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Great Britain

The official name – the United Kingdom of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Other names: Great Britain (Britain) /after its major isle/ England /after its major historic part/ The British Isles /it occupies the territory of the British Isles/ Albion /the ancient name of the British Isles given by Romans. From Latin “alba” = “white”. Romans were impressed by the white chalk cliffs/ 2. A constitutional monarchy The head of State is the Queen or a King. She or he inherits the title, and so is not elected by people. The government is made up of Members of Parliament (Mps) who are elected British Parliament consists of 2 Houses: the House of lords and the House Commons. The Prime minister is the head of Government. The main political parties are the Labour, the Conservative and the Liberal. 3. Occupies the territory of the British Isles. The UK is an island state, is composed of 5,500 large and small islands. The 2 main islands are: 1. Great Britain /in which are England, Scotland and Wales/ 2. Ireland /in which are Northern Ireland and independent Irish Republic/ Some other islands: The Orkney and the Shetland Islands in the North The Hebrides in the North – West Anglesey – lies close to North Wales The Scilly Island [‘sili] – off the South – West coast of England, near the Land`s End. The Isle of Wight – in the South 4. The UK is one of the world`s smaller countries (twice smaller than France or Spain) – with an area of 244,1002 km. Great Britain is just under 1,000 km from the South coast to the extreme {крайний} North of Scotland. It is just under 500 km across in the widest part. UK ~ 244,5002 km. Great Britain ~ 228,4002 km. England ~ 131,8 thousand sq. km. Wales ~ 20,8 thousand sq. km. Scotland ~ 77 thousand sq. km. Northern Ireland ~ 14 thousand sq. km. 5. Is situated off the North – West coast of Europe. The seas around Britain provide exceptionally good fishing grounds. Is washed by the atlantic Ocean in the N – W. the North Sea in the East Is separated from Ireland by the Irish Sea from the European continent by the English Channel (La Manche) and its narrowest part the Strait of Dover (Pas de Calais) which is only 32 km wide. 6. The official language is English, but there are some other languages spoken too. The Gaelic language (Scottish) is still used in parts of the Scottish Highlands and islands. Wales is officially bilingual {двуязычен} /Welsh and English/ Irish (form of the Gaelic language) English, Welsh, Scottish, Irish. 7. Stonehedge is situated in the South – Westen part of England near the city of Salisbury. It is one of the most famous prehistoric monuments in Europe. It was built over 4000 years ago on Salisbury plain in Wiltshire. The largest stones reach about 7 metres above ground and 3 metres below ground. On the 21 of June it is the longest day in the year, the sun rises over the heelstone and shines into the center of the circle.

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