Какова поверхность страны великобритании на английском языке

54°0′N 2°30′W / 54.000°N 2.500°W

Geography of the United Kingdom

Continent Europe
Region Northwestern Europe
Coordinates 54°0′N 2°30′W / 54.000°N 2.500°W
Area Ranked 78th
 • Total 242,495[Note 1] km2 (93,628 sq mi)
 • Land 99.31%
 • Water 0.69%
Coastline 12,429 km (7,723 mi)
Borders 499 km (310 mi) land border with Republic of Ireland
Highest point Ben Nevis 1,345 m (4,413 ft)
Lowest point The Fens −4 m (−13 ft)
Longest river River Severn 354 km (220 mi)
Largest lake Lough Neagh 392 km2 (151 sq mi)
Climate Temperate, with some areas of Scotland being Tundra, and Subarctic
Terrain Mountainous area to the north and west, lowland area to the south and east.
Natural resources Coal, oil (continental shelf of the North Sea), natural gas, tin, limestone, iron, salt, clay, lead
Natural hazards Storms, floods
Environmental issues Biodiversity loss, sulphur dioxide emissions from power plants, some rivers are contaminated by agricultural waste, wastewater into the sea
Exclusive economic zone In Europe: 773,676 km2 (298,718 sq mi)
All overseas territories: 6,805,586 km2 (2,627,651 sq mi)

The United Kingdom is a sovereign state located off the north-western coast of continental Europe. With a total area of approximately 248,532 square kilometres (95,960 sq mi), the UK occupies the major part of the British Isles archipelago and includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern one-sixth of the island of Ireland and many smaller surrounding islands.[1] It is the world’s 7th largest island country.[2] The mainland areas lie between latitudes 49°N and 59°N (the Shetland Islands reach to nearly 61°N), and longitudes 8°W to 2°E. The Royal Observatory, Greenwich, in south-east London, is the defining point of the Prime Meridian.

The UK lies between the North Atlantic and the North Sea, and comes within 35 km (22 mi) of the north-west coast of France, from which it is separated by the English Channel. It shares a 499 km (310 mi) international land boundary with the Republic of Ireland.[3][4] The Channel Tunnel bored beneath the English Channel now links the UK with France.

The British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies are covered in their own respective articles, see below.


The total area of the United Kingdom according to the Office for National Statistics is 248,532 square kilometres (95,960 sq mi), comprising the island of Great Britain, the northeastern one-sixth of the island of Ireland (Northern Ireland) and many smaller islands. This makes it the 7th largest island country in the world.[2] England is the largest country of the United Kingdom, at 132,938 square kilometres (51,330 sq mi) accounting for just over half the total area of the UK. Scotland at 80,239 square kilometres (30,980 sq mi), is second largest, accounting for about a third of the area of the UK. Wales and Northern Ireland are much smaller, covering 21,225 and 14,130 square kilometres (8,200 and 5,460 sq mi) respectively.[5]

The area of the countries of the United Kingdom is set out in the table below. Information about the area of England, the largest country, is also broken down by region.

Rank Name Area
1 England

∟ South West[6]
∟ East of England
∟ South East[7]
∟ East Midlands
∟ Yorkshire and the Humber
∟ North West[8]
∟ West Midlands[9]
∟ North East[10]
∟ London[11]

132,938 km2

23,837 km2
19,120 km2
19,096 km2
15,627 km2
15,420 km2
14,165 km2
12,998 km2
8,592 km2
1,572 km2

2 Scotland 80,239 km2
3 Wales 21,225 km2
4 Northern Ireland 14,130 km2
United Kingdom 248,532 km2
Overseas territories 1,727,570 km2

The British Antarctic Territory, which covers an area of 1,709,400 km2 (660,000 sq mi) is geographically the largest of the British Overseas Territories followed by the Falkland Islands which covers an area of 12,173 km2 (4,700 sq mi). The remaining twelve overseas territories cover an area 5,997 km2 (2,315 sq mi).

Other countries with very similar land areas to the United Kingdom include Guinea (slightly larger), Uganda, Ghana and Romania (all slightly smaller). The UK is the world’s 80th largest country by land area and the 10th largest in Europe (if European Russia is included).

Physical geography[edit]

UK’s topography
As this geological map of Great Britain demonstrates, the geology of the UK is varied and complex.

The physical geography of the UK varies greatly. England consists of mostly lowland terrain, with upland or mountainous terrain only found north-west of the Tees–Exe line. The upland areas include the Lake District, the Pennines, North York Moors, Exmoor and Dartmoor. The lowland areas are typically traversed by ranges of low hills, frequently composed of chalk, and flat plains. Scotland is the most mountainous country in the UK and its physical geography is distinguished by the Highland Boundary Fault which traverses the Scottish mainland from Helensburgh to Stonehaven. The faultline separates the two distinctively different regions of the Highlands to the north and west, and the Lowlands to the south and east. The Highlands are predominantly mountainous, containing the majority of Scotland’s mountainous landscape, while the Lowlands contain flatter land, especially across the Central Lowlands, with upland and mountainous terrain located at the Southern Uplands. Wales is mostly mountainous, though south Wales is less mountainous than north and mid Wales. Northern Ireland consists of mostly hilly landscape and its geography includes the Mourne Mountains as well as Lough Neagh, at 388 square kilometres (150 sq mi), the largest body of water in the UK.[12]

The overall geomorphology of the UK was shaped by a combination of forces including tectonics and climate change, in particular glaciation in northern and western areas.

The tallest mountain in the UK (and British Isles) is Ben Nevis, in the Grampian Mountains, Scotland. The longest river is the River Severn which flows from Wales into England. The largest lake by surface area is Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland, though Scotland’s Loch Ness has the largest volume.


The geology of the UK is complex and diverse, a result of it being subject to a variety of plate tectonic processes over a very extended period of time. Changing latitude and sea levels have been important factors in the nature of sedimentary sequences, whilst successive continental collisions have affected its geological structure with major faulting and folding being a legacy of each orogeny (mountain-building period), often associated with volcanic activity and the metamorphism of existing rock sequences. As a result of this eventful geological history, the UK shows a rich variety of landscapes.[13]


The oldest rocks in the British Isles are the Lewisian gneisses, metamorphic rocks found in the far north-west of Scotland and in the Hebrides (with a few small outcrops elsewhere), which date from at least 2,700 Ma (Ma = million years ago). South and east of the gneisses are a complex mixture of rocks forming the North West Highlands and Grampian Highlands in Scotland. These are essentially the remains of folded sedimentary rocks that were deposited between 1,000 Ma and 670 Ma over the gneiss on what was then the floor of the Iapetus Ocean.


At 520 Ma, what is now Great Britain was split between two continents; the north of Scotland was located on the continent of Laurentia at about 20° south of the equator, while the rest of the country was on the continent of Gondwana near the Antarctic Circle. In Gondwana, England and Wales were largely submerged under a shallow sea studded with volcanic islands. The remains of these islands underlie much of central England with small outcrops visible in many places.

About 500 Ma southern Britain, the east coast of North America and south-east Newfoundland broke away from Gondwana to form the continent of Avalonia, which by 440 Ma had drifted to about 30° south. During this period north Wales was subject to volcanic activity. The remains of these volcanoes are still visible, one example of which is Rhobell Fawr dating from 510 Ma. Large quantities of volcanic lava and ash known as the Borrowdale Volcanics covered the Lake District and this can still be seen in the form of mountains such as Helvellyn and Scafell Pike.

Between 425 and 400 Ma Avalonia had joined with the continent of Baltica, and the combined landmass collided with Laurentia at about 20° south, joining the southern and northern halves of Great Britain together. The resulting Caledonian Orogeny produced an Alpine-style mountain range in much of north and west Britain.

The collision between continents continued during the Devonian period, producing uplift and subsequent erosion, resulting in the deposition of numerous sedimentary rock layers in lowlands and seas. The Old Red Sandstone and the contemporary volcanics and marine sediments found in Devon originated from these processes.

Around 360 Ma Great Britain was lying at the equator, covered by the warm shallow waters of the Rheic Ocean, during which time the Carboniferous Limestone was deposited, as found in the Mendip Hills and the Peak District of Derbyshire. Later, river deltas formed and the sediments deposited were colonised by swamps and rain forest. It was in this environment that the Coal Measures were formed, the source of the majority of Britain’s extensive coal reserves.

Around 280 Ma the Variscan orogeny mountain-building period occurred, again due to collision of continental plates, causing major deformation in south-west England. The general region of Variscan folding was south of an east–west line roughly from south Pembrokeshire to Kent. Towards the end of this period granite was formed beneath the overlying rocks of Devon and Cornwall, now exposed at Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor.

By the end of the Carboniferous period the various continents of the Earth had fused to form the super-continent of Pangaea. Britain was located in the interior of Pangea where it was subject to a hot arid desert climate with frequent flash floods leaving deposits that formed beds of red sedimentary rock.


As Pangaea drifted during the Triassic, Great Britain moved away from the equator until it was between 20° and 30° north. The remnants of the Variscan uplands in France to the south were eroded down, resulting in layers of the New Red Sandstone being deposited across central England.

Pangaea began to break up at the start of the Jurassic period. Sea levels rose and Britain drifted on the Eurasian Plate to between 31° and 40° north. Much of Britain was under water again, and sedimentary rocks were deposited and can now be found underlying much of England from the Cleveland Hills of Yorkshire to the Jurassic Coast in Dorset. These include sandstones, greensands, oolitic limestone of the Cotswold Hills, corallian limestone of the Vale of White Horse and the Isle of Portland. The burial of algae and bacteria below the mud of the seafloor during this time resulted in the formation of North Sea oil and natural gas.

1815 geological by William Smith

The modern continents having formed, the Cretaceous saw the formation of the Atlantic Ocean, gradually separating northern Scotland from North America. The land underwent a series of uplifts to form a fertile plain. After 20 million years or so, the seas started to flood the land again until much of Britain was again below the sea, though sea levels frequently changed. Chalk and flints were deposited over much of Great Britain, now notably exposed at the White Cliffs of Dover and the Seven Sisters, and also forming Salisbury Plain.


Between 63 and 52 Ma, the last volcanic rocks in Great Britain were formed. The major eruptions at this time produced the Antrim Plateau, the basaltic columns of the Giant’s Causeway and Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel.

The Alpine Orogeny that took place in Europe about 50 Ma, was responsible for the folding of strata in southern England, producing the London Basin syncline, the Weald-Artois Anticline to the south, the North Downs, South Downs and Chiltern Hills.

