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Destination Great Britain, this is a virtual travel guide to the United Kingdom. Here you will find comprehensive information about the UK in its diversity: geography, economy, science, people, culture, environment, government and history.
You will have access to newspapers from the United Kingdom and you will find extensive travel and tourism information on England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Tower Bridge - London
Tower Bridge - London ©

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Country Profile

Flag of United Kingdom
British Union Flag - The Union Jack

Four constituent nations form the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). Great Britain, the dominant industrial and maritime power of the 19th century, played a leading role in developing parliamentary democracy and in advancing literature and science. At its zenith, 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. 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, a founding member of NATO, and of the Commonwealth, the UK pursues a global approach to foreign policy; it currently is weighing the degree of its integration with continental Europe.
A member of the EU, it chose to remain outside of the European Monetary Union for the time being. Constitutional reform is also a significant issue in the UK. Regional assemblies with varying degrees of power opened in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland in 1999.
Where in Europe is the United Kingdom?

Official Name:
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
conventional short form: United Kingdom
abbreviation: UK

ISO Country Code: GB
Internet identification code: uk

Time Zone: Western European Time Zone (WET). Western European Standard Time is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
Local Time = UTC No UTC offset
Daylight Saving Time (DST) March - October (UTC +1)
Actual Time: Wed-Mar-4  12:45

Country Calling Code: +44

Capital City: London (metropolitan pop. about 7.8 million)

Other Cities:
Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield.

Constitutional monarchy.
Constitution: Unwritten; partly statutes, partly common law and practice.

Location: Western Europe, islands including the northern one-sixth of the island of Ireland between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, northwest of France
Area: 243,000 km² (93,000 sq. mi.)
Terrain: 30% arable, 50% meadow and pasture, 12% waste or urban, 7% forested, 1% inland water.
Land use: 25% arable, 46% meadows and pastures, 10% forests and woodland, 19% other.

Very British: more than one-half of the days are overcast; generally mild and temperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current.

Nationality: Noun--Briton(s). Adjective--British.
Population: 62 million (2010)
Major ethnic groups: British, Irish, West Indian, South Asian.
Major religions: Church of England (Anglican), Roman Catholic, Church of Scotland (Presbyterian), Muslim.
Major languages: English, Welsh, Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic.
Literacy: 99%.

Natural resources: Coal, oil, natural gas, tin, limestone, iron ore, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, lead, silica.

Agriculture products: Cereals, oilseed, potatoes, vegetables; cattle, sheep, poultry; fish.

Industries: Machine tools, electric power equipment, automation equipment, railroad equipment, shipbuilding, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, electronics and communications equipment, metals, chemicals, coal, petroleum, paper and paper products, food processing, textiles, clothing, and other consumer goods.

Exports partners: USA 15.7%, Germany 10.5%, France 9.5%, Netherlands 6.9%, Ireland 6.5%, Belgium 5.6%, Spain 4.4%, Italy 4.4% (2003)

Imports partners: Germany 13.5%, USA 10.2%, France 8.1%, Netherlands 6.3%, Belgium 4.9%, Italy 4.7% (2003)

Currency: British Pound £ (GBP)

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

Official Sites of United Kingdom

royal The British Monarchy
The Royal Web site.

United Kingdom Parliament
consists of the
House of Commons
and the
House of Lords

Number 10 Downing Street
The official site of the British Prime Minister's .

UK government information and services.

Foreign & Commonwealth Office Britain and the EU
Provides detailed information on Britain's relationship with the EU.

Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)
The British Government department responsible for overseas relations and foreign affairs.

Diplomatic Missions
United Kingdom Mission to the United Nations
Britain at the United Nations, the United Kingdom is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
The British Embassy, Washington D.C.
UK Embassies Overseas
Address list of UK Embassies Abroad.
Foreign Embassies in the UK
Address list of Foreign Embassies in the UK.

National Statistics
Official UK statistics and information about statistics.

The Met Office
UK's national meteorological service.

UK Maps
Map of the United Kingdom
Detailed Map of the United Kingdom.
Google Earth Google Map United Kingdom
Searchable map and satellite view of the United Kingdom.
Google Earth Google Map London
Searchable map and satellite view of London.
Google Earth Google Map Birmingham
Searchable map and satellite view of Birmingham.
Google Earth Google Map Manchester
Searchable map and satellite view of Manchester.
Google Earth Google Map Cardiff
Searchable map and satellite view of Cardiff.
Google Earth Google Map Edinburgh
Searchable map and satellite view of Edinburgh.
Google Earth Google Map Glasgow
Searchable map and satellite view of Glasgow.
Google Earth Google Map the Tower Bridge
Satellite view with information about London's Tower Bridge.

Map of Europe
Political Map of Europe.

UK News

The British Broadcasting Corporation online.
BBC News Online
News site of the British Broadcasting Corporation.
The Financial Times
Business topics.
The Guardian
National and international news.
The Independent
National morning broadsheet.
The Telegraph
A major 'conservative' broadsheet.
The Times
A well-known British Newspaper online.


Arts & Culture

Britannica Online
The Encyclopaedia Britannica online.
 British Library, The
One of the world's great knowledge institutions.

British Art
A comprehensive listing of the arts in the UK.

Beatles Ultimate Experience
Beatles Interviews, Photos, and Animations.
web culture David Bowie
Contemporary British music.
The Rolling Stones
Traditional British music.
the state51 conspiracy
the revolution is music.

Visual arts
The National Gallery
The national collection of Western European painting, London.
The Royal Academy of Arts
Fine arts from the 18th century to the present.
Tate Gallery
National collections of British Art.
Yale Center for British Art
The Yale Center for British Art houses the most comprehensive collection of British paintings, prints, drawings, rare books, and sculpture outside Great Britain.


Business & Economy

Bank of England
London Stock Exchange

British Chambers of Commerce, The
London Chamber of Commerce and Industry

UK Trade & Investment
UK government organisation helping UK companies to do business abroad.

Department of Trade and Industry - DTI

Dos and Dont's
Etiquette Guide: The UK
How to Succeed Royally in Britain.


UK's second largest airline, serves over 30 European destinations.
British Airways
The Kingdoms national airline.
Virgin Atlantic Airways
Privately held UK airline.

Brittany Ferries

High-speed passenger train linking London, Paris and Brussels.
Train travel in the UK.

British Brands
Alfred Dunhill
English style.
A typical British car.
The Body Shop
Natural Cosmetics with a high level responsibility for fair trade.
The world's first fine art auctioneers.
Essential British Kit.
The Store.
Typical British cars.
Marks & Spencer
British retailer.
Metropolitan Police
The Scotland Yard homepage.
Leather accessories.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Also very typical British car, unfortunately now owned by BMW.
The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

Destination United Kingdom - Country Guides

Visit Britain
The British Tourist Authority Web Site.
UK in pictures.

Guardian Unlimited: Travel United Kingdom
The Guardian's guide to UK.

London at a glance with map.
Page about Birmingham with map.
About the capital of Wales.
Scotland's capital with map.
About the city of Glasgow.
Manchester info with map.

Hotels in the United Kingdom
Find a Hotel in the United Kingdom.

More Travel and Tour Guides can be found at the separate pages of:
below England, London Northern Ireland Scotland Wales

Travel and Tour Consumer Information


Education & Research

Eton College
The Eton College Web Page.
London School of Economics and Political Science
Founded in 1895, teaching and research across the full range of the social, political and economic sciences.
Oxford Brookes University
Named Best New University 2001-2005 by the Sunday Times University Guide.
University of Cambridge
Welcome to the University of Cambridge.
University College London
Founded in 1826, UCL is consistently ranked in the top three multifaculty UK universities.
University of Nottingham
University of Rochester
University of Oxford
Home page of the University of Oxford.
University of Sussex
Founded in the 1960s, the University has become a leading teaching and research institution in the UK.
A Guide to UK Universities, written by and for students.
University Guide by
Comprehensive source of information on the UK's academic sector, provides university rankings, university statistics and student statistics.


The Geological Society
UK's national society for geoscience.
cultural reference  Royal Geographical Society
Founded in 1830 for the advancement of geographical science.
Royal Observatory Greenwich
Home of the Prime Meridian of the world.
Science Museum
The Science Museum, London improve scientific and technical education.


Natural Environment Research Council
The Natural Environment Research Council delivers independent research, survey, training and knowledge transfer in the environmental sciences, to advance knowledge of planet Earth as a complex, interacting system.
The National Trust
The NGO organisation of the National Trust acts as a guardian for the nation in the acquisition and protection of threatened coastline, countryside and buildings.
The Tree Council
Working towards: Making trees matter to everyone - More trees, of the right kind, in the right place - Better care for all trees, of all ages.



