|Name||United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland|
|Capital & Largest city||London|
|Anthem||God Save the Queen|
|Population||65 million (rank: 22)|
|Population density||256 per sq. km / 662 per sq. mile (rank: 51)|
|Area||242,495 sq. km (rank: 78)|
|Border||Ireland 443 km|
|GDP(PPP)||$2.79 trillion (rank: 9)|
|GDP per capita||$42,514 (rank: 25)|
|Head of the Govt.||Prime Minister Ms. Theresa May|
|Head of the State||Queen Elizabeth II|
UK - An introduction
The UK is a sovereign country in western Europe. Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, the United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. The current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 6 February 1952. The capital of the United Kingdom and its largest city is London, a global city and financial centre. Other major urban areas in the United Kingdom include the regions of Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester. The United Kingdom consists of four countries—England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the United Kingdom, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The United Kingdom has historically played a leading role in developing parliamentary democracy and in advancing literature and science. At its zenith in the 19th century, the British Empire stretched over one-fourth of the earth's surface. The first half of the 20th century saw the UK's strength seriously depleted in two world wars and the Irish Republic's withdrawal from the union. The second half witnessed the dismantling of the Empire and the UK rebuilding itself into a modern and prosperous European nation. As one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council and a founding member of NATO and the Commonwealth, the UK pursues a global approach to foreign policy. The Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, and the Northern Ireland Assembly were established in 1999. The latter was suspended until May 2007 due to wrangling over the peace process, but devolution was fully completed in March 2010. The UK was an active member of the EU from 1973 to 2016, although it chose to remain outside the Economic and Monetary Union. However, frustrated by a remote bureaucracy in Brussels and massive migration into the country, UK citizens on 23 June 2016 narrowly voted to leave the EU. The so-called “Brexit” will take years to carry out but could be the signal for referenda in other EU countries where skepticism of EU membership benefits is strong.
The empire on which the sun never set
Amazing UK facts
The 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain", though the new state is also referred to in the Acts as the "Kingdom of Great Britain", "United Kingdom of Great Britain" and "United Kingdom". However, the term "United Kingdom" is only found in informal use during the 18th century and the country was only occasionally referred to as the "United Kingdom of Great Britain"—its full official name, from 1707 to 1800, being merely "Great Britain", without a "long form". The Acts of Union 1800 united the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The name "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" was adopted following the independence of the Irish Free State and the partition of Ireland in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom. Although the United Kingdom, as a sovereign state, is a country, England, Scotland, Wales and, to a lesser degree, Northern Ireland, are also regarded as countries, though they are not sovereign states. The term "Britain" is often used as synonym for the United Kingdom. The term "Great Britain", by contrast, refers conventionally to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England, Scotland and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole. GB and GBR are the standard country codes for the United Kingdom and are consequently used by international organisations to refer to the United Kingdom. Additionally, the United Kingdom's Olympic team competes under the name "Great Britain" or "Team GB". The adjective "British" is commonly used to refer to matters relating to the United Kingdom. The term has no definite legal connotation, but is used in law to refer to United Kingdom citizenship and matters to do with nationality. People of the United Kingdom use a number of different terms to describe their national identity and may identify themselves as being British; or as being English, Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish, or Irish or as being both. In 2006, a new design of British passport was introduced. Its first page shows the long form name of the state in English, Welsh and Scottish Gaelic. In Welsh, the long form name of the state is "Teyrnas Unedig Prydain Fawr a Gogledd Iwerddon", with "Teyrnas Unedig" being used as a short form name on government websites. However, it is usually abbreviated to "DU" for the mutated form "Y Deyrnas Unedig". In Scottish Gaelic, the long form is "Rìoghachd Aonaichte Bhreatainn is Èireann a Tuath" and the short form "Rìoghachd Aonaichte".
