Fish & chips, Shepherd’s pie, Big Ben, the Beatles, Shakespeare, her Majesty the Queen and James Bond: just some of the things that spring to mind when thinking about the UK.
The UK is renowned for its history, iconic landmarks, castles and sprawling countryside, along with outstanding scenery, deep valleys, forestry and mountains such as the Yorkshire dales, the Lake District, the Scottish Highlands and Snowdonia. Famous landmarks include Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Edinburgh Castle, Stonehenge, and the centuries-old universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
The UK is made up of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Known across the world for its nightlife, liberal attitudes and a unique sense of humour, during the last century the UK has also led the musical revolution that defined the 20th century. Homegrown, iconic acts such as the Beatles, Queen, Elton John, David Bowie, Oasis, the Who, the Rolling Stones, the Bee Gees, Take That, the Spice Girls and much more put the UK’s music scene on the map.
Famous also for whisky (the national drink of Scotland), gin (most popular in the south of England), tea, and a surge of micro-breweries producing local & juicy pale ales in the north; with such offerings there is no shortage in nightlife across the major cities from London to Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Edinburgh.
The UK spans the Outer Hebrides, to the gothic and impressively historic city of Edinburgh, across the scenic forestation of North Yorkshire Moors. From the Viking castle City of York down to the centre of London and on to the south west countryside and coastal walks and beaches in Devon and Cornwall, the 965km (600 miles) long United Kingdom along with its 12,789km (7,947 mi) of coastline has more than enough culture, history, site-seeing, wining, dining, activity and scenery to compete with any other nation on Earth.
British culture is diverse and has been defined in various ways over the last couple of thousand years, from the invasion of Romans (43 AD) to the Vikings (8th century), Anglo-Scottish battles from the 1200s to 1500s, King Henry (born 1491) the industrial revolution from 1760, the bubonic plague of London, the war of the Roses (north of England, 1455-1487), to the Victorian times (1819-1901), all culminating in 2,000 years worth of rich culture across arts, literature, architecture, theatre, music and comedy.
Not to mention the UK’s reputation and passion for popular sports, which includes football, rugby, athletics, tennis, boxing and cricket. Some of the modern day globally famous sports achievers include the Brownlea Brothers (triathlon), David Beckham (football), the Charlton brothers (football), Chris Eubank (boxing), Lenox Lewis (boxing), Frank Bruno (boxing), Lewis Hamilton (Formula 1), Nigel Mansell (Formula 1) and Andy Murray (tennis) – there are truly too many too list!
England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
The UK is made up of 4 different countries, so there is a vast choice of places to visit. It is worth visiting Edinburgh, York, Oxford and Bath for history. The Lake District and Yorkshire Dales offer beautiful scenery. Head to Leeds, Manchester or London for nightlife and shopping.
The biggest hotel in the UK is Heathrow, near London. The next biggest and most popular is Gatwick, south of London, then London Stansted, Manchester, Edinburgh for Scotland and Luton.
The UK isn’t famous for great weather, in fact it’s more famous for rain! The summers are warm but not usually excessive. The winters are cold.
The UK has a modern and comprehensive motorway system, driving is easy and the country isn’t huge so you can get from city to city in a reasonable amount of time. The train system is dated and in need of modernisation, however is easy to use and get around. If travelling from the south of England (eg. Devon or London) to Scotland it’s worth catching a flight; otherwise you can easily get by with a rental car.
Traditional British dishes include; fish and chips, shepherds pie, Welsh rarebit, the Cornish pasty, bangers and mash (sausage and mashed potato), toad-in-the-hole, the full English breakfast, and a Sunday roast dinner.
Haggis, Loch Lomond, the Loch Ness Monster, the Highlands, whisky, Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle.
Most of the major and well-known hotel chains are in the UK, including Hilton, Accor Group, Marriott, Premier Inn, Travelodge, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn.