Overview of the United Kingdom

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben in Westminster, London
From London's most famous landmarks to picturesque landscapes, the United Kingdom has a lot to offer in terms of tourism.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or more commonly known as the UK, United Kingdom, or Britain, is an island nation located to the north-west of continental Europe. This nation is surrounded by the Irish Sea, English Channel, North Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean.

This sovereign state consists of an archipelago that includes several countries including England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. The parliamentary seat of Government is in London, England. However, there are also national administration centres in Edinburgh in Scotland, Cardiff in Wales, and Belfast in Northern Ireland. There are also 3 Crown Dependences as well as 14 overseas territories. These territories are not constitutionally part of the UK as they are colonies from the powerful British Empire.

The United Kingdom has the world's 6th largest economy and purchasing power parity in the world. As a result, it is an important international player in world affairs and has important roles in major organisations such as the European Union, NATO, and the United Nations.

Due to this economic, historic, and cultural landscape encompassing several countries within the sovereign nation of the United Kingdom it is one of the world's most popular tourism destinations. There are 61.9 million people living within this nation spread out over 242,514 sq km. The official language of the United Kingdom is English, however there are recognised regional languages such as Cornish, Welsh, Scots, Scottish Gaelic, Ulster Scots, and Irish. Due to this, the UK is an ethnically and culturally diverse nation, and each country has its own different vibe and unique things to do. As a result, it is no wonder that the UK is a popular tourist destination as one can never get too bored of travelling within this multi-country nation!

England is the largest of the 4 countries within the UK. This country also includes more than 100 much smaller islands such as the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly. It is also the most populous out of the other 4 nations and roughly makes up 90% of the UK's population. There are many different attractions to see here as it is the home of the Royal Family, many famous artists (both performing arts and fine arts), the Big Ben, and more.

Stonehenge - the World Heritage Site in Wiltshire, United Kingdom
Stonehenge - the World Heritage Site in Wiltshire, United Kingdom

Northern Ireland, sometimes called Ulster, is located on the island of Ireland. It is to the north of the Republic of Ireland. This constituent nation did have a reputation of being a dangerous and violent place to be due to the political situation, however this has now steadied. As a result, this province is much safer than what its former reputation was. There are many different attractions including vibrant cities, picturesque landscapes, and reminders of Northern Ireland's past.

Scotland occupies a 3rd of the island of Great Britain and is north of England. In addition to the 'mainland' that it shares with England, there are also more than 790 islands belonging to Scotland. These include the Hebrides like Lewis and Harris and Eilean Donan, as well as the Northern Isles. The capital city of Scotland is Edinburgh, and it is also the 2nd largest city in the Scotland. It is also a major player in Europe's financial sector. The largest city in Scotland is actually Glasgow. Scotland is rich in history and folklore, and is the home to several myths such as the famous Loch Ness Monster.

Wales is to the west of England on the island of Great Britain. It is filled with natural beauty and is rich in history. It is also quite culturally distinct to the rest of the country. There are many great national parks, museums, and educational institutions within this nation.