인구: 60,068,000 국토: 241,910 Km2 언어:English, Wales, Scottish from of Gaelic
종교: Anglican, Roman Catholic, Other Protestant, Muslim 통화: 파운드
평균수명: 78세 GDP per Capita: $25,500 식자율( Literacy Rate ): 99%
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Separated from the European continent by the North Sea and English Channel, the United Kingdom (informally referred to as Britain) includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. England and Wales were united in 1536. The addition of Scotland in 1707 created Great Britain, renamed the United Kingdom in 1801 when Ireland was added. The Republic of Ireland fought itself free of British rule in 1922, leaving volatile Northern Ireland as a province of the United Kingdom. About 55 percent of Northern Ireland's 1.6 million people trace their ancestry to Scotland or England, are Protestants, and favor continued union with Britain; however, many of the Roman Catholic population (44 percent) want to join the Republic of Ireland.
England is the most populous part of the U.K., with 49 million inhabitants. Almost one third of England's people live in the prosperous southeastern part of the country centered on London—one of the largest cities in Europe. Scotland, with one third of Britain's area, is a mountainous land with 5 million people, most of them (75 percent) concentrated in the lowland area where Glasgow and Edinburgh (Scotland's capital) are located. The Scottish nation can be traced to the Scoti, a Gaelic-speaking Celtic tribe. Wales, with 2.9 million people, is also mountainous with a Celtic culture—the country is called Cymru (pronounced CUM-ree) in the Welsh language—and its capital, Cardiff, features castles and museums highlighting Welsh culture. Since 1997 the government has been pursuing a policy of devolution, leading in 1999 to an elected Scottish parliament and Welsh assembly. In 2000 Londoners elected their first mayor and assembly.
The industrial revolution was born in Britain in the 18th century, making it the world's first industrialized nation. The British Empire, a worldwide system of dependencies, fed raw materials to British industry and spread British culture. Most dependencies gained independence in the 20th century. Part of the legacy of empire is that Britain is home to a growing multicultural population. The 2001 census counted more than 2.5 million Asians (mostly Indians and Pakistanis) and 1.1 million Blacks (from Africa and the Caribbean). Most of the remaining dependencies consist of small islands in the Atlantic and Caribbean.
- Industry: Machine tools, electric power equipment, automation equipment, railroad equipment, shipbuilding
- Agriculture: Cereals, oilseed, potatoes, vegetables; cattle; fish
- Exports: Manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals; food, beverages, tobacco
Tourists walk through the gardens outside Westminster Abbey on April 22, 2011, just days before the royal wedding between Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011. Westminster Abbey, one of Britain's finest examples of Gothic architecture, has been home to royal coronations, marriages and funerals since the 11th century.
Pedestrians walk along the south bank of the River Thames. The Thames flows along some of the major sights in London, such as the Houses of Parliament, pictured, Big Ben, the Tower of London and the London Eye.
Summer crowds gather in Trafalgar Square in front of the National Gallery. At the center of Trafalgar Square is Nelson's Column, which commemorates the 1805 battle of Trafalgar.
The National Gallery on Trafalgar Square houses the national collection of Western European paintings dating back to the 13th century. Admission to the museum is free
Beer taps at The Albert Pub, one of London's oldest drinking establishments.
The building 30 St Mary's Axe, nicknamed The Gherkin, is the second-tallest building in the historic core of London at 591feet.
Visitors enjoy summer sunshine as they row boats on the Serpentine in Hyde Park. One of King Henry VIII's former hunting grounds, the 350-acre park in the middle of London features more than 4,000 trees, a lake and a meadow.
The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park opened on July 6, 2004, in London. The fountain was designed by American Kathrun Gustafson as a tribute to the former princess, who died in a car crash in 1997.
Visitors to the British Museum are seen walking inside the modern enclosure in 2009. The museum houses millions of objects on human history and culture, including the Rosetta Stone. Admission is free.
At the end of The Mall is Victoria Memorial and Buckingham Palace, where Her Majesty The Queen resides.
The Tower of London is a historic castle that early in its history served as a royal residence but is probably most well-known for its use as a place of imprisonment. King Henry VIII executed two of his wives there, and before she became queen, Elizabeth I was held captive there by her half-sister, Queen Mary I.
Tower Bridge, which officially opened in 1894, is one of the most iconic landmarks of London.
The Globe Theatre was built in 1599 and is associated with playwright William Shakespeare's company of actors. The oiginal theater burnt down in 1613. It was replaced by a second theater, which later closed. The current Globe was founded by American director Sam Wanamaker and opened in 1997
The Globe Theatre is dedicated to the exploration of William Shakespeare's works.
Visitors walk along the Cedar Vista in sight of the Pagoda at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
London's Little Venice is a tranquil canal area that is home to waterside cafes and pubs.
Shoppers and tourists flock to the eclectic mix of retail outlets in the north London district of Camden Town. The area has been immortalized in many films and recently has become a popular haunt of musicians and supermodels.
A spray-painted depiction of a cash machine grabbing a child adorns a wall in Exmouth Market. The area previously had a seedy reputation but since the mid-1990s has undergone a transformation and is now home to a large number of cafes, pubs and shops.
The historic Royal Observatory, Greenwich, is the home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian of the World, making it the official starting point for each new day and year.
The Greenwich foot tunnel runs under the River Thames between Cutty Sark Gardens and Island Gardens, on the Isle of Dogs.
this photo at Tottenham Court Road Tube Station.
The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament, is where members of the House of Lords and the House of Commons meet to conduct business.
The Millennium Dome in southeast London was built to house an exhibition celebrating the third millennium that ran Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2000. It was renamed the O2 in 2005 and includes an indoor arena that serves as a concert venue.
St Paul's Cathedral is seen from the Millennium Bridge. The Anglican cathedral sits on Ludgate Hill, the highest point in London's historic core.
The London Symphony Orchestra rehearses at Saint Paul's Cathedral on July 9, 2009.
The theater, which dates back to 1720, has been the site of several theatrical innovations, including the first matinee performance.
Pedestrians walk in front of Harrods, a department store that sells luxury goods.
An aerial view of London shows the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye and the financial district. The UK's capital city is home to more than 7.5 million people.
A scenic view of the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament photographed on August 18, 2007.
An aerial view of Wimbledon at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.
A visitor walks on the recently restored western lawn at Chiswick House on June 14, 2010.The restoration took two years and involved the planting of 1,600 trees, including some propagated from the garden's original 18th century cedars of Lebanon and the building of a new cafe.
2012 Olympic: An aerial view of Olympic Park under construction. On the left is the Olympic Stadium and on the right the Aquatics Centre.
Members of the Grenadier Guards march through the gates of Buckingham Palace.
London’s iconic double-decker buses pass by the Tower of Big Ben, which looms over the Houses of Parliament.
A Scottish bagpiper draws donations and curious stares from the diverse shoppers on Oxford Street near Hyde Park.
As his new bride snaps photos, visitor Gunjeet Syal hams it up with a wax Marilyn Monroe at Madame Tussauds.
Couples stroll across the Tower Bridge, completed in 1894. Lit in the background is the Tower of London fortress.
David Tucker of the Original London Walks tour group beachcombs along the Thames. He just spotted an old tile that washed up.
Looking at Saint Paul's and the Millennium Bridge in London
Durdle Door is one of Dorset's most recognizable features. On a clear day you can see along the Jurassic Coast westward toward Portland and eastward toward Man of War Bay and Lulworth Cove.
Taken in the English countryside near Devonshire
Morning shot in Manchester Cathedral, England
Botallack Mine is situated in the St Just Mining District, one of the most ancient hard-rock tin and copper mining areas in Cornwall. The lower of the two engine houses was built in 1835 to pump water from the mine. The higher engine house was built in 1862 to provide winding power for the Boscawen Diagonal Shaft, which ran out under the sea.
Cliffords Tower in York, England
Big Ben, the Parliament and London's double-deckers on a cool February evening
Westbay in Dorset on the south coast of England.
Typical Lake District weather in England always provides some amazing light.
Light shining through the cloisters at Durham Cathedral in England
Glastonbury Tor, in southwest England, is crowned by St Michael's Tower. Although the tower was rebuilt in the 15th century, evidence of humans on the Tor dates back to the Neolithic.
The red public telephone box, first designed in 1924 by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. In Britain many of these have been replaced by modern stainless steel and glass designs. However, the iconic red box still exists in London, some small villages and a number of British colonies. The image shows three from a row of five boxes in Covent Garden, London.
a nice early summer night in Trafalgar Square. Everything came together, the people just enjoying being outdoors on a lovely evening!
Victorian Water Tower in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, is a Grade 2 listed building that has been unused for some time. It's taken me a few months to get this shot right thanks to the weather. The tower is lit by the moon while street lights and traffic create a backlight effect. Exposure was four minutes to get a slight streak in the stars
A statue of a Roman soldier overlooking the Roman Baths in Bath, England
Farm workers clean the soil from pumkins and place them in rows in a field in Wiltshire, England. Doing this allows the pumkins to be picked up from the field quickly when needed for Halloween.
Taken in December 2009. A quaint town in England that is known for its horses and horse racing. Every morning they would exercise the horses, rain or shine.
Boats moored at Looe Harbour, Cornwall, England, against the scenic backdrop of quaint cottages
Sea bass fishing in Cornwall (UK) during lively winter conditions. The fisherman is caught out by a crashing wave that threatens to knock him off the rocks.
Participants in the annual Jane Austen Festival in Bath, England, pause in the Royal Crescent.
A sheep farm in Garsdale, West Yorkshire, England
Sunrise at Lindisfarne, Holy Island, Northumberland, England
This was taken at Warwick Castle, England, on January 2, 2010.
East London. Linking Greenwich with the Isle of Dogs. The tunnel is 370.2 m long and 15.2 m deep. The project was started in 1899 and was completed in 1902. The spiral staircases will take a smoker at least five minutes to climb and maybe three minutes for a healthy non-smoker. The tunnel is also a comfy link between Canary Wharf and Greenwich.
Northumberland, on the east coast of England.
A familiar scene in the Yorkshire Dales, England, but on an autumn, cold but sunny day
Richmond Park, London, England. This deer was doing its very best to camouflage itself and doing a good job.
Hyde park, London
Amazing light before a summer storm in Peak District
Named for the Roman emperor who commissioned it in A.D. 122, Hadrian's Wall stretches 73 miles (117 kilometers) across northern England from coast to coast. Its purpose: to deter the barbarians in what is now Scotland from their raids on Roman Britain. It was eventually breached in A.D. 367, and Roman rule in Britain ended about 40 years later.
Seeing the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace is an obligatory stop for tourists in London. The ceremony takes place daily from March 31 to July 31 and on alternate days the rest of the year. The Queen's Guard's iconic fuzzy hats, called "bearskins," can be up to 80 years old and are handed down from generation to generation.
London's Kew Gardens, formally called the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, began as a private garden at a royal estate in the 16th century. In 1759, after several ownership changes, Princess Augusta began to build the garden's exotic plant collection. It now holds about 33,000 types of living plants, millions of dried specimens, and a voluminous research library. Here, a gardener carries the massive pad of a Victoria amazonica lily.
World renowned for its focus on archaeology, London's British Museum started in 1753 from three private collections. This view from above shows the recently completed glass-and-steel canopy over the Great Court. In the middle is the famed circular Reading Room, where such literary luminaries as Karl Marx and Virginia Woolf once went to study and write.
England's famed Lake District, in the northwestern county of Cumbria, boasts breathtaking scenery that has inspired some of the country's most famous poets and novelists. Blanketed by rolling mountains, the isolated region is home to an abundance of wildlife, some found only here and nowhere else.
Until recently, there was little reason to venture to London's Southwark neighborhood, a bleak urban jungle of warehouses and wharves. But a successful effort to transform the borough has shifted London's center of gravity south. Now, upscale restaurants and clubs, pricey real estate, and edgy architecture attract London's bon vivants across the Thames.
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in Bankside, London, represents a well-studied best guess at what William Shakespeare's original 1599 Globe playhouse might have looked like. Finished in 1997, the Globe was constructed near the site of the original theater using techniques and materials common in the 1500s, including a reed-thatch roof. Here, actors perform Julius Caesar before a packed house.
The cathedral-like Central Hall of London's Natural History Museum boasts a towering arched ceiling ribbed with exposed iron beams and adorned with hundreds of hand-painted tiles depicting plants and animals. Designed in the 1860s in the German Romanesque style by architect Alfred Waterhouse, the building first opened its doors in 1881.
Among the most famous spans in the world, London's Tower Bridge is named not for its massive support structures but for its proximity to the Tower of London. Completed in 1894 after eight years of construction, it was the largest and most sophisticated bascule bridge (drawbridge) of its time. In 2008, work began on a three-year, $6.6 million restoration project, including a new coat of paint for the bridge's flashy blue suspension chain.
Fashionable Mayfair in London's West End arose in 1677 as a posh residential area for wealthy landowners. Three centuries later, the district, which takes its name from the annual May Fair once held there, is no less exclusive, home to ritzy restaurants, hotels, shops, and clubs.
The White Cliffs of Dover on England's east coast are the towering remains of a calcite land bridge that once connected England with mainland Europe. Thousands of years of tidal erosion carved out what is now the English Channel, leaving sheer cliffs up to 300 feet (90 meters) high on the English and French coasts.
The first tower of Windsor Castle, the sprawling royal residence and fortress in Berkshire, England, was completed nearly a thousand years ago. It is currently the oldest continually occupied castle in the world, and the largest, spreading over 13 acres (5 hectares) of land. This vantage shows a portion of the Queen's Jubilee Garden, built in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's 50 years on the throne.
Widely considered Scotland's most photographed site, Eilean Donan Castle perches on an island at the meeting of three lochs in western Scotland. The island’s first castle was an early 13th-century fortification against raiding Vikings, and it's been sacked and rebuilt several times. The most recent facelift was completed in 1932.
Sheepherding in Scotland has a long history, not all of it pleasant. Many of the pastures in the Western Highlands—where these sheep peer through a fence—were created during the "clearances" of the late 1800s, when wealthy landowners seeking greater profits brutally evicted their tenants and converted their subsistence farmland to pasture.
The mission of the Lonach Highland & Friendly Society includes preserving Highland dress and promoting "peaceable and manly conduct." Each summer since 1823, the group has held a "gathering," a march through the towns around Strathdon in eastern Scotland, culminating in an afternoon of traditional Scottish games.
Castle Rock, whose vertical flanks rise above the Scottish city of Edinburgh, may have first served as a strategic stronghold around 850 B.C. For the past thousand years it’s been the site of Edinburgh Castle, the thick-walled fortress at the center of nearly every major conflict in Scotland's history.
This sculpture is in Glasgow’s Church of Saint Mungo, named for the city’s patron saint. The church is just down the road from the Gothic Glasgow Cathedral, nicknamed Saint Mungo's Cathedral because it's on the spot where the sixth-century bishop built his first church. It is also the site of his tomb.
Each spring nearly a million puffins arrive at the cliffs of Scotland's west coast to lay their eggs. These birds, with their colorful beaks and doleful expressions, can be seen darting to and from the ocean, gathering mouthfuls of fish for their hatchlings.
More than a thousand people claim to have seen the bulbous back of an unidentified creature briefly break the glassy surface of Loch Ness, then disappear. This legendary body of water is the country's second largest loch, slightly smaller in surface area, though deeper, than Loch Lomond to its south.
Construction on Crathes Castle, near Aberdeen, began in 1553 and lasted 43 years. The estate's famed walled garden is divided into eight themed areas separated by Irish yew hedges, some of which are more than 300 years old.
Traditionally performed by men, Scottish Highland dancing today is more often performed by women. Highland dancing involves vigorous exertion, precision positioning, and meticulous arm- and footwork. Bagpipers generally accompany the dancing, playing intricate tunes composed by a single family in the 16th century.
Producing Scotch whisky is a proud national tradition. In fact, the word "whisky" comes from the Scottish Gaelic uisge beatha, an adaptation of the Latin phraseaqua vitae, meaning "water of life." Scotland has more than a hundred distilleries, and each strives to produce its own distinct flavor. A taster draws a sample from a cask at the Bruichladdich distillery on the Isle of Islay.
Archaeology received a gift from nature in 1850, when a strong storm hit the Orkney Islands, stripping away sand dunes and uncovering the remains of the Skara Brae settlement. Later excavations would reveal a complex of stone houses linked by passageways that dates to between 3200 and 2500 B.C. It’s considered the best preserved Neolithic village ever found in northern Europe and is a World Heritage site.
The western shore of the windswept Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides is dominated by jagged, rocky cliffs and roiling Atlantic waves. It’s also the site of ancient stone circles. Inland are fertile lands, expansive peat moors, and in the south, hills. A low population and diverse habitats make the island one of Scotland's premier wildlife-watching sites.
The Scottish ceilidh (pronounced KAY-lee) began as a gathering where people shared music and told stories. These days, it tends to be more about the dancing. Ceilidhs, like American barn dances, are high-spirited social affairs with group dances and callers who help novices, like this young Scot in the Outer Hebrides' Castlebay, learn the steps.
Lights brighten Scotland's capital city, Edinburgh, at twilight. Most of the country's five million people live in the lowland area where Edinburgh and Glasgow are located.
Seen from a rocky hilltop, low cliffs frame Whitesands Beach on the West Pembrokeshire coast in Wales. Situated west of England on the island of Great Britain, Wales has 750 miles (1,207 kilometers) of coastline along the Irish Sea, a mountainous interior, and breathtaking pastoral beauty. Comparable in size to Massachusetts, Wales is a regionally diverse land rich in Celtic history.
Showing similarities to Stonehenge, this tomb at Pentre Ifan, in the Preseli Mountains of southwestern Wales, predates the famous monument by more than a thousand years. The mountains have long been identified as the site that yielded Stonehenge’s oldest stones.
At twilight, the illuminated outer walls of Caernarfon Castle loom over motorboats moored at the mouth of the Seiont River in northern Wales. Edward I began construction of Caernarfon Castle in 1283, and in 1969, it famously served as the site of the investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales.
A wrought-iron entrance gate with a seal opens onto a path leading to St. David’s Cathedral in St. David’s, Pembrokeshire, Wales. The cathedral lies on the site of the sixth-century monastery of St. David.
Two men wearing dragon-emblazoned capes are part of the nightlife scene in a town in Wales. The stylized red dragon appears on the Welsh flag against a split background of green and white. Resurging national pride in an ancient Celtic heritage has contributed to the revival of written and spoken Welsh, one of the oldest living languages in Europe.
In the midst of a storm, sunlight floods the center of the small market town of Machynlleth, the clock tower a visible architectural landmark. Machynlleth is the seat of Wales’s first parliament, convened in 1404 by Welsh national hero Owain Glyndwr, who led an unsuccessful revolt against the English crown.
This aerial photo captures a view of partially sunlit pastures bordered by groves and hedgerows near Monmouth in southeastern Wales. Farmers attempt to earn a living raising sheep and cattle, which speckle pastures in the foreground, but some are selling their land to retirees and vacationers, altering the familiar landscape.
Porthdinllaen, on the Lleyn Peninsula in northern Wales, is a favorite destination for tourists and yachting enthusiasts. The peninsula, site of numerous coastal towns recently developed as resorts, juts into Cardigan Bay from the western edge of Snowdonia National Park.
Men gather to inspect penned sheep in Wales. There are more than three times as many sheep as there are human inhabitants in the nation of 2.9 million. Most of the country’s 11 million sheep live in a rugged central region known as the “sheep curtain.”
At low tide in the flats of Llanrhidian Sands in southern Wales, a fisherman uses a rake to harvest for cockles at sunset. Cockle-gatherers have long harvested the edible mollusks in Llanrhidian Sands, a marshland located on the Gower Peninsula near Swansea.
A horse grazes in a mist-shrouded pasture near Swansea in southern Wales. Horse-drawn cars provided the world’s first regular passenger rail transport when Swansea was connected in 1807 to a village called The Mumbles, which became a popular resort for Victorian society.
All lemony sunlight and pastel-hued houses, the Welsh coastal town of Pembrokeshire has been a favored holiday destination for generations.
