The United Kingdom is made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with a population of nearly 67 million people. The capital of England is London and the capitals of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.
England is the birthplace of Shakespeare and The Beatles, site of Neolithic Stonehenge, Bath’s Roman spa and centuries-old universities at Oxford and Cambridge. London is the largest city in England and the UK, home to Buckingham Palace – the Queen’s London residence, the Palace of Westminster (Parliament), St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London. Popular areas in England to visit include Devon and Cornwall in the South West, Norfolk and Suffolk in the South East, the Peak District, Lake District, Yorkshire and Northumberland in the North East and North West.
Scotland is home to Edinburgh Castle, Loch Ness, haggis, Scotch Whisky and golf. Edinburgh Castle contains the Honours of Scotland or the Scottish Crown Jewels and the National War Museum of Scotland, as well as hosting the annual Military Tattoo during the Edinburgh Festival. Edinburgh is where the Scottish Parliament sits and is home to Holyrood Palace, the Queen’s official residence in Scotland. The cities of Glasgow, Dundee, Perth and Inverness attract many visitors, as does St Andrews, known as ‘the home of golf’. Other popular areas of Scotland include the Highlands and Islands, eg. Skye, Islay, Lewis and Harris.
Wales has many popular attractions including Snowdonia National Park, an area of some 823 square miles, within which is Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. It is home to 600 castles, including Cardiff, Conwy and Caernarfon. Beauty spots include the rugged Brecon Beacons, the Gower Peninsula, the coves, clifftops and bays of Pembrokeshire or the spectacular coastline of the Isle of Anglesey in the North West tip of Wales.
Northern Ireland is home to the must-visit Titanic Belfast, the striking building housing a museum in the city where the RMS Titanic was built. Stormont, the seat of the Northern Ireland Assembly, is also located in Belfast. Another popular attraction with visitors to Northern Ireland is the unique Giant’s Causeway, formed as a result of an ancient volcanic eruption. Carrickfergus Castle, the Glens of Antrim and the seaside town of Portrush (home to the Royal Portrush Golf Club) are also highly-rated tourist attractions.