Traces of human presence show that the territory of modern England was settled more than 500,000 years ago. In the 5th century AD, these lands were settled of German tribes called Angles. They arrived from the territory of present-day Denmark and Germany. For several centuries the Angles remained independent of each other, but in the 10th century, and especially in 927th, they established together a unified country called England. The Norman invasion happened in 1066th.
The Normans were led by William the Conqueror and took possession of the young country. They brought the French language, which left its impact on the English that we know today.
This was also the last conquest of England. The country later turned into an inaccessible fortress even for the most ambitious conquerors, and became the most powerful colonial empire in the world.
Geographic location, boundaries and size. England is located in the southern and eastern parts of the island of Britain in Northwest Europe.
It occupies an area of 130,395 sq km and is part of the UK together with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It shares common borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west.
It borders the North Sea, Irish Sea, Celtic Sea and Atlantic Ocean. The British Channel, also known as La Manche, separates England from continental Europe, and its maximum depth is about 180 meters.
At its narrowest, between the city of Dover and the French coast, the channel is only 34 kilometers wide. At this point between the towns of Dover (England) and Calais (France) was built a tunnel that provides a ground connection with the continent.
The country possesses many islands around the coast, and the largest of them are Isle of Wight, Isle of Man, Anglesey, Jersey, Guernsey, Isles of Scilly and many others.
The southern-most point of England is located at 49 degrees and 57 minutes north latitude, and the northern-most – at 55 degrees and 48 minutes north latitude. The Greenwich Meridian passes through the capital of England, London.
This is the prime meridian, which divides the Earth into eastern and western halves. For this reason, the majority of England falls within the Western Hemisphere, and only the extreme eastern parts of the country are in the Eastern Hemisphere.
Relief. If you getting around England, you will quickly notice that local relief forms are quite mild and rounded. The Pennines Mountains are the most significant mountain range in the country.
The mountain chain is located in the western parts of England and stretches in a north – south direction. Here is located also Scaffel Peak, the highest point in England. It rises to a height of 978 meters above sea level.
The peak is located in Northeast England, not far from the Irish Sea coast. Second in height are the Cambrian Mountains. England’s coastline is indented, especially in the west.
Along the western coast you can see many large bays and coves, impressive river estuaries, and not very large coastal islands. One of the most deeply incised bays is the Bristol Channel.
In some places the English coast is steep and descends vertically to the rugged sea, while elsewhere the coast is fairly flat and looks very different during high tide and low tide. Particularly interesting is the southern coast, known for its steep and white limestone cliffs.
Climate. England has a temperate – oceanic climate with heavy rainfall throughout the year. Although it is located quite far north, the weather over the country is generally very mild and pleasant.
The main reason is that England‘s climate is formed under the influence of the warm Gulfstream. It passes through the northern parts of the Atlantic, bringing warm waters from the Caribbean region. Summer is fresh and very pleasant with temperatures around 23°C.
Short periods with temperatures up to 30°C are also possible. Winters are mild with daytime temperatures around 7°C.
Precipitation usually falls as rain, although sometimes forms thin and non-persistent snow cover. Snowfall is more likely inside the country and in higher elevations. Greater rainfall usually falls in the western parts of England.
Because of the different air masses influencing the region, the weather in England is generally quite variable regardless of the season. Clear and cloudless sky, grey clouds, sun, rain, wind and fog can sometimes change only within few hours.
The climate over Southern England is much warmer and pleasant compared to the northern parts.
Population. With its 51.5 million inhabitants, England is the most populated in the UK. The capital city London, whose population exceeds 14 million, it is also the largest metropolis in Europe.
The city is considered the second most cosmopolitan in the world after New York in the United States. The second largest, not only in England but also in the United Kingdom, is Manchester. Its population exceeds six million inhabitants.
Other large cities are Birmingham, Liverpool, Bristol, Coventry, Nottingham, Sheffield and many others. England is the center of attraction for millions of immigrants from all around the world.
Amazing culture in combination with high standard of living attract foreigners like a magnet. Especially attractive are the large cities, where the business opportunities and the chance for getting a good job and education are excellent.
Today still over 82.5% of the total population consists of native English people, but due to the large number of new arrivals, their number decrease despite the traditionally high birth rate.
England’s population is unevenly distributed. The big cities are located mostly in the western and southern parts of the country. There is a huge concentration of people in fewer but larger urban agglomerations.
What makes local residents different of all other cultures from all around the world, including other European countries, is their strong individualism.
This is the main reason why Englishmen are considered eccentric and interesting according to millions of people in the rest of the world. This is also a solid base for development of the most powerful musical and one of the strongest film industries in our time.
In respect of their mentality, British residents are more responsive and friendly than all the other Europeans. In religious terms the inhabitants of England are quite mixed due to the large influx of foreigners.
However, traditionally the main religion here remains the Anglican Church.
Economy. The technical revolution that changed the world started in England in the late 18th century. At that time, the country generated about 60% of world industrial output. For two centuries, almost all the innovations in the world came from England.
In London was built the world’s first subway. Moreover, the city is considered one of the first electrified the world. In modern times England is the engine of the UK.
It is considered one of the most developed and richest countries in the world, ranking eighth in economic strength in 2011th. The state is part of the European Union since 1993, but not a member of the Schengen agreement or the Euro zone. The official currency in England is the Pound Stirling (GDP).
Local economy is versatile and industry is leading. The country produces cars, ships, aircraft, agricultural machinery and many others. It develops high technology.
Textile and chemical industries are also well represented. Services are extremely well developed. England is the world’s leading financial and educational center. Tourism industry is booming, especially with regard to cultural and business tourism.