During the period the North Sea formed, Britain was uplifted. Some of this uplift was along old lines of weakness left from the Caledonian and Variscan Orogenies long before. The uplifted areas were then eroded, and further sediments, such as the London Clay, were deposited over southern England.

The major changes during the last 2 million years were brought about by several recent ice ages. The most severe was the Anglian Glaciation, with ice up to 1,000 m (3,300 ft) thick that reached as far south as London and Bristol. This took place between about 478,000 to 424,000 years ago, and was responsible for the diversion of the River Thames onto its present course. During the most recent Devensian glaciation, which ended a mere 10,000 years ago, the icesheet reached south to Wolverhampton and Cardiff. Among the features left behind by the ice are the fjords of the west coast of Scotland, the U-shaped valleys of the Lake District and erratics (blocks of rock) that have been transported from the Oslo region of Norway and deposited on the coast of Yorkshire.

Amongst the most significant geological features created during the last twelve thousand years are the peat deposits of Scotland, and of coastal and upland areas of England and Wales.

At the present time Scotland is continuing to rise as a result of the weight of Devensian ice being lifted. Southern and eastern England is sinking, generally estimated at 1 mm (125 in) per year, with the London area sinking at double the speed partly due to the continuing compaction of the recent clay deposits.

Mountains and hills[edit]

At 1,345 metres (4,413 ft), Ben Nevis is the highest peak in the UK.

The ten tallest mountains in the UK are all found in Scotland. The highest peaks in each part of the UK are:

  • Scotland: Ben Nevis, 1,345 metres (4,413 ft)
  • Wales: Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), (Snowdonia), 1,085 metres (3,560 ft)
  • England: Scafell Pike (Cumbrian Mountains), 978 metres (3,209 ft)
  • Northern Ireland: Slieve Donard (Mourne Mountains), 852 metres (2,795 ft)

The ranges of mountains and hills in the UK include:

  • Scotland: Cairngorms, Scottish Highlands, Southern Uplands, Grampian Mountains, Monadhliath Mountains, Ochil Hills, Campsie Fells, Cuillin
  • Wales: Brecon Beacons (Bannau Brycheiniog), Cambrian Mountains (Mynyddoedd Cambria), Clwydian Hills (Bryniau Clwyd), Snowdonia (Eryri), Black Mountains (Y Mynyddoedd Duon), Preseli Hills (Y Preseli)
  • England: Cheviot Hills, Chilterns, Cotswolds, Dartmoor, Lincolnshire Wolds, Exmoor, Lake District, Malvern Hills, Mendip Hills, North Downs, Peak District, Pennines, South Downs, Shropshire Hills, Yorkshire Wolds
  • Northern Ireland: Mourne Mountains, Antrim Plateau, Sperrin Mountains

The lowest point of the UK is in the Fens of East Anglia, in England, parts of which lie up to 4 metres (13 ft) below sea level.

Rivers and lakes[edit]

Main articles
  • List of lakes and lochs in the United Kingdom;
  • List of rivers of the United Kingdom;
  • List of waterfalls of the United Kingdom.

The longest river in the UK is the River Severn (220 mi; 350 km) which flows through both Wales and England.

The longest rivers in the UK contained fully within each of its constituent nations are:

  • England: River Thames (215 mi; 346 km)
  • Scotland: River Tay (117 mi; 188 km)
  • Northern Ireland: River Bann (76 mi; 122 km)
  • Wales: River Usk (78 mi; 126 km)

The largest lakes (by surface area) in the UK by country are:

  • Northern Ireland: Lough Neagh (147.39 sq mi; 381.7 km2)
  • Scotland: Loch Lomond (27.46 sq mi; 71.1 km2)
  • England: Windermere (5.69 sq mi; 14.7 km2)
  • Wales: Bala Lake (Llyn Tegid) (1.87 sq mi; 4.8 km2)

The deepest lake in the UK is Loch Morar with a maximum depth of 309 metres (1,014 ft); Loch Ness is second at 228 metres (748 ft) deep. The deepest lake in England is Wastwater which achieves a depth of 79 metres (259 ft).

Loch Ness is the UK’s largest lake in terms of volume.

Artificial waterways[edit]

Main articles: Waterways in the United Kingdom, Canals of Great Britain, Dams and reservoirs in United Kingdom

As a result of its industrial history, the United Kingdom has an extensive system of canals, mostly built in the early years of the Industrial Revolution, before the rise of competition from the railways. The United Kingdom also has numerous dams and reservoirs to store water for drinking and industry. The generation of hydroelectric power is rather limited, supplying less than 2% of British electricity, mainly from the Scottish Highlands.


United Kingdom maritime claims

The UK has a coastline which measures about 12,429 km (7,723 mi).[14] The heavy indentation of the coastline helps to ensure that no location is more than 125 km (78 mi) from tidal waters.

The UK claims jurisdiction over the continental shelf, as defined in continental shelf orders or in accordance with agreed upon boundaries, an exclusive fishing zone of 200 nmi (370.4 km; 230.2 mi), and territorial sea of 12 nmi (22.2 km; 13.8 mi).

The UK has an Exclusive Economic Zone of 773,676 km2 (298,718 sq mi) in Europe. However, if all crown dependencies and overseas territories are included then the total EEZ is 6,805,586 km2 (2,627,651 sq mi) which is the 5th largest in the world.


