scotland

On this page you can find some information about the United Kingdom or jump directly to travel notes about England or Scotland

Basic facts about the United Kingdom

Officially – United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, meaning that the United Kingdom consists of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Great Britain, which is a separate island, consists of England, Scotland and Wales. So, altogether there are four countries as semi-separate parts of Great Britain; all of them have their own flags, coat of arms, symbols etc. The total area of the United Kingdom is 240,000 km2 – a bit smaller than New Zealand and a little bit bigger than Romania.

There are nearly 70 million inhabitants in the UK – a bit less than in Thailand and a bit more than either in France or Italy (according to 2019 data). Approximately 84% of the UK’s population live in England. Capital of the United Kingdom and England is London; Capital of Scotland is Edinburgh, capital of Wales is Cardiff and capital of Northern Ireland is Belfast.

Other interesting facts

National flower of England is rose, national flower of Scotland is thistle, flower of Whales is daffodil and flower of Northern Ireland is shamrock. Coat of arms of England features three lions, unicorn is officially recognised as Scotland’s national animal and is represented in its coat of arms; national animal of Wales is the Red Dragon but Northern Ireland does not have recognised national animal. However, there are some officially not recognised animals of Northern Ireland – Irish Hare, red deer and Irish Elk (giant deer). There also are different Patron Saints for each of the four countries – St. George for England, St. Andrew for Scotland, St. David for Wales and St. Patrick for Northern Ireland.

There are a few reasons why UK is separated on this blog. Firstly, British island was connected to the mainland Europe and become separated about 8000 years ago; at that time some five thousand people lived on the island. Secondly, from 2020, the UK is not a part of the EU anymore. However, the main reason is that the UK is our home country. After living some time in Scotland, we now live in England and travel a lot around different parts of the UK.

Scottish highlands

Harry Potter After spending several days on the Isle of Skye, our next destination was the Scottish Highlands. On the way from Mallaig to Fort William we were observing exciting scenery of an old railway. Its track starts at Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, passes through the westernmost railway station Arisaig, then passes the deepest […]

Around Isle of Skye

The first morning on Isle of Skye On the next morning after arrival on Isle of Skye we had an early walk towards coast (not to mention that the coast is almost all around). The path led us to the nearest bay, discovering beautiful view to small local harbour where many fishing boats were parked. […]

Isle of Skye

Scotland and amazing beauty of its islands While living in London, I had many conversations with Brits about Scottish islands, especially about Isle of Skye. Almost all of them new about Isle of Skye, although not many of them had visited this beautiful island located in the north west of Scotland. Perhaps, because it is […]

London – first quick look

Visiting London The capital of England and United Kingdom London has many interesting and even unique sites, but I will start with bridges. There are 24 bridges across the River Thames in London. The oldest is London Bridge, which was made from wood initially, but afterwards rebuilt in 1209, 1831 and 1973. Probably, the most […]

Oxford and Brighton

English cities The United Kingdom is a country, which you can visit many times and every time you will discover something new. The same applies if you are London. Just to mention that London contains 4 (!) UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Tower of London, Kew Gardens, complex consisting of Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey […]