Destination Information Great Britain

Your stay abroad in the United Kingdom

Destination information

Great Britain

Great Britain, the United Kingdom. For hundreds of years it has been a popular tourist destination – because of the famous royals, but also because of the interesting culture and beautiful nature, with its wide valleys and scenic coastlines.

Projects

Geography

Geography of Great Britain

Great Britain is the largest insular state in Europe. The islands are located in the North Sea and border France in the southeast and Northern Ireland in the east. Great Britain is a union consisting of the countries England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Furthermore, Great Britain also includes 800 small islands. The surface of Great Britain covers approximately 245 000 square kilometers, which is about two thirds of the surface of Germany. The capital is London, which is also the largest city in Great Britain.


Flora & fauna

Flora and fauna in Great Britain

Due to different soil structures and a rather mild climate, a great diversity of plants can be found in Great Britain. Especially in Scotland as well as in Wales and the southern and eastern part of England thick forests are part of the vegetation. They are home to different oak species, the common beech, ash trees and elm trees. In Scotland the scots pine, spruce trees and birch trees are the dominant species. But also, marsh- and heathland are characteristic for the landscape in Great Britain.

The common animal species of European forests are also native to the forests and valleys of Great Britain: red deer, roe deer, fallow deer, Red Fox, hedgehog, European hare and European otter. In the coastal areas you can also find common seals and grey seals.


Climate

Climate in Great Britian

The climate in Great Britain is rather moderate. The golf stream leads to a warmer climate than in other European countries which are on the same latitude. In the southern and eastern parts of Great Britain the climate is warmer and drier than in the western and northern parts. In the winter months the temperatures mostly do not get below the freezing temperature, which is why snow is very rare in Great Britain.


Social geography

Social Geography

Population

In total over 65 million people live in Great Britain, of which 8,6 million are based in London. The metropolitan area of London is home to 14 million people. About eighty percent are English, ten percent are Scottish, four percent are from Ireland and two percent are from Wales. One percent of the total population is originally from India, which makes them the largest group of immigrants in the country.

Language

In fact, there is no official language by law in Great Britain, but English is what over 95 percent of the population is speaking – that’s why English is called the official language. In other parts of Great Britain there are more official languages than just English: In Wales it is Welsh, in Scotland it is Gaelic and in Northern Ireland it is Irish and Ulster.

Religion

Over 50 percent of the British population are Christian, with around 38 million being Anglican and 5 million Catholic. A small part of the population are Muslims, Hindus or Jews and around 15 million people are without a confession.

Economy

The economy of Great Britain is dominated by the service sector, especially financial services or the tourism industry.

Political Situation

Great Britain is a parliamentary democracy with Queen Elisabeth II as head of state. The parliament consists out of two chambers – the House of Commons and the House of Lords.


Travel Tips and Trivia

Time Zone

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), UTC -1 hour

There is no daylight saving time in Great Britain.

Currency

The official currency in Great Britain is the British pound sterling, which can be divided into 100 pence.

Electricity

The supply voltage is 230 V with a frequency of 50 Hz.

Transportation

Great Britain has a very well-developed infrastructure. Taking a taxicab or the tube in bigger cities like London or Birmingham is a good way of transportation and often cheaper than in other countries like Germany. To get around in the country the bus network is highly recommended as it will bring you to every greater city. With around 450 airports flying is also made simple in Great Britain – especially in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester and Leicester. Those who would like to take their own car should bring an international drivers license. One more thing to keep in mind: It is left-hand traffic in Great Britain!

Holidays

  • 01 January: New Year's
  • 17 March: St. Patrick’s Day (Norther Ireland)
  • 12 July: Battle of the Boyne
  • 24 December: Christmas
  • 25 December: Christmas Day
  • 31 December: New Year’s Eve
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