  • Cardigan Bay
  • Lyme Bay
  • Bristol Channel
  • Thames Estuary
  • Morecambe Bay
  • Solway Firth
  • The Wash
  • Humber Estuary
  • Firth of Forth
  • Firth of Tay
  • Moray Firth
  • Firth of Clyde
  • Firth of Lorn


The geology of the United Kingdom is such that there are many headlands along its coast. A list of headlands of the United Kingdom details many of them.

Tidal flats[edit]

A recent global remote sensing analysis suggested that there were 2,697 km2 (1,041 sq mi) of tidal flats in the United Kingdom, making it the 12th ranking country in terms of how much tidal flat occurs there.[15]


In total, it is estimated that the UK is made up of over one thousand small islands, the majority located off the north and west coasts of Scotland. About 130 of these are inhabited according to the 2001 census.

The largest island in the UK is Great Britain. The largest islands by constituent country are Lewis and Harris in Scotland at 841 sq mi (2,180 km2), Wales’ Anglesey at 276 sq mi (710 km2), the Isle of Wight in England at 147 sq mi (380 km2), and Rathlin Island in Northern Ireland at roughly 6 sq mi (16 km2);


The climate of the UK is generally temperate, although significant local variation occurs, particularly as a result of altitude and distance from the coast. In general the south of the country is warmer than the north, and the west wetter than the east. Due to the warming influence of the Gulf Stream, the UK is significantly warmer than some other locations at a similar latitude, such as Newfoundland.

The prevailing winds are southwesterly, from the North Atlantic Current. More than 50% of the days are overcast.[16] There are few natural hazards, although there can be strong winds and floods, especially in winter.

Average annual rainfall varies from over 3,000 mm (118.1 in) in the Scottish Highlands down to 553 mm (21.8 in) in Cambridge. The county of Essex is one of the driest in the UK, with an average annual rainfall of around 600 mm (23.6 in), although it typically rains on over 100 days per year. In some years rainfall in Essex can be below 450 mm (17.7 in), less than the average annual rainfall in Jerusalem and Beirut.

The highest temperature recorded in the UK was 40.3 °C (104.5 °F) at Coningsby in Lincolnshire, on 20 July 2022.[17] The lowest was −27.2 °C (−17.0 °F) recorded at Braemar in the Grampian Mountains, Scotland, on 11 February 1895 and 10 January 1982 and Altnaharra, also in Scotland, on 30 December 1995.

Human geography[edit]

  • v
  • t
  • e

Largest urban areas of the United Kingdom

(England and Wales: 2011 census built-up area;[18] Scotland: 2016 estimates settlement;[19] Northern Ireland: 2001 census urban area)[20]

Rank Urban area Pop. Principal settlement Rank Urban area Pop. Principal settlement
1 Greater London 9,787,426 London 11 Bristol 617,280 Bristol
2 Greater Manchester 2,553,379 Manchester 12 Edinburgh 512,150 Edinburgh
3 West Midlands 2,440,986 Birmingham 13 Leicester 508,916 Leicester
4 West Yorkshire 1,777,934 Leeds 14 Belfast 483,418 Belfast
5 Greater Glasgow 985,290 Glasgow 15 Brighton & Hove 474,485 Brighton
6 Liverpool 864,122 Liverpool 16 South East Dorset 466,266 Bournemouth
7 South Hampshire 855,569 Southampton 17 Cardiff 390,214 Cardiff
8 Tyneside 774,891 Newcastle upon Tyne 18 Teesside 376,633 Middlesbrough
9 Nottingham 729,977 Nottingham 19 Stoke-on-Trent 372,775 Stoke-on-Trent
10 Sheffield 685,368 Sheffield 20 Coventry 359,262 Coventry

The United Kingdom is composed of four parts: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
The United Kingdom’s cities, other large centres, and selected smaller places


Political geography[edit]

National government[edit]

The UK is governed as a whole by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Of the four countries that make the UK, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have devolved administrations and legislatures:

  • Northern Ireland – Northern Ireland Assembly
  • Scotland – Scottish Parliament
  • Wales – Senedd (Welsh Parliament)

The devolved administrations and legislatures can make laws in a number of areas, such as culture, education, local government, and environment.

By contrast, England has no devolved system of government, that is, the Parliament of the United Kingdom makes laws for England, as well as for reserved matters in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. England is governed by UK government ministers and legislated for by the UK parliament. The London region has a devolved assembly but proposals for elected Regional Assemblies in England were rejected in the first referendum covering North East England. (See Government of England.)

The UK (specifically, Northern Ireland) has an international land boundary with the Republic of Ireland of 499 km.[3][4] There is also a boundary between the jurisdiction of France and the UK on the Channel Tunnel.

Local government[edit]

Each part of the UK is subdivided into further local governmental regions:

  • England: Unitary Authorities, county councils, district councils, parish councils
  • Wales: Principal areas, communities
  • Scotland: Council areas, communities
  • Northern Ireland: Districts

Historically the UK was divided into counties or shires: administrative areas through which all civil responsibilities of the government were passed. Each county or shire had a county town as its administrative centre and was divided into individual parishes that were defined along ecclesiastic boundaries.