In "Waking a Sleeping Beauty," a feature story in Traveler's September 2009 special issue on road trips, writer Stephen McClarence and his wife, Clare, explore the back roads of south-central England's Cotswolds region. "If there's a choice between a minor road or an even more minor lane," McClarence writes, "we think minuscule, taking the byways, not the highways." That approach leads them to numerous idyllic villages including Guiting Power, pictured here. Photographer David McLain traced the same route through this charming region of gently rolling fields and wooded hills.
Ivy surrounds a post box in the village of Chipping Campden. Chipping Campden, notably, is a terminus of the Cotswold Way national hiking trail, evidence that the Cotswolds are good not only for driving but also for rambling.
Pubs with colorful names, such as the Horse and Hound in Broadway, add life to Cotswolds villages. Many of them have rooms to rent and are ideal for mingling with the locals.
Snowshill Manor, in Snowshill, is a trove of quirky memorabilia collected by wealthy eccentric Charles Wade. He bought the home in 1919 and spent the next 32 years filling it with curios, antiques, relics, and costumes. The property, now owned by the National Trust, is open to the public.
The Broadway Tower, a decorative "folly" built in 1799, sits atop the Cotswold escarpment near the village of Broadway and is a popular vantage point for getting an overview of the region.
A 1974 Triumph TR6, a sleek, homegrown convertible painted a yellow as bright as flower-show daffodils, was the author's rental car of choice for his drive through the Cotswolds along country lanes like this one leading to Upper Slaughter.
The local butcher in Winchcombe offers rabbit meat displayed for sale with a sense of humor. Winchcombe is among the many villages along the Romantic Road, a suggested driving route through the Cotswolds with a northern and southern loop.
A typical stone building in the Cotswolds village of Guiting Power evokes an England of timeless calm and comfortable wealth in a region originally built on the wool trade. Nowadays, tourism is a mainstay of the local economy.
At Brecon Beacons National Park in southern Wales, hikers navigate a rocky gorge in the park’s Waterfall Country, which features steep, wooded gorges—with falling water from the Mellte, Hepste, and Nedd Fechan Rivers—and plenty of opportunities for exploration along local trails.
A narrow boat negotiates the Brynich Lock on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal in Brecon Beacons National Park. Public boat trips and canoeing are among the activities available in and around the canal, once an industrial artery that now runs through the center of the modern park.
Cairngorms National Park, Scotland: Hikers cross a snowy plateau in Cairngorms National Park in Scotland’s high country. The largest national park in Great Britain, Cairngorms is Scotland’s skiing center, featuring four of its five highest peaks.
A female snow bunting shelters from the wind behind an ice-encrusted boulder in Cairngorms National Park. The park is home to 25 percent of the U.K.’s threatened birds, animals, and plants.
A mountain biker rides a trail in England’s Dartmoor National Park. The park’s atmospheric moorland, wooded ravines, and waterfalls attract hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts.
Known as the “Cathedral on the Moor,” St. Pancras Church is located in the village of Widecombe-in-the-Moor in Dartmoor’s picturesque East Webburn Valley.
Bennett’s Cross is one of the many ancient upright markers scattered across Dartmoor National Park. The cross is a stop on some walking tours, a popular activity for visitors.
Exmoor ponies romp the high moors of Exmoor National Park, located in southwest England. Horseback riding, cycling, walking, and climbing are among the park’s popular activities.
Thatched-roof cottages characterize the medieval village of Dunster, among the largest of Exmoor’s villages and hamlets and one of the park’s most popular attractions. Visitors can explore Dunster’s ancient castle, tea shops, and surrounding countryside.
A walker traverses Exmoor’s hills in autumn. The park features more than 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) of footpaths. Bridleways accommodate horseback riders and cyclists.
Visitors to Lake District National Park paddle a canoe across Wastwater, England’s deepest lake at 243 feet (74 meters). Covering about one percent of all the land area in Great Britain, the Lake District is England’s largest national park and, as its name suggests, offers plenty of opportunities to get one’s feet wet.
Sheep graze in one of the Lake District’s valleys, known as “dales” in the region, a linguistic holdover from the area’s 10th-century Norse settlers. Hills, stonewalled fields, forests, whitewashed cottages, and clear waters are among the park's charms.
