sovereign state began with the political union of the kingdoms of England, which included Wales, and Scotland in 1707. The Union created the United Kingdom of Great Britain, which shared a single constitutional monarch and a single parliament at Westminster. Prior to this, the kingdoms of England and Scotland had been separate states. Today’s United Kingdom is composed of four different countries which all fall under the same monarchy and government—England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

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60-Second Geography

United Kingdom

Few places cram in as much scenery, history and culture as the United Kingdom. England’s southwest is dominated by a rugged shoreline and ancient history, the uber hip and metropolitan capital, London, sits amid the rolling hills of the southeast. The people of northern England are among the friendliest; while the scenery of the Northumberland coast, Peak District and Lake District are all incredible sights to behold.But to experience the true wilderness of the United Kingdom, travel to the Scottish Highlands where you will discover that it can be harsh, snow capped and often inaccessible. Art-drenched Edinburgh is a stunning city to explore (especially if you are a JK Rowling or Harry Potter fan), and the larger islands of the Hebrides attract walkers and whiskey lovers.Wales features the vibrant Cardiff and industrial Swansea to the south, and craggy peaks of the Snowdon Massif to the north.

Across the water, sharing land with Ireland, Northern Ireland is a stylish and modern area anchored by Belfast. Outside of the city, the countryside is every bit as intriguing as the United Kingdom’s.

  • England is the biggest country in the U.K., and is home to the largest city in Europe–London. It’s also home to over 600 miles of beautiful coastline and some of the world’s top tourist attractions. England is divided into 9 distinct regions, each with its own unique personality, history and culture – from the rolling hills of the Cotswolds and charming Cornish villages to the bustling city life of London and the dramatic coastlines of the North East. So no matter what kind of experience you want, you’ll find the perfect destination in England.
  • Northern Ireland is the smallest country in the U.K., and is situated in the northeast corner of Ireland. Northern Ireland’s size makes it easy to navigate. Once you’ve settled into your hotel, you can easily visit the country’s main attractions on short day trips. The country offers a variety of landscapes from breathtaking mountains and glens, World Heritage Sites to an inland sea.
  • Scotland is a diverse and extraordinary country, with a rich and fascinating history. The country has nearly 800 islands, only 300 of which are inhabited, and these islands are home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. It is a photographer’s paradise. In Scotland you will find vibrant and exciting cities, breathtaking lochs, mountains and coastlines. Scotland shares its Southern border with England and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the west and the North Sea on the east.
  • Wales is bordered by England on the east and is a small country with a rich history and spectacular landscapes, including three national parks and five “Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.” Due to its size (170 miles tall by 60 miles wide) you’re never far from a mountain or a sea. But Wales is also home to vibrant cities, traditional villages and great tourist attractions. Welsh – the native language – is spoken by many people in Wales, and is one of the oldest (and some say most difficult to understand) languages in the world.
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