Between 1889 (1890 in Scotland) and 1974, the political boundaries were based on the traditional counties, but due to changes in population centres, the traditional counties became impractical as local government areas in certain highly urbanised areas. The Local Government Act 1972 created a new system of administrative counties, designed to take account of the widely differing populations across different parts of the country.

In the 1990s further population growth led to more political changes on a local level. Unitary authorities were formed across the entirety of Scotland and Wales, and in larger cities in England. Many unpopular administrative counties were also abolished at this time, leading to a mixture of two-tier and single-purpose authorities. Further reorganisations are planned if and when regional assemblies in England are revisited in the future.

Economic geography[edit]

The economic geography of the UK reflects not only its current position in the global economy, but its long history both as a trading nation and an imperial power.

The UK led the industrial revolution and its highly urban character is a legacy of this, with all its major cities being current or former centres of various forms of manufacturing. However, this in turn was built on its exploitation of natural resources, especially coal and iron ore.

Primary industry[edit]

The UK’s primary industry was once dominated by the coal industry, heavily concentrated in the north, the Midlands and south Wales. This is all but gone and the major primary industry is North Sea oil. Its activity is concentrated on the UK Continental Shelf to the north-east of Scotland.


The UK’s heavy manufacturing drove the industrial revolution. A map of the major UK cities gives a good picture of where this activity occurred, in particular Belfast, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield. Today there is no heavy manufacturing industry in which UK-based firms can be considered world leaders. However, areas of the UK still have a notable manufacturing base, including the Midlands which remains a strong manufacturing centre, and the North West which accounts for 60% of the United Kingdom’s manufacturing output.[21] More recently, high technology firms have concentrated largely along the M4 motorway, partly because of access to Heathrow Airport, but also because of agglomeration economies.

Finance and services[edit]

Once, every large city had a stock exchange. Now, the UK financial industry is concentrated overwhelmingly in the City of London and Canary Wharf, with back office and administrative operations often dispersed around the south of England. London is one of the world’s great financial centres and is usually referred to as a world city. There is also a significant legal and ebusiness industry in Leeds.

Regional disparity[edit]

The effect of changing economic fortune has contributed to the creation of the so-called North-South divide, in which decaying industrial and ex-industrial areas of Northern England, Scotland and Wales contrast with the wealthy, finance and technology-led southern economy. This has led successive governments to develop regional policy to try to rectify the imbalance. However, this is not to say that the north–south divide is uniform; some of the worst pockets of deprivation can be found in London, whilst parts of Cheshire and North Yorkshire are very wealthy. Nor is the North-South divide limited to the economic sphere; cultural and political divisions weigh heavily too.

Natural resources[edit]

Historically, much of the United Kingdom was forested. Since prehistoric times, man has deforested much of the United Kingdom.

Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanised, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with only 1% of the labour force. It contributes around 2% of GDP. Around two thirds of production is devoted to livestock, one third to arable crops.

In 1993, it was estimated that land use was:

  • Arable land: 25%
  • Permanent crops: 0%
  • Permanent pastures: 46%
  • Forests and Woodland: 10%
  • Other: 19%
  • Irrigated: 1,080 km2

The UK has a variety of natural resources including:

  • Geological: coal, petroleum, natural gas, limestone, chalk, gypsum, silica, rock salt, china clay, iron ore, tin, silver, gold, lead.
  • Agricultural: arable land, wheat, barley, sheep

The UK has large coal, natural gas, and oil reserves; primary energy production accounts for 10% of GDP, one of the highest shares of any industrial nation. Due to the island location of the UK, the country has great potential for generating electricity from wave power and tidal power, although these have not yet been exploited on a commercial basis.


Current issues[edit]

This section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (October 2022)

England is one of the most densely populated countries/regions in the world, and the most densely populated major nation in Europe.[22] The high population density (especially in the southeast of England) coupled with a changing climate, is likely to put extreme pressure on the United Kingdom’s water resources in the future.[23]

The United Kingdom is reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It has met Kyoto Protocol target of a 12.5% reduction from 1990 levels and intends to meet the legally binding target of a 20% cut in emissions by 2010. By 2015, to recycle or compost at least 33% of household waste. Between 1998-99 and 1999–2000, household recycling increased from 8.8% to 10.3% respectively.

According to a 2018 survey for the World Wide Fund for Nature, the United Kingdom is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world, coming in 189th place out of 218 countries.[24][25]

International agreements[edit]

The United Kingdom is a party to many international agreements, including:
Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands and Whaling.

The UK has signed, but not ratified, the international agreement on Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants.

Geography of dependent territories[edit]

Map of the UK, overseas territories and crown dependencies at the same geographic scale

Crown dependencies[edit]

  • Geography of the Isle of Man
  • Geography of the Channel Islands
    • Geography of Jersey
    • Geography of Guernsey
    • Geography of Alderney
    • Geography of Sark
    • Geography of Herm

Overseas territories[edit]

  • Geography of Anguilla
  • Geography of Bermuda
  • Geography of the British Antarctic Territory
  • Geography of the British Indian Ocean Territory
  • Geography of the British Virgin Islands
  • Geography of the Cayman Islands
  • Geography of the Falkland Islands
  • Geography of Gibraltar
  • Geography of Montserrat
  • Geography of the Pitcairn Islands
  • Geography of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  • Geography of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • Geography of Akrotiri and Dhekelia
  • Geography of the Turks and Caicos Islands

