British Isles consists of two parts: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It covers an area of about 244 thousand square kilometres. Besides the largest islands Great Britain (divided into England, Scotland and Wales) and Ireland we should mention the Isle of Wight, the Isles of Scilly, and the Isle of Man, Angleseys, the Hebrides, the Orkneys and the Shatlands. England is mostly rolling land, rising to the Uplands of the southern Scotland. The main mountain regions here are the Cornish Heights in the south-west England, the Cambrians in Wales, the Cumbrian Mountains in the Lake District, the Pennines which is called the Backbone of England and the mountains of Snowdonia National park. The highest mountain are Ben Nevis in the Highlands of Scotland (1342m) and Snowdon in North Wales (1085m). The longest rivers are the Severn and the Thames in England, while Scotland's chief river is the Clyde. The best known lakes are those in the Lake District and those in Scotland (Loch Lomond and Loch Ness). Population is about 57,000,000 people. In Britain, we can find the following ethnic groups: English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh. The majority of people speak English.
Great Britain is a constitutional monarchy. The head of state is queen Elizabeth II. The main body is Parliament. Houses of Parliament consist of the House of Commons and the House of Lords and they are in gothic style. British parliamentary system is one of the oldest in the world (13th century) The Government is formed by the party which has the majority in Parliament and the queen appoints its leader as the prime minister. The Prime Minister appoints a team of main ministers as the Cabinet. There are two main political parties: the Labour Party (left) and the Conservative Party (right). Scotland is a historically and culturally separate country from England. It has its own legal and educational system and currency. The biggest city is Glasgow and the capitol is Edinburgh. Scotland is land of many special traditions which can’t be found in elsewhere in the world – playing pipes, woolen knitwear or Scotch Whisky. Wales is sometimes called the land of castles. Among the best known are Caernarfon, where Prince Charles was invested as Prince of Wales, Conwy and Harlech. The land is ful of mystery and beauty. The big cities are there Cardiff, Newport and Swansea.
The capital of the whole Britain is London which is world famous as a musical centre. It is the 9th largest city in the world and it’s situated on the river Thames. London is rich in museums and galleries whose exhibitions are usually free of charge. The most famouse is Madame Tussand's, it contains wax portraits of famous and infamous world figures but it isn’t free of charge. I was there and it was wonderful. There is for example Martina Navrátilová and Václav Havel too. We can see there lots of places of interest. For example: Westminster Abbey, Whitehall, Backingham Palace or St. Pauls Cathedral which is one of the largest cathedral in the world. The most famous symbol of London is Tower Bridge. It can open in the middle and let large ships go through.
In my opinion, Britain is very beautyful country. I was there in many towns in England and in Scotland too. The best known towns are: Oxford is the seat of the oldest English university which includes 34 colleges now. Cambridge which is the residence of the second oldest university in Britain. Stratford-upon-Avon is the birthplace of William Shakespear. In Manchester we can visit The Museum of science, industry and space museum. There is also the most famous english football team – Manchester United. The other big cities here are Liverpool, Leeds and Shefield. National park which is worth to see is The lake District.
The British are very polite and have good manners – they are never tired of saying „Thank you“ , „I’m sorry“ or „Execuse me“. They don’t shake hands as people on continent. They like spending their leisure time at home with the family and pets. They enjoy breakfast and most of all the traditional tea around 4 or 5 o’clock. The british invited codified the rules of many sports and games which are now played all over the world – football, rugby, cricket or golf.
18. březen 2008