Otázka: The United Kingdom
The United Kingdomlies off the north-west coast of Europe and is surrounded by the North Atlantic Ocean to the West and the North Sea to the East France is only 35 kmto the southeast across the English Channel. The UK is formed by 2 large islands – Great Britain and Ireland and many islands, e. g. theHebrides, the Orkneys or the Shetlands.
The UKconsists of four parts – England with main patron St George, Scotland with St Andrew, Wales with St David andNorthern Ireland with St Patrick.
GEOGRAPHY – The physical geography is varied. The highest mountains are in Walesand Scotland. The highest peak is Ben Nevis. The eastern and southern parts ofEngland are lower.
CLIMATE – Climate is temperate maritime. Winters are mild and summers are hot. But a half of year the skies are cloudy and overcast. A big influence has the North Atlantic Drift (The Gulf Stream). It has a warming effect.
SYMBOLS – The British flag known as the Union Jack represents three kingdoms of the UK: England (upright red cross), Scotland (white diagonal cross) and Ireland (red diagonal). The national anthem is “God Save the Queen! “
PEOPLE – The population of the UKis more than 60 million inhabitants. About 7 million live inLondon.
To live inBritainmeans that you could enjoy a very good standard of living with life expectancy for men being nearly 76 years and 81 years for women.
Unemployment is low (4, 8 %). On the negative site, 17 % of the population is living below the poverty line.
The majority is English (81, 5 %). The other nations are: Scottish, Welsh, Irish andUlster.
The majority of people speak English. Many people speak still Welsh, Scottish or Irish Gaelic. These minority languages are of Celtic origin.
Famous people from the past are William Shakespeare (a playwright), Isaac Newton (a physics), the Beatles (one of the most popular pop groups of all time), Charles Dickens (a novelist from the 19 cent.), Monty Python Flying Circus (a comedy group), fictitious /fiktišs/characters such as Harry Potter (a young wizard), James Bond (a spy) and Sherlock Holmes (a detective).
POLITICAL SYSTEM – The UKis a constitutional monarchy. The head of state is the Queen Elizabeth II. She is also the Head of Protestant Church. Head of the government is Prime Minister, currently David Cameron. The Parliament has two houses – The House of Commons (elected) and the House of Lords (unelected).
ROYAL FAMILY – The British Royal Family is very popular in theUK. The most famous are Prince William and his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge and William’s brother Prince Harry. The next successor to the throne is Prince Charles, the Queen’s eldest son.
PLACES OF INTEREST
England: Oxford and Cambridge (old university town), Stratford-upon-Avon (the birthplace of William Shakespeare, Royal Shakespeare Theatre), Brighton, Bournemouth, Portsmouth, Blackpool (seaside resorts), Canterbury (an ancient city with a majestic cathedral), Winchester (an old cathedral town), Salisbury (near is beautiful historic monument of Stonehenge with its giant stone circles more than 3,000 years old), Plymouth (a maritime heritage), Bath (remains of Roman bath), Exeter (the starting point for Dartmoor – the moorland, national parks). Birmingham (the second largest city, industrial heritage), Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, York.
Lake District – a region where romantic poets wrote their poetry, national parks.
Wales: is called land of castles, Cardiff, Newport and Swansea (the biggest cities)
Scotland: special traditions: playing the bagpipes, quality tweeds, knitwear, wearing kilts, Scotch cities – Glasgow (the biggest city, the cultural centre), Edinburgh (old castle dominates). In the north – magnificent lake and mountains area, the biggest lake is Loch Lomond, Loch Ness is famous for its monster „Nessie“.