The total area of the United Kingdom is approximately 243,610 square kilometres (94,060 sq mi). The country occupies the major part of the British Isles archipelago and includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern one-sixth of the island of Ireland and some smaller surrounding islands. It lies between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea with the south-east coast coming within 22 miles (35 km) of the coast of northern France, from which it is separated by the English Channel. In 1993 10% of the UK was forested, 46% used for pastures and 25% cultivated for agriculture. The Royal Greenwich Observatory in London is the defining point of the Prime Meridian. The United Kingdom lies between latitudes 49° to 61° N, and longitudes 9° W to 2° E. Northern Ireland shares a 224-mile (360 km) land boundary with the Republic of Ireland. The coastline of Great Britain is 11,073 miles (17,820 km) long. It is connected to continental Europe by the Channel Tunnel, which at 31 miles (50 km) (24 miles (38 km) underwater) is the longest underwater tunnel in the world. England accounts for just over half of the total area of the UK, covering 130,395 square kilometres (50,350 sq mi). Most of the country consists of lowland terrain, with mountainous terrain north-west of the Tees-Exe line; including the Cumbrian Mountains of the Lake District, the Pennines, Exmoor and Dartmoor. The main rivers and estuaries are the Thames, Severn and the Humber. England's highest mountain is Scafell Pike (978 metres (3,209 ft)) in the Lake District. Its principal rivers are the Severn, Thames, Humber, Tees, Tyne, Tweed, Avon, Exe and Mersey. Scotland accounts for just under a third of the total area of the UK, covering 78,772 square kilometres (30,410 sq mi) and including nearly eight hundred islands, predominantly west and north of the mainland; notably the Hebrides, Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands. Scotland is the most mountainous country in the UK and its topography is distinguished by the Highland Boundary Fault—a geological rock fracture—which traverses Scotland from Arran in the west to Stonehaven in the east. The fault separates two distinctively different regions; namely the Highlands to the north and west and the lowlands to the south and east. The more rugged Highland region contains the majority of Scotland's mountainous land, including Ben Nevis which at 1,343 metres (4,406 ft) is the highest point in the British Isles. Lowland areas—especially the narrow waist of land between the Firth of Clyde and the Firth of Forth known as the Central Belt—are flatter and home to most of the population including Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, and Edinburgh, its capital and political centre, although upland and mountainous terrain lies within the Southern Uplands. Wales accounts for less than a tenth of the total area of the UK, covering 20,779 square kilometres (8,020 sq mi). Wales is mostly mountainous, though South Wales is less mountainous than North and mid Wales. The main population and industrial areas are in South Wales, consisting of the coastal cities of Cardiff, Swansea and Newport, and the South Wales Valleys to their north. The highest mountains in Wales are in Snowdonia and include Snowdon (Welsh: Yr Wyddfa) which, at 1,085 metres (3,560 ft), is the highest peak in Wales. The 14, or possibly 15, Welsh mountains over 3,000 feet (910 metres) high are known collectively as the Welsh 3000s. Wales has over 2,704 kilometres (1,680 miles) of coastline. Several islands lie off the Welsh mainland, the largest of which is Anglesey (Ynys Môn) in the north-west. Northern Ireland, separated from Great Britain by the Irish Sea and North Channel, has an area of 14,160 square kilometres (5,470 sq mi) and is mostly hilly. It includes Lough Neagh which, at 388 square kilometres (150 sq mi), is the largest lake in the British Isles by area. The highest peak in Northern Ireland is Slieve Donard in the Mourne Mountains at 852 metres (2,795 ft)
Cool UK facts
UK is not required to name itself on its postage stamps because it was the first country to issue them. The Penny Black was the world's first adhesive postage stamp used in a public postal system. It first was issued in Great Britain on 1 May 1840, for official use from 6 May of that year. It features a profile of Queen Victoria. Sir Rowland Hill proposed an adhesive stamp to indicate pre-payment of postage. At the time it was normal for the recipient to pay postage on delivery, charged by the sheet and on distance travelled. Penny Black allowed letters of up to half an ounce (14 grams) to be delivered at a flat rate of one penny, regardless of distance.