See also[edit]

  • British Overseas Territories
  • City status in the United Kingdom
  • Conservation in the United Kingdom
  • Demographics of the United Kingdom
  • Extreme points of the United Kingdom
  • Centre points of the United Kingdom
  • Geography of England
  • Geography of Europe
  • Geography of Ireland
  • Geography of Scotland
  • Geography of Wales
  • List of caves in the United Kingdom
  • List of conurbations in the United Kingdom
  • List of places in the United Kingdom
  • North-South divide in the United Kingdom
  • Towns of the United Kingdom
  • Transport in the United Kingdom
    • Rail transport in the United Kingdom


  1. ^ Does not include the three Crown Dependencies (768 km2 or 297 sq mi) and the 14 overseas territories (1,742,857 km2 or 672,921 sq mi), shown separately.


  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary: «British Isles: a geographical term for the islands comprising Great Britain and Ireland with all their offshore islands including the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.»
  2. ^ a b «Island Countries Of The World». WorldAtlas.com. Archived from the original on 7 December 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  3. ^ a b Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland, 1999
  4. ^ a b MFPP Working Paper No. 2, «The Creation and Consolidation of the Irish Border» by KJ Rankin and published in association with Institute for British-Irish Studies, University College Dublin and Institute for Governance, Queen’s University, Belfast (also printed as
    IBIS working paper no. 48)
  5. ^ «The Countries of the UK». Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 8 January 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  6. ^ «The South West – Key Facts». www.gosw.gov.uk. Government Office for the South West. Archived from the original on 22 March 2007. Retrieved 18 April 2007.
  7. ^ «Facts and Figures about the South East». www.gose.gov.uk. Government Office for the South East. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 18 April 2007.
  8. ^ «Regional Profile». www.gonw.gov.uk. Government Office for the North West. Archived from the original on 3 May 2007. Retrieved 18 April 2007.
  9. ^ «Regional Profile». www.gowm.gov.uk. Government Office for the West Midlands. Archived from the original on 21 September 2007. Retrieved 18 April 2007.
  10. ^ «Regional Profile». www.gos.gov.uk/gone/. Government Office for the North East. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 18 April 2007.
  11. ^ «Our Region». www.gol.gov.uk. Government Office for London. Archived from the original on 20 September 2007. Retrieved 18 April 2007.
  12. ^ «Geography of Northern Ireland». University of Ulster. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  13. ^ Toghill, Peter (2000). The Geology of Britain: An Introduction. Shrewsbury: Swan Hill Press. ISBN 1-85310-890-1.
  14. ^ The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (2009). «Factsheet Marine Conservation Zones» (PDF). www.defra.gov.uk. DEFRA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 April 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  15. ^ Murray, N.J.; Phinn, S.R.; DeWitt, M.; Ferrari, R.; Johnston, R.; Lyons, M.B.; Clinton, N.; Thau, D.; Fuller, R.A. (2019). «The global distribution and trajectory of tidal flats». Nature. 565 (7738): 222–225. doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0805-8. PMID 30568300. S2CID 56481043.
  16. ^ «25 September 2017».
  17. ^ «Record breaking temperatures for the UK».
  18. ^ «2011 Census — Built-up areas». ONS. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  19. ^ «NRS – Background Information Settlements and Localities» (PDF). National Records of Scotland. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  20. ^ The UK’s major urban areas Office for National Statistics (Urban area of Belfast and connected settlements, Table 3.1, page 47)
  21. ^ «1,800 new jobs to be created at Manchester Airport». ITV News. 22 August 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  22. ^ Khan, Urmee (16 September 2008). «England is most crowded country in Europe». The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  23. ^ McKie, Robin (22 January 2012). «Urgent action needed to prevent England’s rivers drying up». The Observer. The Guardian. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  24. ^ Hobson, Sam. «Is this the Future of UK nature?». World Wide Fund for Nature. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  25. ^ «The UK’s nature in crisis — in pictures». The Guardian. 31 January 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  • CIA Factbook
  • UK Government Statistics

External links[edit]

  • UK climate averages provided by the Meteorological Office
  • Ordnance Survey geofacts page

The United Kingdom is an island nation located off the northwest coast of continental Europe. The island is separated from the continent by the English Channel. The distance from the country’s southeast coast to the northern coast of France is only 35 km. The United Kingdom consists of the four geographical and historical parts of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, located in the British Isles (group of islands: the United Kingdom, the northeastern part of the island of Ireland and many small islands and archipelagos in the Atlantic Ocean).

The capital of United Kingdom, London, is one of the world’s leading trade, financial and cultural centres. The distance between the Russian and British capitals is 2,500 km. The flight from the central part of Russia usually takes less than four hours.

The country, with a population of 62.8 million, is the 78th larges globally with an area of ​​242,514 km2.

United Kingdom is within just one time zone. London Greenwich is located on the prime meridian and is officially the zero point of reference for time zones.