A - The National Archives
The National Archives of England, Wales and the United Kingdom, explore over 1 000 years of history from Domesday to the present day.
Arthurian Resources
Dedicated to understanding the early medieval Arthurian legend.
 British History
Comprehensive information of the UK's past.
The Camelot Project
Database of Arthurian texts, images, bibliographies, and basic information, University of Rochester.
Early Manuscripts at Oxford University
Digital facsimiles of complete manuscripts.
English Heritage
Historical Manuscripts Commission
Information about the existence, location and nature of manuscripts and records for the study of British history.
History of the Monarchy
The history of the oldest institution of government in the United Kingdom.
Richard III Society
The life and times of Richard III.

Additional sites:
The Avalon Project at the Yale Law School
Digital documents relevant to the fields of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy and Government.
History of the United Kingdom
Primary Documents, from Antiquity through the Present.
Knighthood, Chivalry & Tournaments Resource Library
World Heritage Sites in the United Kingdom
WWW-VL: HISTORY of the United Kingdom

British Museum
Founded in 1753, this is the world's oldest museum.
spot Museum of the City of London
The world's largest urban history museum and Europe's largest archaeological archive.
The National Museum of Science & Industry
Illustrating the history and contemporary practice of science, technology, medicine and industry.
National Maritime Museum
The largest Maritime Museum in the World.
The Natural History Museum
Promoting the discovery, understanding, responsible use and enjoyment of the natural world.

  Festival of History
Marching Soldiers at Festival of History
© britainonview/Jon Spaull


Stockholm Challenge Award
London based site of a creative writing community where anyone can tell their stories and read the stories of others.
Oxford English Dictionary
The last word on words for the English language.
With the First Web Folio Edition of Shakespeare's Works.




Flag of England
Flag of England
The St. George's Cross


Avalon Glastonbury - The Tor
Glastonbury - The Tor

Area: 130 423 sq. km
Population: 49 290 000

Capital City: London

England Guides

Visitors guide to England.

City Guide
Mayor of London, the London Assembly and the Greater London Authority
The Official Site for London, Capital of the United Kingdom.

The London visitors guide.

Isle of Avalon - Glastonbury
An inspirational guide to what's special about Glastonbury.
Brighton and Hove
Brighton and Hove visitors guide.
Northumbria Tourist Board
Visitors guide to Northumbria, covers the counties of Durham, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and the Tees Valley area.
Shakespeare Country
South Warwickshire Tourism visitors guide to Historic Warwick, Kenilworth, Royal Leamington Spa, Stratford-upon-Avon and aurrounding area
Celebrating Somerset
Somerset visitors guide.
South East England Tourist Board
Yorkshire Tourist Board


UK Nation
Search engine and directory.

Open Directory: United Kingdom

Additional Information on United Kingdom

Northern Ireland Scotland Wales

Wikipedia: United Kingdom
The World Factbook -- United Kingdom

Search Nations Online
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British Overseas Territories
Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Gibraltar, Turks and Caicos Islands
Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Saint Helena, Pitcairn Islands

Other Countries and Regions of Northern Europe:
Denmark | Estonia | Faroe Islands | Finland | Greenland | Iceland | Ireland
Latvia | Lithuania | Norway | Northern Ireland | Sweden | Scotland | Wales

Countries of the World: A - C | D - G | H - L | M - P | Q - T | U - Z
Continents: Africa | The Americas | Asia | Australia/Oceania | Europe

Actually, there are more than five colors,

Baron de Coubertin would have loved to use them all.

Why is it, that Gay and Lesbian people still are victims of persecution, harassment, and assaults occasioning actual bodily harm or worse?
Our world would be much poorer and colder without the creativity and ingenuity of the colorful LGBT* culture.
So, get up, stand up, and don't let it happen again and again and again.

Nature made sure, that all men are able to love each other without distinction of gender. This ability empowers humans to care for and to help each other. Natures gift simply secures the survival of the species.
But in some societies this natural law has been neglected by religions, governments and other interest groups in favour for better controllable straight-laced communities.

But if you know what life is worth, You will look for yours on earth
(lyrics from the song Get Up, Stand Up)
Bob Marley

* LGBT - acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender

Declaration of Human Rights

Article I
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.