Birth place of stamp
The United Kingdom is a unitary state under a constitutional monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state of the UK as well as monarch of fifteen other independent Commonwealth countries. The monarch has "the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, and the right to warn". The Constitution of the United Kingdom is uncodified and consists mostly of a collection of disparate written sources, including statutes, judge-made case law and international treaties, together with constitutional conventions. As there is no technical difference between ordinary statutes and "constitutional law", the UK Parliament can perform "constitutional reform" simply by passing Acts of Parliament, and thus has the political power to change or abolish almost any written or unwritten element of the constitution. However, no Parliament can pass laws that future Parliaments cannot change. Government Main article: Government of the United Kingdom The UK has a parliamentary government based on the Westminster system that has been emulated around the world: a legacy of the British Empire. The parliament of the United Kingdom meets in the Palace of Westminster and has two houses: an elected House of Commons and an appointed House of Lords. All bills passed are given Royal Assent before becoming law. The position of prime minister, the UK's head of government, belongs to the person most likely to command the confidence of the House of Commons; this individual is typically the leader of the political party or coalition of parties that holds the largest number of seats in that chamber. The prime minister chooses a cabinet and its members are formally appointed by the monarch to form Her Majesty's Government. By convention, the monarch respects the prime minister's decisions of government. The cabinet is traditionally drawn from members of the prime minister's party or coalition and mostly from the House of Commons but always from both legislative houses, the cabinet being responsible to both. Executive power is exercised by the prime minister and cabinet, all of whom are sworn into the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, and become Ministers of the Crown. The current Prime Minister is Theresa May, who has been in office since 13 July 2016. May is also the leader of the Conservative Party. For elections to the House of Commons, the UK is divided into 650 constituencies, each electing a single member of parliament (MP) by simple plurality. General elections are called by the monarch when the prime minister so advises. Prior to the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 required that a new election must be called no later than five years after the previous general election. The Conservative Party, the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats (formerly as the Liberal Party) have, in modern times, been considered the UK's three major political parties, representing the British traditions of conservatism, socialism and social liberalism, respectively. However, at the 2015 general election, The UK Independence Party (UKIP) came third in terms of votes with 12.6%, but only won one seat and the Scottish National Party became the third-largest party by number of seats won, ahead of the Liberal Democrats. Most of the remaining seats were won by parties that contest elections only in one part of the UK: Plaid Cymru (Wales only); and the Democratic Unionist Party, Ulster Unionist Party, Social Democratic and Labour Party and Sinn Féin (Northern Ireland only) In accordance with party policy, no elected Sinn Féin members of parliament have ever attended the House of Commons to speak on behalf of their constituents because of the requirement to take an oath of allegiance to the monarch.
Politics and governance
The UK, a leading trading power and financial center, is the third largest economy in Europe after Germany and France. Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with less than 2% of the labor force. The UK has large coal, natural gas, and oil resources, but its oil and natural gas reserves are declining; the UK has been a net importer of energy since 2005. Services, particularly banking, insurance, and business services, are key drivers of British GDP growth. Manufacturing, meanwhile, has declined in importance but still accounts for about 10% of economic output. In 2008, the global financial crisis hit the economy particularly hard, due to the importance of its financial sector. Falling home prices, high consumer debt, and the global economic slowdown compounded Britain's economic problems, pushing the economy into recession in the latter half of 2008 and prompting the then BROWN (Labour) government to implement a number of measures to stimulate the economy and stabilize the financial markets. Facing burgeoning public deficits and debt levels, in 2010 the CAMERON-led coalition government (between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats) initiated an austerity program, which has continued under the new Conservative majority government. However, the deficit still remains one of the highest in the G7, standing at 5.1% of GDP as of mid-2015. London intends to eliminate its deficit by 2020, primarily through additional cuts to public spending and welfare benefits. It has also pledged to lower its corporation tax from 20% to 18% by 2020. In 2012, weak consumer spending and subdued business investment weighed on the economy, however, GDP grew 1.7% in 2013 and 2.8% in 2014, accelerating because of greater consumer spending and a recovering housing market. As of late 2015, the Bank of England is examining when to begin raising interest rates from historically low levels while being cautious not to damage economic growth. While the UK is one of the fastest growing economies in the G7, economists are concerned about the potential negative impact if the UK votes to leave the EU. The UK has an extensive trade relationship with other EU members through its access to the single market and economic observers have warned an exit could jeopardize its position as the central location for European financial services.
