United Kingdom (UK) consists of the island of Great Britain (GB) and several smaller islands, which are often called British Isles, and the northern part of the island of Ireland. United Kingdom consists of 4 countries: England, Scotland, Wales and North Ireland. The full name is United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and it represents the union between its countries.
The British islands are separated from the European mainland only by a fairly narrow English Channel. Their development was somewhat different compared to rest of the world. United Kingdom was at a certain time (from the end of 17th to mid-19th century) the most developed state in the world. The main merit of this was a well-developed fleet that linked the islands with its lands outside Europe - Colonies. It also possessed a wealth of minerals and natural resources. Its diverse agricultural crops were very important for the rapid development of the country’s industry. United Kingdom has willingly given up most of its colonies, without any violence. That is why UK still has good relations with most of its former colonies, and this represents the Commonwealth of Nations, formerly the British Commonwealth. The British monarch is formal head of state in several countries, for example in Canada, Australia, New Zealand.
Natural conditions of Ireland and Great Britain islands, which are on the western side of Europe, is affected by the Atlantic Ocean, dominating from the west. That's why the climate is characterised by heavy precipitations and relatively small differences between summer and winter temperatures. Snow can be found during the winter usually only in mountains in the north of Great Britain. Much stronger winds are common on the two islands, compared to Central Europe.
The longest river of GB, Thames, runs through London and long channels connect Thames with other rivers. Waterways are used for the transportation of raw materials and goods. London is a major international destination even though it is around 60 km away from the sea coast.
There is a significant representation of migrants and their descendants in United Kingdom. Most were coming during the 20th century, from the states of the British Commonwealth. In terms of Christian beliefs, UK is prevailed by Protestants. The most widespread is the Anglican Church founded by the Emperor Henry VIII in defiance towards the Pope.
The agriculture of the two island states is significantly oriented on animal production. Traditional is cattle and sheep breeding. Horse breeding is also very important, since racing is a major element in both Irish and British traditions. United Kingdom excels in sheep wool production and products thereof, as well as production of milk, meat and certain types of alcohol. Plants requiring less heat are mostly grown in UK. In the foreground, for example, it is the production of potatoes.
In the past, the UK industry was based on an extensive mining of domestic raw materials, mainly black coal, which is rapidly declining. UK is connected to mining metallurgy and heavy machinery, the production of which has also declined significantly. However, United Kingdom does not have significant energy problems because in the 70s of the 20th century oil bearing were discovered in the North Sea.
At present, UK is focused on a more modern industry. UK is especially famous for Rolls Royce and Jaguar. Several brands originating from Continental Europe are sold in UK under a different brand name, and have special modifications. Kingdom is still one of the leading shipbuilders and has large aircraft production.
Own brands also represent the electrical and electronics industry. These industries, like the chemical industry, are on the rise. The local textile industry is a huge tradition, but nowadays it struggles to compete with cheaper products, mainly from Asia.
The capital city of UK is London, where the country’s parliament is located, the seat of government and the royal family’s official city residence. It's also one of three largest cities in Europe. Many historical and cultural monuments are in London. Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, St. Paul Cathedral are just a few of them. Other cities, such as Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow (the largest the city of Scotland) grew mainly as big industrial cities thanks to their large ports. The university towns of Oxford and Cambridge are well known around the world.
Specific is a British countryside with many castles - the magnificent mansions of former and present noblemen.
Some monuments (e. g. admired stone monoliths around Stonehenge and sites in Cornwall) are dated before Christ. Therefore, they are often referred to as prehistoric.
UK is known for its love of drinking tea. “Tea at Five“ is both an expression for supper and sometimes for a small social event. This started with the opportunities for cheap tea imports from the British former colonies. The conversation in UK is often about the weather.
Various sports are popular in UK, such as football, cricket, rugby. The double-decker busses ride in London, as well as in other cities. Red telephone booths are slowly becoming historical jewels, but typically dressed police constables and sergeants with custodian helmets are still part of UK, in England and Wales. There is plenty attention of the media on the royal family, which is well respected around the world.