ABOUT The United Kingdom / Great Britain also known as Britain, is an island in the Atlantic Ocean off the north-western coast of continental Europe. It is the ninth-largest island in the world and the largest island in Europe. With a population of about 65 million people, it is the third-most populous island in the world. It is surrounded by over 1,000 smaller islands. Politically, Great Britain refers to the island together with a number of surrounding islands, which constitute the territory of England, Scotland and Wales. The island of Ireland lies to its west.

CLIMATE Temperatures rarely get very cold or very hot, and while the country certainly gets rain, it's really not as wet as rumour has it. London alone has lower annual rainfall than Paris, New York and Sydney, and it's not uncommon for parts of the country to go without rain for weeks. Parts of southern England often have summer water restrictions due to a lack of adequate rainfall during the previous winter. Hot spells of weather can occur from May to September where temperatures may reach 30°C in the warmest areas of England, typically London and parts of the South East. Central Europe has very hot summers and very cold winters, but England is both less extreme (surrounded by water) and milder in the winter.

BEWARE The United Kingdom by and large is a safe place to live and visit, with violent crime against tourists being rare, however you should always use general common sense to ensure you keep out of trouble.

UK map