Economy of UK
A census is taken simultaneously in all parts of the UK every ten years. The Office for National Statistics is responsible for collecting data for England and Wales, the General Register Office for Scotland and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency each being responsible for censuses in their respective countries. In the 2011 census the total population of the United Kingdom was 63,181,775. It is the third-largest in the European Union, the fifth-largest in the Commonwealth and the 22nd-largest in the world. In mid-2014 and mid-2015 net long-term international migration contributed more to population growth. In mid-2012 and mid-2013 natural change contributed the most to population growth. Between 2001 and 2011 the population increased by an average annual rate of approximately 0.7%. This compares to 0.3% per year in the period 1991 to 2001 and 0.2% in the decade 1981 to 1991. The 2011 census also confirmed that the proportion of the population aged 0–14 has nearly halved (31% in 1911 compared to 18 in 2011) and the proportion of older people aged 65 and over has more than tripled (from 5 to 16%) It has been estimated that the number of people aged 100 or over will rise steeply to reach over 626,000 by 2080. England's population in 2011 was found to be 53 million. It is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with 420 people resident per square kilometre in mid-2015. with a particular concentration in London and the south-east. The 2011 census put Scotland's population at 5.3 million, Wales at 3.06 million and Northern Ireland at 1.81 million. In percentage terms England has had the fastest growing population of any country of the UK in the period from 2001 to 2011, with an increase of 7.9%. In 2012 the average total fertility rate (TFR) across the UK was 1.92 children per woman. While a rising birth rate is contributing to current population growth, it remains considerably below the 'baby boom' peak of 2.95 children per woman in 1964, below the replacement rate of 2.1, but higher than the 2001 record low of 1.63. In 2012, Scotland had the lowest TFR at only 1.67, followed by Wales at 1.88, England at 1.94, and Northern Ireland at 2.03. In 2011, 47.3% of births in the UK were to unmarried women. The Office for National Statistics published an "Experimental Official Statistics" bulletin in 2015 showing that, out of the UK population aged 16 and over, 1.7% identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (2.0% of males and 1.5% of females). 4.5% of respondents responded with "other", "I don't know", or did not respond.
People of UK
Forms of Christianity have dominated religious life in what is now the United Kingdom for over 1400 years. Although a majority of citizens still identify with Christianity in many surveys, regular church attendance has fallen dramatically since the middle of the 20th century, while immigration and demographic change have contributed to the growth of other faiths, most notably Islam. This has led some commentators to variously describe the UK as a multi-faith, secularised, or post-Christian society. In the 2001 census 71.6% of all respondents indicated that they were Christians, with the next largest faiths being Islam (2.8%), Hinduism (1.0%), Sikhism (0.6%), Judaism (0.5%), Buddhism (0.3%) and all other religions (0.3%). 15% of respondents stated that they had no religion, with a further 7% not stating a religious preference. A Tearfund survey in 2007 showed only one in ten Britons actually attend church weekly. Between the 2001 and 2011 census there was a decrease in the amount of people who identified as Christian by 12%, whilst the percentage of those reporting no religious affiliation doubled. This contrasted with growth in the other main religious group categories, with the number of Muslims increasing by the most substantial margin to a total of about 5%. The Muslim population has increased from 1.6 million in 2001 to 2.7 million in 2011, making it the second-largest religious group in the United Kingdom. In a 2015 survey conducted by BSA (British Social Attitudes) on religious affiliation; 49% of respondents indicated 'no religion', while 42% indicated they were Christians, followed by 8% who affiliated with other religions (e.g. Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, etc.). Among Christians, adherents to the Church of England constituted 17%, Roman Catholic Church - 8%, other Christians (including Presbyterians, Methodists, other Protestants, as well as Eastern Orthodox) - 17%. Amid other religions, Islam accounted for 5%. The Church of England is the established church in England. It retains a representation in the UK Parliament and the British monarch is its Supreme Governor. In Scotland, the Church of Scotland is recognised as the national church. It is not subject to state control, and the British monarch is an ordinary member, required to swear an oath to "maintain and preserve the Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Government" upon his or her accession. The Church in Wales was disestablished in 1920 and, as the Church of Ireland was disestablished in 1870 before the partition of Ireland, there is no established church in Northern Ireland. Although there are no UK-wide data in the 2001 census on adherence to individual Christian denominations, it has been estimated that 62% of Christians are Anglican, 13.5% Catholic, 6% Presbyterian, 3.4% Methodist with small numbers of other Protestant denominations such as Open Brethren, and Orthodox churches.
