One common misconception about England is that England is part of Great Britain, which is made up of England, Scotland, and Wales. Together with Northern Ireland and some overseas territories, the correct name for the entire state is: “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”.
But it is the case that the parts of the country are inextricably linked due to their common island location and their history. It is therefore hardly possible and also makes no sense to look at England in isolation from its neighboring regions.
The status of England is also unclear: since England has neither a written constitution nor its own parliament or government, it is often viewed as a kind of federal state within the United Kingdom.
Only in terms of sport does England present itself as a kind of state of its own and, like Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, has its own national football team.
Football is the national sport of the English and was very important in this region before the sport became popular all over the world. The national association of England, the Football Association (FA), is the oldest football association in the world.
Another mistake is the assumption of many continental Europeans that in England there is only rain, fog, “English breakfast” and the royal family. This view is so restricted that anyone who has ever visited the island will rave about the huge parks, enchanted moors in the fog, impressive mountains and lakes and imposing cliffs with bizarre rock formations. And even if the British never get rid of their reputation that their cuisine is inedible, it still offers traditional as well as modern and international culinary delights.
The cultural heritage of England is actually undisputed worldwide. The great writers and poets William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens, great scholars such as Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton are just a few of the many cultural figureheads of this nation. The cultural reach is given by the worldwide spread of the English language and has made Great Britain one of the most traditional European countries. As a former colonial power, the European island “von Welt” also likes to keep its peculiarities (not only with regard to left-hand traffic). Perhaps due to the island location, the British are sticking to their traditions and also to their love for their monarchs.
But other major English cities are also worth visiting, for example Liverpool, once the second city of the British Empire, known for its humor, passion for music and football, is worth a visit, not only because it will be European Capital of Culture in 2008. Liverpool has always been famous for its theaters and concert halls and the city is developing at a rapid pace. New museums, bars and shopping centers are emerging and the number of restaurants and hotels has more than doubled in the past ten years. Manchester is also considered one of the most exciting cities in Great Britain. The atmosphere of the city is energetic and cool, the architecture and the magnificent buildings are fascinating,
England is world-famous for its stately homes, its beautiful bed and breakfast accommodations, its wonderful nature, its fascinating cities – in short: for its history and traditions as well as for its modernity and progress. The process of decentralization that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland began has now spread to England. London has had a semi-autonomous executive, the “Greater London Authority”, and its own parliament (with limited powers), the London Assembly, since 2001.
|Name of the country||England – as part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Irela|
|Head of state||Queen Elizabeth II (since February 6, 1952)|
|Form of government||Parliamentary/Constitutional Monarchy as part of Great Britain|
|Geographical location||England is in the southernmost part of the island of Great Britain. England borders Wales and Scotland to the north, the English Channel to the south and the North Sea to the east.|
|National anthem||God Save the Queen (of Great Britain)|
|Population||approx. 54.5 million (Great Britain and Northern Ireland: (UK) approx. 65.1 million)|
|Ethnicities||Great Britain: Whites (of which 83.6% English, 8.6% Scots, 4.9% Welsh, 2.9% Northern Irish), Blacks, Indians, Pakistani, mixed, others|
|Religions||Great Britain: 71.6% Christian (Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist), 2.7% Muslim, 1% Hindus, 1.6% other, 23% without denomination|
|Languages||English, other: several hundred minority languages in London alone|
|Surface||130,395 km² (Great Britain and Northern Ireland: 244,820 km²)|
|Highest mountain||The Scafell Pike with a height of 978 m|
|Longest river||The Severn with a length of around 354 km|
|Largest lake||Lake Windermere with around 16 km²|
|International license plate||GB|
|National currency||Pound sterling, £, GBP|
|Time difference to CET||England is in the time zone GMT or UTC, which corresponds to CET – 1 hour in winter. In summer it is also 1 hour earlier than in Germany, for example, because of the summer time in England and the local summer time (CEST)|
|International phone code||0044|
|Mains voltage, frequency||230 volts, 50 Hertz (flat three-pin plug, an adapter is required.)|
|Internet Top Level Domain (TLD)||.uk and.gb|