The United Kingdom

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The United Kingdom :

The United Kingdom

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The British Isles consists of the two large islands of Great Britain and Ireland, and a number of smaller islands lying off the north-west coast of Europe. WELCOME

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Great Britain , sometimes called Britain, is the largest island in Europe: it includes England , Scotland and Wales . Ireland lies to the west of Great Britain. Politically it is divided into two parts: Northern Ireland and the independent Republic of Ireland, called EIRE , in the south. Northern Ireland

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To the east of the British Isles there is the North Sea . The Atlantic Ocean is to the west . To the south there is the English Channel which separates Great Britain from the Continent. Between Ireland and Great Britain there is the Irish Sea .

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The main rivers are: the Thames which rises in the Cotswold Hills and flows through the south of England into the North Sea; the Severn , the longest, which rises in the Cambrian Mountains of Wales and flows into the Irish Sea. The biggest lake is Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland. The biggest of the Scottish lakes is Loch Lemond but the most famous is Loch Ness . A group of picturesque lakes are situated in the Lake District , in the north-western part of England, near the Scottish border. The mountainous part of GB are Scotland and Wales. The chief mountain ranges in Britain are: the Northwest Highlands in the north-west of Scotland; the Grampian Mountains with Ben Nevis , the highest peak; the Southern Uplands , in southern Scotland; the Pennines stretch from the Scottish Border to Central England; the Cambrian Mountains in Wales.

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England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland form a political union called The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK). The capital city is London , the official language is English , and the currency is the pound sterling .

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The British national anthem is the oldest in the world, established in 1745 and based on a song of the 17th century. God Save the Queen * God save our gracious Queen, Long live our noble Queen, God save the Queen! Send her victorious, Happy and Glorious, Long to reign over us; God save the Queen ! O Lord our God arise, Scatter her enemies And make them fall; Confound their politics, Frustrate their knavish tricks, On Thee our hopes we fix, Oh, save us all ! Thy choicest gifts in store On her be pleased to pour; Long may she reign; May she defend our laws, And ever give us cause To sing with heart and voice, God save the Queen * God Save the King , if the monarch is male. The British flag, known as the Union Jack , is a combination of three flags: the Saint Andrew`s Cross , the Saint Patrick`s Cross and the Saint George´s Cross .

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NORTHERN IRELAND Ulster is the name used today for six counties of Northern Ireland. The flag, a red diagonal cross on a white background, called St. Patrick’s Cross , represents these six counties. The capital city is Belfast . The Patron Saint is St. Patrick , celebrated on the 17 th of March. The national emblem is shamrock .

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NORTHERN IRELAND

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SCOTLAN D The capital city of Scotland is Edinburgh . The flag, a white diagonal cross on a blue background, is called St. Andrew’s Cross . The Patron Saint is St. Andrew , celebrated on the 30 th of November. The national emblem is thistle .

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SCOTLAN D

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WALES The capital city of Wales is Cardiff . The flag, called the Welsh Dragon , shows a red dragon on a white and green background. The Patron Saint is St. David , celebrated on the 1 st of March. The national emblem is leek .

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WALES

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ENGLAND The capital city of England is London . The flag, a red cross on a white background, is called St. George’s Cross . The Patron Saint is St. George , celebrated on the 23 rd of April. The national emblem is rose . The red rose became the emblem of England after the War of the Roses (1455-1485) which was the war of the dynasties for the English throne.

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ENGLAND

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CLIMATE There is rain all year round in the UK and in some areas it is often windy. Apart from winters in northern Scotland, it is not usually very cold . In summer the weather can be sunny and pleasant, even hot but it can change very quickly, with sunshine and rain coming and going every day or even few hours . Because the weather changes frequently, there’s always something to say about it, so a common way to start a conversation in Britain is to talk about the weather.

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