Religion of UK
Random UK facts
Queen Elizabeth II is the world's oldest reigning monarch as well as Britain's longest-lived. As a British passport is issued in the name of His/Her Majesty, it is unnecessary for the reigning British Monarch to possess one. Driving licenses are issued in the Queen's name, yet she is the only person in the United Kingdom who doesn't legally need a license to drive or a number plate on her cars. Queen Elizabeth II is the only person to open two editions of Summer Olympic Games (1976 and 2012 Summer Olympics)
Cool UK facts
The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames in London. It is Europe's tallest Ferris wheel and the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom. Each of the wheel's 32 sealed and air-conditioned ovoidal passenger capsules represent one of the London Boroughs. The wheel rotates at 26 cm (10 in) per second so that one revolution takes about 30 minutes.
Bird's 'eye' view
Interesting UK facts
Loch Ness is the largest fresh water lake in UK by volume. It contains more fresh water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined. The top 100 feet of water in the Loch Ness alters temperature depending on the weather conditions but the rest of the water theis always at 44 degrees Fahrenheit. Loch Ness is thought by some to be the home of the Loch Ness Monster (also known as "Nessie"), a cryptid (a creature whose existence has been suggested but not yet proven), reputedly a large unknown animal. Speculation about the Loch Ness Monster began in 1933 when John Mackay and his wife spotted a creature in the middle of the loch as the drove past.
Cool UK facts
The Tower of London is keeper to the Royal Ravens. They are the most celebrated residents of the Tower of London today. There must be six ravens in residence at any one time by a Royal Decree put in place by Charles II. According to an old legend, if the birds should leave, the British Monarchy and the White Tower will crumble and fall. To be on the safe side, the Tower usually keep eight birds at all times. The wings of the ravens are clipped to prevent them from flying away.
Fun UK facts
Kate Middleton is an eighth cousin seven times removed to the first U.S. President George Washington and a thirteenth cousin once removed from American World War II hero General George Patton. When she married Prince William at age 29, Catherine Middleton became the oldest spinster ever to marry a future British king. She is also a distant cousin of her husband, Prince William.
Kate, the great
Amazing UK facts
The Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square is presented every year by the people of Oslo in gratitude for London’s assistance during World War II
The London Underground, first opened as an "underground railway" in 1863 and its first electrified underground line opened in 1890, making the London Underground the world's first metro system. The London subway, or the “Tube,” operates 409 escalators. Every week those escalators cover a distance equivalent to several trips around the globe
In March 1957, John Lennon, then aged sixteen, formed a skiffle group with several friends from Quarry Bank school. They briefly called themselves the Blackjacks, before changing their name to 'The Quarrymen' after discovering that a respected local group was already using the name, Blackjacks. Later Lennon teamed up with Paul McCartney and George Harrison and called their band 'Johnny and the Moondogs'. Later they changed their band's name to Silver Beetles as a tribute to Buddy Holly and the Crickets. Later they settled for the name 'Beatles' and became world famous with that name.
Until 1832, England only had two universities: Oxford and Cambridge. Until 1877, lecturers at Oxford University were not allowed to marry, and women were not granted degrees until 1920.
The famous stone London Bridge of “London Bridge is falling down” fame was eventually replaced by a stronger concrete version, and its original stones were taken to the United States and reassembled to make a bridge over a river in Lake Havasu, Arizona.
London Bridge is falling down
AM by GM
Guglielmo Marconi did not invent radio, but he was the first to invent a radio transmitter. When he could not find a buyer in Italy, he turned to England, his mother’s country, and on July 27, 1896, he gave the first-ever public demonstration of a radio. He won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1909 and on July 21, 1937, the day of his funeral, radio transmitters went silent for two minutes in tribute.
