Travel tips for the United Kingdom

By : Monika Nolte

Is it the United Kingdom or Great Britain?

The United Kingdom is often called England, Britain or Great Britain but the correct name and the one on our passports is The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The confusion comes about through it’s history because although Great Britain is the name of the largest island in Europe, the United Kingdom is actually one country made up of the contiguous nations of England, Wales, Scotland and the province of Northern Ireland.

The United Kingdom does not include the Channel Islands of Guernsey, Jersey, Sark and Alderney nor the Isle of Man; these are all British Crown dependencies and each has their own governments, money and tax system. A governor is appointed for each by the Monarch of the United Kingdom.

Because history has brought together, sometimes in an uneasy union, 4 different nations*, it is important to exercise care in how one addresses citizens in different parts of the United Kingdom. Do not use the word English for natives of Wales or Scotland and while being called British might be ok for some in Northern Ireland, others may take offense.

London – a city not to be missed

As one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, London is the capital of the UK and a major business and financial center, as well as a world renown centre of art and design . The capital is home to many different ethnic groups, in fact there are over 300 different languages spoken by its inhabitants.

With over 7,556,900 (in 2007) living within Greater London (bounded by the M25 Motorway), it is the municipality with the largest population in all of the European Union. The metropolitan area of London (travel to work area) is home to 12-14 million citizens. The London Underground is the largest underground rail network in the world and Heathrow is the busiest airport in the world.

As a city built by the Romans, London has a long and rich history. Tourists can see exceptional galleries, majestic buildings, fascinating art galleries and museums of man, animals, the monarchy and most anything else one might want to see. London has a varied night life which caters for every taste, underground clubs to retro burlesque and late night jazz. And let’s not forget the West End where one can see the plays of Shakespeare as well as musicals and many modern offerings. London also has numerous venues for music, everything from world famous opera to the latest chart-topping singers and bands. London has it all.

London is the destination for food-lovers. There is something for every tastes – restaurants for every ethnic cuisine, informal gastronomic pubs, wonderful delis and cafes.

And London is, of course, one of the premier shopping experiences in the world with the famous Oxford and Regent Streets sporting equally famous names like Harrods, Selfridges, Marks & Spencer, Hamlin’s Toy Store, Liberty’s and many, many more. The many side streets have chic boutiques and quirky shops filled with anything and everything you might want.

London has something for everyone. As Dr Johnson said in the 18th Century “…when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life…”.

*a nation is a group of people sharing a common origin, language, historical tradition and culture, sometimes having its own government.
Author Resource:- Article Writing by Monika. Contact us for your own special article at reasonable rates. This article written for Holiday Paradise – Miscellaneous information for visiting the United Kingdom.
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