The Lake District boasts a rich cultural heritage that spans the centuries from prehistoric times to the present day. The region’s charms have long attracted notables from across the isles and throughout British society. Literary legend William Wordsworth even published a Guide to the Lakes in 1810.
A portion of Hadrian’s Wall edges the landscape in Northumberland National Park. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Roman wall extends across the countryside for 73 miles (117 kilometers).
Sheep wear splashes of Easter color in the Peak District, the first national park established in Great Britain. About 86 percent of the park is farmland, which is used mostly for grazing sheep or cattle.
Horses roam a field in Peak District National Park. Once largely in the hands of wealthy landowners, the park remains mostly privately owned. A highlight for sightseers includes Chatsworth, the stately country home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and a historic showplace of architecture, art, and lush landscape gardens.
Great Britain’s biggest freshwater lake, Loch Lomond is one of four sections of the Trossachs, an appealing belt of hills and lochs stretching across the border between Scotland’s Lowlands and Highlands. In addition to Loch Lomond, the park is home to nearly two dozen large lochs, many smaller lochs, and more than 50 flowing rivers.
Walkers have countless opportunities in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. Also popular with visitors and locals are water-based activities such as sailing and fishing. In addition to its many lochs, the park boasts 39 miles (63 kilometers) of salty sea loch coastline.
Puffins stand out against the green grass of Skomer Island off the coast ofPembrokeshire. The park’s offshore islands were named by the Vikings, who cruised the coast between the eighth and tenth centuries.
A climber tackles the limestone cliffs above the sea near St. Govan’s Head on the Pembrokeshire Coast. While water dominates the park landscape, Pembrokeshire is also a spectacular place for walkers to stretch their legs along dozens of Wales’s best beaches, headlands, bays, cliffs, and scenic seaside towns.
Visitors ride horses on the beach in Druidston Haven on the Pembrokeshire Coast. The only truly coastal park in the U.K.’s national park system, Pembrokeshire stretches along the southwestern shoreline of Wales.
Hikers in Snowdonia National Park seek out the popular Cader Idris mountain range, where three maintained paths encourage walking. Nine mountain ranges cover fully half of Snowdonia with a breathtaking array of jagged peaks, gorges, and windswept uplands.
More than 90 mountains in Snowdonia National Park top 2,000 feet (600 meters), including Tryfan, pictured here. The tallest, at 3,560 feet (1,085 meters) is Yr Wyddfa.
Commissioned before A.D. 1230, Dolbadarn Castle in Snowdonia National Park features the best surviving example of a Welsh round tower. It sits on a mount above the village of Llanberis.
The Seven Sisters chalk cliffs along the English Channel are part of South Downs, England's newest national park. The ancient chalk hills are the geological star of South Downs, which covers about 1,000 miles (1,625 kilometers) along England's southeast coast.
The largest wetland in Great Britain, The Broads has miles of wide waterways popular with boaters. Six rivers link the Broads' shallow lakes, creating a lock-free, navigable system of waterways.
Crumbling into ruins, a tower mill and a gatehouse mark the spot of St. Benet's Abbey beside the River Bure in the Broads. The abbey was originally constructed in the tenth century; the mill was added in the 1700s.
Stone barns and walls break up the green of Arkengarthdale, the northernmost dale in Yorkshire Dales National Park. The dales for which the park is named are deep valleys carved out of the hill country by eons of running rivers.
The cavern known as Gaping Gill drops 365 feet (111 meters) at the base of Ingleborough mountain in Yorkshire Dales National Park. According to the Park Authority, the Dales area has some 2,000 caves and potholes.
Regular commuters, sheep take to the road in Yorkshire Dales National Park,England. Dry stone walls mark lanes and fields in the rambling park, which has 250,000 acres (100,000 hectares) of open access land.
New Forest National Park: Trees are the stars in the New Forest, home to 500-year-old oaks and a yew that may be close to 1,000.
Yorkshire Dales NP: Tidy dry-stone walls separate green pastures in rolling Yorkshire Dales National Park.
South Downs NP: The chalk headland of Beachy Head, part of South Downs National Park, towers above a lighthouse.
Young James Cook worked in the village of Staithes, part of North York Moors National Park, before he took to the sea.