God Save the King
The British coronation ceremony is over 1,000 years old. Since the coronation of William the Conqueror on Christmas Day in A.D. 1066, Westminster Abbey has been the setting. The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 was the first to be televised
Golf is Scotland’s national game. It was invented on the grounds of St. Andrews, and the earliest record of the game dates from 1457, when James II banned it because it interrupted his subjects’ archery practice. Mary, Queen of Scots, enjoyed golf and was berated in 1568 for playing so soon after the murder of her husband Lord Darnley
Queen Elizabeth II travels with her own toilet seat and feather pillows, and she is the only person in Britain who travels without a passport. She is also the only person for whom Harrods used to close its doors to the public for one day a year so she could do her Christmas shopping
Much Wenlock games
England’s Much Wenlock games, held annually since 1850, are based on the games of ancient Greece and were brainchild of the town’s local doctor William Penny Brookes. In 1890, Baron Pierre Coubertin visited the games and consulted Brookes extensively, before launching the modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. Brookes was effectively left out of the story until 1994, when Juan Antonio Samaranch, then IOC president, visited Much Wenlock and paid tribute to Dr. Brookes as the “founder of the Modern Olympic Games
Fun UK Facts
British author E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Gray became the fastest-selling paperback ever.
J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, is the first writer in the world to become a billionaire. The seven books have sold a total of 400 million copies in her native England and around the world and are published in 55 languages, including Latin and ancient Greek. Rowling is only one of five self-made female billionaires in the world
Probably built around 3000 B.C., Stonehenge has stood on England’s Salisbury Plain for more than 5,000 years and is older than the famous Great Pyramids of Egypt
Europe’s tallest building
Completed in 2012, London’s The Shard, at 1,107 feet (350 m), is Europe’s tallest building
Halloween is one of many traditions that have their roots in Scottish pagan tradition. On October 31, Halloween used to be celebrated as All Hallows, or All Saints’ Day. This was also an important date on the Celtic calendar, celebrated as Samhuinn (the Feast of the Dead), during which spirits are said to come back to haunt the living. On Halloween in Scotland today, trick-or-treating is called guising. Originally, the guisers had to sing or recite a poem to earn a reward or sweets
As per Scottish law, bride and groom do not need to get their parents’ consent at the age of 16, whereas in England, parental consent is required until one is 18
Nowhere in England is more than 75 miles (121 km) from the sea
Chicken tikka masala
The United Kingdom does not have a official national dish, but Chicken tikka masala is considered an unofficial national dish. In 2001, British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook declared, "Chicken tikka masala is now a true British national dish, not only because it is the most popular, but because it is a perfect illustration of the way Britain absorbs and adapts external influences." He went on to explain that "Chicken tikka is an Indian dish. The masala sauce was added to satisfy the desire of British people to have their meat served in gravy."
Big Ben does not refer to the famous clock, but actually to the bell. In 1945, a flock of birds landed on the minute hand of Big Ben and delayed time by 5 minutes, creating chaos for the punctual British.
Portugal is the oldest ally country of England. The Anglo-Portuguese Treaty was signed in 1373 and is still in force.
The United Kingdom is the only country in the world other than Iran to have unelected clergymen in the national legislature
Established in 1734, Bennett's of Irongate in Derby is the oldest department store in the world, pre-dating by over 100 years the first department stores in the USA, France or other parts of Britain. It is still trading in the original building.
The Slimbridge Wildlife & Wetlands Trust is the world's largest and most diversified wildfowl centre. It has the largest collection of swans, geese, and ducks on Earth, and is the only place where all six species of Flamingo can still be observed.
In 1841, Prince Albert introduced the first Christmas tree to UK from his native Germany, where the St. Nicholas story had long been assimilated to old Norse and Teutonic legends
United Kingdom is one of the five countries with no written (uncodified) constitution. (Israel, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand and Canada are the other four)
William the Conqueror ordered everyone to be in their beds by 8 pm. United Kingdom is the only country in the world with four national soccer teams - England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The highest point is Ben Navis at 1,343 m and the lowest point is -4m at The Fens.
Early to bed...