The United Kingdom is a sovereign state in the Europe comprising several other regions namely England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Oftentimes, United Kingdom is referred to simply as Britain although the official name of the UK is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name is used to refer to the union of four separate nations although only the northern part of Ireland belongs to the UK and the rest of Ireland is independent. When you travel to the United Kingdom, the most popular destination is the capital city of London.
Ireland gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1922 via the Irish Free State. However, Northern Ireland remained part of the UK. The UK was formed in 1801 and consists majority of the British Isles. The UK flag (also known as Union Jack) itself symbolizes the union of the three different countries as the flag unifies the three different flags from the countries.
Travel to the United Kingdom offers endless opportunities to explore since there are many attractions worth visiting. The majority of your travel will be spent in England as it accounts for more than half of the UK’s total land area. Depending on where you are in the UK, the geographical landscape will vary considerably. England features a mountainous terrain, Scotland features both highland and lowland areas, Wales is also mountainous with a beautiful coastline and Northern Ireland is mostly hilly and features several lakes.
The temperate climate makes travel to United Kingdom ideal all year round. Therefore, the summer is warm with the help of winds blowing from the Gulf Stream while the winters are mostly mild.
As for the economy in the UK, it is a partially regulated market economy. It is the fifth largest economy in the world and second only to Germany in Europe (based on market exchange rates). The service sector is the biggest source of GDP in the UK. It joins New York as the largest financial center in the world. Meanwhile, tourism is also a large economic contributor. Travel to the United Kingdom is popular all throughout the year; there is an average of 27 million tourists that travel to the United Kingdom. The country ranks worldwide as the sixth major tourist destination.
Currency: Pound Sterling
Official Language: English is the official language in the UK.
Wi-Fi Availability: The access to wireless internet is becoming more prevalent in the UK. You can find free Wi-Fi access in most hotels, restaurants, and cafes. There are also several access points, paid or free.
Airport/s: The London Heathrow Airport is the main international airport for flights that travel to United Kingdom. In fact, it has the highest volume of international passengers than any other airport in the world.
Visa Required: The visa requirements for travel to United Kingdom varies according to your nationality. Visit this page to learn more about visa requirements for travel to United Kingdom: https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration
International Driver’s License Accepted? You can use foreign-issued drivers license (without the need for an international driving permit or license) in the UK for one year.
Driving: In the UK, you will be driving on the left-hand side of the road.
Crime: The level of crime in the UK is moderate. Crimes involving corruption, bribery or assault (especially towards tourists) is very low.
Electrical Adapters: In the UK, the standard voltage is 230 volts at 50 Hertz.
Trivia: The people in the UK consume 165 million cups of tea! In comparison to an average American, they consume 20 times more tea!
- As of 2011, the total population in the UK is at 63.2 million. Of the over 63 million, 53 million of that is from England.
- Christianity dominates the religious sector in the UK. Next to Christianity, other religions observed in the UK are Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism and Buddhism.
- London is the most populous city in the United Kingdom, followed by Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, and Sheffield.
- The total land area of the UK is slightly smaller than Oregon (US State) and under half the size of France.
- The land in the UK is dominated by farming and agricultural land. The other is divided into forested areas and other land use.
- There are several popular sports in the UK such as football, cricket, rugby and lawn tennis. The national sport is cricket but football is the most popular sport.
- The cost of living in the UK largely varies on which part of the UK you are in. However, London is the most expensive of all cities and it is cheaper to live in the northern part of England.
My Stories on United Kingdom
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites in United Kingdom
- Blaenavon Industrial Landscape
- Blenheim Palace
- Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey, and St Martin’s Church
- Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd
- City of Bath
- Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape
- Dorset and East Devon Coast
- Frontiers of the Roman Empire
- Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast
- Historic Town of St George and Related Fortifications, Bermuda
- Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City
- Maritime Greenwich
- New Lanark
- Old and New Towns of Edinburgh
- Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey including Saint Margaret’s Church
- Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal
- Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
- Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites
- Tower of London
Travel to United Kingdom Resources
- 10 Reasons to Start Planning a UK Trip Now
- United Kingdom travel tips: 20 surprising things visitors will discover
- Sights and Bites: What to Eat While Touring London, England
- Britain’s Top 20 hidden beaches