The climate of United Kingdom is temperate oceanic, mild and humid (more humid in Northern Ireland, and Scotland, colder and drier). The weather is mainly influenced by the warm oceanic current of the Gulf Stream. The sea, surrounding the country from all sides, does not allow the air over land to heat up or cool too much. Therefore, sudden temperature changes rarely occur, but the weather conditions change often. Four different regions represent the climate throughout the territories:

  • Southeast – cold winters and warm, dry summers
  • Southwest – soft and very wet winters and warm and humid summers
  • Northwest – mild winters, cool summers and frequent rain all year
  • Northeast – cold winters, cool summers and steady rain throughout the year

Northern Ireland has a mild, humid climate with mild winters and cool summers. The warmest month is July, with an average temperature of 19C. The coldest month is January, and the average temperature is 8C. There is less rainfall and fewer foggy days than in England. On average, annual precipitation ranges from 1,200 mm to 1,600 mm.

Scotland is the coldest region in the UK. The instability of the weather is associated with a varied topography. In mountainous areas, temperatures can reach 10 degrees below zero in winter. January and February are the coldest months, with an average temperature of 3C. There is heavy fog and it rains 250 days a year. The warmest months are July and August with an average temperature of 19C. About 3,810 mm of precipitation per year falls in the west of the region, while the eastern parts see about 635 mm per year.

geography and climate of UK

The climate in England is unstable, with frequent fogs and stormy winds. The average temperature in winter is + 5C. There is less precipitation in spring, but cold north winds blow. In summer, the temperature ranges from +16 to +32. The largest amount of precipitation falls in August. In autumn, cyclones prevail and the fog begins.

London has a mild and temperate climate. It is warm in summer, but not hot, though temperatures have risen in recent years. In 2003, the temperature reached a record high of + 38C. And the autumn of 2011 set new temperature records — at the end of September, the temperature rose to + 29C. Fog formation occurs most often in January and February. There are only about 45 foggy days in London, but half of the days are cloudy and overcast. The average temperature in summer is about + 19C. Winter is cool but not frosty. On average, the temperature does not drop below 7C. It rarely snows, the snow cover is only about 25 mm. And the average annual rainfall is less than in Rome or Sydney — about 584 mm. Read more about Cities of United Kingdom

Wales has a mild and humid climate similar to England. In January, the average temperature is about 5C and 16C in July. The area of ​​the Snowdon massif is the wettest, getting 2,540 mm of rainfall, and about 762 mm per year in the central coastal area.


Even if you’ve never been to the UK, you’ve probably heard about its changing, humid and poetic weather, which has become an endless topic of jokes and anecdotes. Weather in United Kingdom is the most frequently discussed topic, and when you meet a resident of the country, the first thing to do is ask what you think about the weather. Due to its geographical position, the coastal strip of the island is often submerged in sea fog caused by the warm Gulf Stream evaporating in the cold Atlantic air. In terms of weather conditions, Foggy Albion is deservedly considered the most unstable place in Europe. In recent years, there has been a trend towards increased unpredictability of local weather, therefore you should trust the weather reports more than long-term statistics.

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Welcome to Geography

Read about the Geographical Position of Great Britain

The United Kingdom is very small comparing with the biggest countries of the world such as Russia, Canada, China or the USA. Its total area is about 244,000 square kilometers. There are more than 67 million people in the UK now, and London is one of the world’s biggest cities. Britain is relatively densely populated country. England has the highest population density and Scotland the lowest.

Many foreigners say “English” and “England” when they mean “British” and “Britain”. This is very annoying for  Scotsmen, Welsh and Irishmen who are not certainly English but all are British.

The official name of the country is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The capital of England is London. The capital of Scotland is Edinburgh. The capital of Wales is Cardiff. The capital of Northern Ireland is Belfast. The capital of the United Kingdom is London.

The UK is situated on the British Isles. This group of islands lies between the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and consists of two large islands, Great Britain and Ireland, and 550 smaller islands around them. It is separated from the continent of Europe by the English Channel, the narrowest part of which is called the Straight of Dover or Pas de Calais. In the west the UK is separated from Ireland by the Irish Sea and the North Channel. The seas around Britain are often rough and difficult to navigate during storms but they are full of fish and are extremely important for trade. Britain’s main ports are London, Hull, Liverpool, Glasgow and some others.

You will not find high mountains or large plains in Britain. Everything occupies very little place. The highest mountain, Ben Nevis, is in Scotland. In the centre of England is a range of hills called the Pennine Chain which is also known as the “backbone of England”. The Cambrian Mountains in Wales and the Cumbrian Mountains in the Lake District in the north of England are not high but amazingly beautiful. The Cheviot Hills mark the boundary between England and Scotland. Scotland is divided into three regions: the Highlands, the Central Lowlands and the Southern Uplands.

There are very many rivers in Great Britain but they are not very long. The main rivers are the Thames, the Severn, the Clyde, the Mersey and the Trent. The longest river is the Severn in England, but the most famous is the Thames because it gave rise to the capital of the country – London.

There are many lakes in Great Britain. In Scotland they are called lochs. The most famous lake is Loch Ness in Scotland which is said to have a water monster. The Lake District is one of the most popular holiday places in Great Britain. Many people say that Great Britain is like a large well-kept park. There are beautiful gardens, fields, meadows, lakes and woods there. The best-known is Sherwood Forest where Robin Hood once lived, the legendary outlaw who robbed the rich and gave their money to the poor.

Great Britain is not very rich in mineral resources though there is oil in the North Sea, coal in Wales and in the north of England, tin and other non-ferrous metals in the south.

The biggest cities of Britain are London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Glasgow and some others.

