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United Kingdom

The United Kingdom (UK) is the sixth most popular tourist destination in the world.

The United Kingdom, commonly known as the UK consists of four countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Great Britain or GB, means Scotland, England and Wales taken together, and are all located on the same island. Northern Ireland is located in the northeastern part of Ireland, an island it shares with the Republic of Ireland. This means that the UK consists of Great Britain plus Northern Ireland.

The total area of the UK is approximately 245,000 square kilometers. England accounts for just over half of the total area of the UK, Scotland accounts for about a third of the area, Wales for less than a tenth of the area, and Northern Ireland accounts for just 14,160 square kilometers. The capitals of the individual countries of the UK are: Belfast (Northern Ireland), Cardiff (Wales), Edinburgh(Scotland) and London (England); the latter is also the capital of the UK as a whole.

London is the UK's greatest tourist destination, a huge vibrant and exiting capital city with attractions to suit everyone.

For those with an interest in seeing smaller towns, rich with history and a more peaceful atmosphere, choose a break in a provincial town like Bath, an elegant eighteenth century spa resort, or York. Among other options are the world famous university towns Oxford and Cambridge, not far from London. Worth visiting are also the cathedral towns of Durham, Winchester and Canterbury with breathtaking Gothic Architecture. For nature lovers great destinations in England among others are: the Lake District including the Cumbrian Mountains, The Peak district in Derbyshire, Exmore and Dartmore.

Visitors to Scotland usually start in Edinburgh, widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The cities major tourist attractions, apart from the Old and New Towns, include Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holy Roodhouse and the Royal Mile. North of Edinburgh lies the dramatic, mountainous landscape of the Highlands, and off the western shores are the windswept Scottish islands, including Skye. Scotland is among other things famous for its strengths in golf, fishing, food and drink tourism. There are also many historic castles, houses, battlegrounds, ruins and museums.

The varied landscape of Wales attracts many visitors. There are three national parks in Wales, the Brecon Beacons National Park, Snowdonia National Park with Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales, and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Popular Activities at the national parks include hill walking, hiking, canoeing, hang gliding, kayaking and climbing. The capital, Cardiff is the most popular area in Wales for tourists.

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