Great Britain

Great Britain has several different names. Some people say  Britain,  or
the United Kingdom, or just UK. There are four  different  countries  in
the United Kingdom: England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
Altogether more than 56 million people live in Britain, many of them in  big
industrial cities like London, Liverpool  and  Manchester,  but  people  are
often surprised by how much of Britain is open country,  with  lonely  hills
and woods, quiet rivers, lakes and farmlands.
Many people think that the weather is cold and wet in Britain all  the  year
round. But it isnt! True, it sometimes rains and even snows  for  days  and
days, but every year there are weeks of beautiful  sunny  weather  then  the
British take off their sweaters and go out to sunbathe.
Britain is only a small country, but every part is different. Scotland is  a
land of mountains, lakes and romantic castles. The winters  are  cold,  with
plenty of snow, but the summers are often warm and sunny. Most farmers  keep
sheep, and theyre many small  factories,  which  make  fine  sweaters  from
their wool. In some parts of Scotland, there are very few people. Deer  live
in the hills, and the rivers are full of salmon. But Glasgow  and  Edinburgh
are both large and busy, with all that is good (and bad) in modern cities.
Northern Ireland has it problems, but it has beauty, too. In the  warm,  wet
climate, the grass grows a brilliant green, and much of the land is  farming
country. Belfast is a large industrial city with  many  fine  buildings  and
big port from which ships come and go to Scotland and England.  But  Belfast
has had many difficulty years, and it is not the busy place it once was.
A hundred years ago the  north  of  England  was  industrial  heart  of  the
country. From the factories came cloth, wool, machines, engines  and  china.
The old factories came have gone now and the workers have to look  for  jobs
in the new high-tech industries. Outside the towns, much of this  part  of
England  is  beautiful  countryside,  with  green  hills,  lakes  and  sandy
beaches. Fishing is still a big industry in the North East, and every  night
(except Sunday) the fishing boats go out to sea.
The centre of England (the  Midlands)  is  also  an  important  industrial
area, especially near the  huge  cities  of  Coventry  and  Birmingham,  the
centre of the car industry. But everyone, even in the heart  of  the  modern
city, there are buildings from older  Britain    cathedrals,  castles,  and
houses built hundred years ago.
Wales is a special place, a country of high mountains  and  pretty  valleys.
But Wales has plenty of industry, too, with many factories and coal mines.
The west of England is  rich  farming  country.  It  produces  milk,  cream,
butter, cheese and apples, which go to make cider, a popular drink.  In  the
villages,  country  people  often  grow  their  own  fruit,  vegetables  and
flowers.
Some areas of Britain are very crowded. Around  Manchester,  in  north  west
England, and Glasgow, in Scotland,  are  large  city  areas  of  houses  and
factories. The south east of  England,  too,  has  many  towns  and  cities,
including London, the giant capital. But quiet near London there  are  still
some quiet villages and peaceful farms.
Britain is an island, of course, and you are never far from  the  sea.  Some
of the coast, especially in the west, is wild and rocky, with  small,  sandy
beaches, and romantic old harbours. Other parts  are  industrial.  The  East
Coast of Scotland, for example, is busy with oil rings  and  fishing  boats.
The most popular beaches are near  the  many  holiday  towns  on  the  south
coast, where the weather is usually warmer. It is here that  Londoners  come
to relax.


" "