United Kingdom

The United Kingdom, also known as England or Great Britain is the country which once ruled nearly the entire world. The glory might have been lost but the people are still proud of their country and heritage and the travel and tourisim industries are among the best in the world. The United Kingdom is an EU member and enjoys a fantastic economic climate. The country consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The country is full of scenic locales and energetic cities. The capital city of the UK is London.

A city beyond compare, the UK represents itself as an icon of diversity with people from all walks of life blended into its culture. It is also home to many architectural marvels such as Buckingham Palace, London Bridge and more modern fare such as Canary Wharf. While areas like York and Durham capture the bygone era of country life, Liverpool and Newcastle are modern industrial marvels. Don’t forget the scenic Lake District and Edinburg still attracts people from all over the world.

Population & Languages

The population is around 61 million and the official language is English. Other regional languages spoken are Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, and Irish.

Electricity

The voltage is 230-240 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. The type of plug used is rectangular blade.

Geographic Location

It is located in Western Europe and consists of islands including the northern one-sixth of Ireland. It is 22 miles from the French border and linked by the chunnel or channel tunnel. You will love rolling lowlands and low mountainous terrain.

Climate

It has a moderate climate but lots of rain with around half of the year being overcast. The lowest temperatures never go below -15 °C (5 °F) and in summer the average maximum is 34 °C (93.2 °F). It also gets snow in winter and early spring.

Local Customs

The handshake is customary when you are meeting somebody for the first time. When visiting someone’s house a small gift like flowers or chocolates is customary. Waiting until everyone is served before eating is also a key social etiquette. Tipping is usually 10-15% in hotels, restaurants and taxis. Smoking and non-smoking areas are clearly designated but like most industrialized countries there is a shift afoot to limit smoking in public areas.

Places to see

London – Buckingham Palace, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, Whitehall Palace and the Tower of London

Scotland – The Bannockburn Heritage Centre and Ben Lawers Mountains

Wales – Aberdulais Falls, King Arthur’s Labyrinth, Dolaucothi Gold Mines, Great Orme Mines, Portmeirion Village, Rhossili Visitor Centre, Taff Valley Activity Centre and TechinQuest

Travel
By Air – The domestic airlines is British Airways which also connects almost all major world destinations. Almost all airlines connect UK through London which is hub for all international flights between east to west and west to east. Heathrow and Gatwick are international airports of London.

By Sea – Since UK is surrounded by water from almost all sides it has many ports. There are many ferry services operating between the rest of Europe and the UK.

By Rail – Trains connect Ferries at Dover, Folkestone, Newhaven, Portsmouth and Weymouth, sailing for Belgium, France, Germany and Spain (you need to board at Victoria Station in London); and at Harwich, sailing for Germany, The Netherlands and Scandinavia (you need to board at Liverpool Street). Eurostar train connects London with Brussels and Paris through channel tunnel.

By Road – Vehicles can enter the UK through the channel tunnel. Cars and motorcycles, coaches, minibuses, caravans, campervans and other vehicles over 1.85m (6.07ft) can also use channel tunnel.

THE REGIONS OF UNITED KINGDOM

Cornwall

On the very south-western tip of England lies the beautiful county of Cornwall. With a delightful mix of superb beaches, among the best in Britain, outstanding scenery and charming towns, villages and cities, Cornwall has something to offer every traveller.

Despite the wealth of attractions & scenic beauty on offer, Cornwall has many affordable hotels, B&Bs & guesthouses to suit the budgets of all holidaymakers.

Cornwall is also Britain’s premier surfing capital – not surprising given that it enjoys the best weather anywhere in the country. It also has some of the cleanest beaches and attracts visitors by the millions every year.

Whether it’s lazing on lovely white beaches, ambling along wonderful sub-tropical gardens or exploring quiet, picture-perfect fishing villages you’re after, you’ll find it all when you visit Cornwall.

The famous King Arthur is also believed to have come from Cornwall, in a small town called Tintagel. Cornish history is mystical, ancient and highly fascinating. The many delightful towns and villages are often named after the Christian missionaries that have influenced them.

Like your food and drink? Cornish pubs are known for offering good hearty foods and your choice of flavoursome ales. And let’s not forget the “Cornish pasty” – a tasty must-have meat pie that must be experienced when visiting Cornwall.

Devon

Devon is famously known to offer the traveller a feast of splendid scenery, lovely beaches and pretty harbour towns. Popular destinations within Devon include Plymouth, Torbay and Dartmoor National Park.

Devon is also a walkers paradise, and like neighbouring Cornwall is one of the most popular holiday destinations within the United Kingdom. And it’s very easy to see why – lush pastures break out into spectacular coastlines, making Devon a Mecca for those hunting for a taste of quaint old England.

While enjoying a holiday in Devon, be sure to experience the wonderfully rugged coastline scenery. Devon is also blessed with some stunning countryside – charming narrow little roads amble on for miles with nothing but lush greenery and flora that offers a myriad of explosive colours during the summertime. Driving through these single-lane roads is an experience like no other – arrive in a Devon town that’s dotted with charming thatched cottages and enjoy a cream tea and scone in one of the many tea-shops.

Devon offers the traveller a classic English village experience – and there are many great hotels, B&Bs and many more types of accommodation to cater to the needs of both the luxury traveller and budget conscious back-packer.

Devon also offers some of the best year-round weather to be found anywhere in the UK. Temperatures in January (when the rest of the country is shivering) average a maximum of 9 degrees.

If you enjoy coasts & estuaries then a holiday in Devon will delight you – the estuaries (such as the Teign) also attract many species of migratory birds.