Area Guide For The United Kingdom

Below is a general overview of the UK, its geography, climate and culture. It will help you gather practical and general knowledge about the United Kingdom and how to get there.


The United Kingdom, otherwise known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the UK or Great Britain, is united by the four constituent countries of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, along with various small islands, the largest of which is the Isle of Wight. The Channel Tunnel, near Folkestone, links England to the European mainland and the English-French border is located halfway along the Tunnel.

The capital city of London is by far the largest UK city, with a population of around 7.5 million. Birmingham comes next, followed by Leeds, then Glasgow, and a number of other cities such as Sheffield, Bradford, Liverpool and Edinburgh are also of substantial size and influence.

The United Kingdom ranks amongst the world’s greatest centres for cultural development, and England is the origin of such influential establishments as the Church of England, the British law system and the English language, all of which form the basis of institutional systems in the United Kingdom and in many countries worldwide. The UK was also the first country in the world to become a parliamentary democracy and consequently many constitutional and legal establishments have originated in England and have been generally adopted by many other nations. The UK is famous for vibrant cities with great nightlife, shopping, fashion and cultural attractions, contrasted starkly with the attraction of green and widely diverse countryside.

The UK is also famous for its plentiful year-round rainfall and easily recognisable seasons. Temperatures tend to be low but do not generally fall below -5ºC in winter, rising to highs of 30ºC in summer. The highest temperature ever recorded in the UK was 38.5°C in August 2003, in Kent, southern England, while the Highlands of Scotland generally experience the coldest and severest of winter weather conditions. Average minimum temperatures in the UK are 2°C in January and February.


Information Required When Travelling to the United Kingdom

Visas:

None for stays of up to six months. For longer than six months re: employment, study or tourism, a visa may be required and will need to be obtained in advance from your local British Consulate.

Vaccinations:

None

Time Zone:

GMT

Electricity:

220 volts

Weights and Measures:

Imperial system and Metric

Tel. Dialing Codes:

England/Scotland/Wales: 00 + 44 + area code
Northern Ireland: 00 +353 + 048 + area code (this is cheaper than dialing through the UK using country dialing code 44)
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