GREAT BRITAINThe United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland occupies the territory of the British Isles which are situated to the north-west of Europe. They consist of two main islands: Great Britain and Ireland.
England is in the south of the island of Great Britain, Scotland is in the north and Wales is in the west. Northern Ireland is situated in the north-eastern part of Ireland. Its western coast is washed by the Atlantic Ocean. In the east the island of Great Britain is washed by the North Sea.
The Irish Sea, the North Channel and the St. George’s Channel separate Ireland from Great Britain. Great Britain is separated from France by the English Channel, which is 32 km wide in its narrowest part. In everyday speech “Great Britain” is used to mean the UK.
The climate of Britain is usually described as cool, temperate and humid. As the weather changes with a wind, and Britain is visited by winds from different parts of the world, the most characteristic feature of Britain’s weather is its variability.
Summers are not hot and winters are not cold in Britain. The snow never lies for long on the ground. As a rule there is no ice on the waters of rivers and lakes. So we may say that the British climate has 3 main features: it is mild, humid and changeable. That means that it’s never too hot or too warm.
Weather changes very often.
English is the official, but not the only language used in the country.
Britain has been many centuries in the making. The Romans conquered most part of Britain, but were unable to subdue the fiercely independent tribes in the West and in the North. Further waves of invaders followed: Angels, Saxons, Jutes, Vikings and Normans. All these contributed to the mixture we call English. For many centuries this country was known simply as England. It had a strong army and navy. It waged numerous colonial wars. England, once the “work shop of the world”, was the first to become a highly industrial country.
There are no big rivers in Great Britain. The biggest are Severn and Thames. The Severn in England is the longest river. It is 350 kilometers long. It flows south – west into the Irish Sea. There are a lot of mountains in Great Britain, but they are nit high. The highest mountain - Ben Nevis - is in Scotland. The flora of the British Isles is much varied and the fauna is similar to that of the north-west of Europe.
Great Britain is highly industrialized, this was the country in which the earliest developments of modern industry started.
The Great Britain is a parliamentary monarchy. A parliament is the group of people who make the laws of their country. British laws are made in the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The main political parties in Great Britain are the Conservative, Labour, Liberal and Social – Democratic Parties.
The largest cities of Great Britain besides London are: Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Bristol, Leeds, and Edinburgh. The most important seaports are: London, Liverpool, Belfast, Glasgow and Cardiff.