Decide whether the following statements are true or false.

  1. The UK takes the tenth place in world population.
  2. “British” and “English” are not synonyms.
  3. Scotland has the smallest population of the four countries of the UK.
  4. Great Britain is separated from the continent by the English Channel, the North Sea and the North Channel.
  5. The waters around Great Britain are dangerous in bad weather.
  6. There are not only lakes but also mountains in the Lake District.
  7. The Highlands separate Scotland from England.
  8. The Thames is the longest and the deepest river in the UK.
  9. The most famous wood in Scotland is Sherwood Forest where Robin Hood once lived.
  10. There are coal deposits in the south of England.

Speak about the Geographical Position of Great Britain.


The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is situated on the British Isles and lies to the north-west of continental Europe. It is separated from the continent by the English Channel and the Strait of Dover in the south and the North Sea in the east. In everyday speech the term “Great Britain” is often applied to the United Kingdom as a whole.

The British Isles consist of two main islands (Great Britain and Ireland) and a large group of smaller islands. Great Britain is separated from Ireland by the Irish Sea. Historically the territory of Great Britain is divided into 3 parts: England, Scotland and Wales. It doesn’t include Northern Ireland. The population of Great Britain is over 60 million people. The total area is 209 000 km2 (two hundred and nine thousand square kilometers).

The British landscape is very varied. Geographically the island of Great Britain is made up of three main regions: Lowland, Midland and Highland Britain. The Midlands occupy central counties of England. This is a region of valleys and low hills. Lowland Britain covers the territory of eastern and southern England. Highland Britain comprises Scotland, most of Wales, the Pennine Chain and the Lake District in England. Scotland and Wales are the most mountainous parts of Great Britain. Ben Nevis in Scotland is the highest point (1343 metres). Along the western coast runs the mountain range of Cumberland. The Cheviot Hills mark the boundary between England and Scotland.

The rivers in Great Britain are quite short and most of them flow in the eastward direction. The rivers (the Thames, the Severn, the Tweed, the Trent, the Tyne) never freeze in winter and allow all-year navigation.


Соединенное Королевство Великобритании и Северной Ирландии расположено на Британских островах и лежит к северо-западу от континентальной Европы. От континента его отделяют пролив Ла-Манш и Па-де-Кале на юге и Северное море на востоке. В повседневной жизни термин «Великобритания» часто применяется ко всему Соединенному Королевству в целом.

Британские острова состоят из двух основных островов (Великобритании и Ирландии) и большой группы малых островов. Великобританию отделяет от Ирландии Ирландское море. Исторически территория Великобритании разделена на три части: Англию, Шотландию и Уэльс. Она не включает в себя Северную Ирландию. Население Великобритании превышает 60 миллионов человек. Общая территория составляет 209 000 кв.км.

Британский ландшафт очень разнообразен. Географически остров Великобритании сложился из трех основных местностей: низменности, средней полосы и высокогорья Британии. Средняя полоса занимает центральные графства Англии. Это местность с долинами и низкими холмами. Низменность Британии покрывает территорию восточной и южной Англии. Высокогорная Британия состоит из Шотландии, большей части Уэльса, Пеннинских гор и Озерного края в Англии. Шотландия и Уэльс являются наиболее гористыми частями Великобритании. Бен Невис в Шотландии – это самая высокая точка (1343 метра). Вдоль западного побережья пролегает горная цепь Камберленд. Горы Чевиот-Хилс отмечают границу между Англией и Шотландией.

Реки Великобритании довольно коротки, и большая их часть течет в восточном направлении. Реки (Темза, Северн, Твид, Трент, Тайн) никогда не замерзают зимой и допускают круглогодичную навигацию.

Топик «Географическое положение Великобритании» (Geographical position of Great Britain)4.4 out of
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The Geographical Position of Great Britain

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is situated on the British Isles. The British Isles are separated from Europe by the English Channel. The British Isles are washed by the North Sea in the East and the Atlantic Ocean in the West.

The territory of Great Britain is divided into four parts: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

England is the richest, the most populated part in the country. There are mountains in the north and in the west of England, but all the rest of the territory is a plain.

Scotland is a land of mountains. Its highest peak is Ben Nevis.

The British Isles have many rivers. The longest of them is the Severn. It flows into the Irish Sea. The Thames is over 200 miles long. London, the capital of Great Britain, stands on it.

Geographical position of Great Britain is rather good as the country lies on the crossways of the sea routes from Europe to other parts of the world.

Географическое положение Великобритании

Объединенное Королевство Великобритании и Северной Ирландии расположено на Британских островах., Британские острова отделены от Европы проливом Ла-Манш. Британские острова омываются Северным морем на Востоке и Атлантическим океаном на Западе.

Территория Великобритании разделена на четыре части: Англию, Шотландию, Уэльс и Северную Ирландию.

Англия — самая богатая, самая густонаселенная часть страны. Горы есть на севере и западе Англии, остальная часть территории страны — равнина.

Шотландия — земля гор. Самая ее высокая вершина — Бен Невис.

На Британских островах много рек. Самая длинная из них — Северн. Она впадает в Ирландское море. Темза длиной свыше 200 миль. Лондон, столица Великобритании, стоит на ней.

Географическая положение Великобритании довольно удачно, так как страна лежит на пересечении морских путей из Европы в другие части света.

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