Agriculture is also very well developed. Leading is livestock breeding. Sheep, poultry and pigs are the most popular farm animals. Fishing is an important item in the budget of England. Growing of different kinds of fruits and vegetables is also very well developed.
The mild climate in England is favorable for growing a huge variety of fruits and vegetables. The production of cereals and potatoes is leading. Since the observed increasing of the world‘s average temperatures, local climate during the last decades offers very good conditions for development of viticulture and wine making.
The Great Geographical Discoveries. In 15th century England, along with other Western European countries, entered the era of the Great Geographical Discoveries.
English sailors used increasingly emerging technologies to take risky journeys far outside the country, seeking shorter trade routes. Fate proved to be a much more favorable than British sailors suspected.
English ships reached lands, which Europeans never imagined existed. For centuries England has acquired huge colonies in North, Central and South America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific. England became the largest colonial empire ever existed.
Tourism in England
England is very beautiful country. It is famous for its magnificent medieval castles, which are considered the most beautiful in the world. They are hundreds and you’ll find them throughout the country. Built of stone, they seem to exist outside of time.
Some of them are situated in modern urban environment, other are rising amidst pastoral countryside and third are surrounded by gorgeous gardens and lakes.
Some of the most attractive are considered Bodiam Castle in East Sussex, Skipton Castle in North Yorkshire, Howard Castle also in North Yorkshire, Saint Michael’s Mouth, located amidst the waters of the English Channel close to the shore, and many others.
The country is famous for its magnificent parks. The British have long been known as skilled artisans in creating exquisite gardens. On the one hand the mild and pleasant climate with abundant rainfall helps them; on the other hand they tend to spend a lot of time walking in parks and gardens.
Some the most beautiful and famous English gardens are Sissinghurst, Trelissick and Levens Hall. The country is dotted with many amazing historical and cultural monuments.
One of the most spectacular is Stonehenge. This monument is developed about 5,000 years ago and its real purpose is not yet completely clear.
Much of England’s iconic landmarks are located in the capital London. Piccadilly Circus, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Hyde Park, Regency Park, Canary Wharf, The Gherkin, London Eye and many others are located precisely in this megalopolis.
Above all, this country is famous for its unique red double-decker buses, as well as its classic-looking black taxis.
Nature. England’s landscapes, for the most part, are modified by man. Today, forests occupy approximately 5-6% of the country. However, outside the big cities everything radiates peace and incredible charm.
The countryside of England is like something out of a fairy tale. Everything is emerald green and unbelievably picturesque. Small and peaceful farms are scattered on and around the rounded hills and small towns are buried in greenery.
Flocks of white fluffy sheep graze undisturbed, and large and small rivers meander, surrounded by lush vegetation. If you are lucky and find yourself in a sunny and warm weather, the English countryside will surely make you fall in love with it.
Among the wildlife of England can be seen some typical European animals such as foxes, wild cats, wild boars, badgers, deer, rabbits, squirrels, small rodents, a huge variety of birds such as owls, eagles, hawks, falcons and many others.
In the country live many types of frogs, lizards and snakes, one of which is poisonous. This is the viper that, in difference to most other poisonous snakes, is widely spread in areas with cooler climate.
Beaches. If you are not fond of too high temperatures, the beaches of England can seem quite attractive, especially during the warmest summer days.
Well, you can not expect, of course, typical Mediterranean heat, but 23 – 24°C air temperature plus sea water around 18°C is sufficient to experience a great day at the beach.
Bournemouth is very attractive English seaside resort. It has huge, clean and beautiful beaches with light sand and refreshing seawater. Bournemouth’s coast is the perfect place not only for swimming but also for long and pleasant walks.
Stadland is a small village located east of Bournemouth. In addition to being immersed in greenery, the place offers one of the most beautiful beaches in England.
Man of War Bay is a lovely little cove near the village of West Lulworth. Since the place is sheltered, the ocean waters into the bay are calm and relatively transparent.
South Devon is an attractive place that offers some of the best English beaches. It is often called the “English Riviera”. The area boasts a well-developed tourism and scenic resort towns.
The Isles of Scilly are ideal for you, if you want to find beautiful English beaches. White sand and clear waters will make you feel exotic, even here, at 49 degrees north latitude.
When to visit England? If you are planning to visit England, it is advisable to travel during the period from May to September.
Choosing these months you will enjoy warm and sunny weather. The period between mid June and mid August is considered the most attractive.
Traditionally spring in England is more pleasant than autumn. The reason lies in the greater number of sunlight hours and fresh greenery.
What clothing should I wear? During the summer months in England is warm enough to wear light summer clothes.
However, it will be very good to wear also some jeans and a light spring jacket. Remember that local weather is extremely variable and sometimes becomes quite cool even in July. In summer it is good to combine slippers and closed shoes.
Always bring an additional pair of shoes because sudden rain showers are quite common and you can get drenched unexpectedly. It would be better if you add an umbrella or at least a raincoat in your suitcase. Otherwise you have to comply constantly by the strange English weather.
How to travel around England? The transport network of the country is very well developed. Of course, most comfortable is to travel by private car. It will be better, if you can afford it, to rent a car.
If you do this, you will do not have to comply with other people and bus schedules. However, you have to be prepared for left side driving. Remember that initially this can make you feel stressed behind the wheel.
If you are planning to travel by bus you have to know that England’s buses are regular and clean. Travelling by bus you can reach anywhere in the country. Trains are also very fast and comfortable offering very dense railway network.
If you visit large English cities such as London, it is advisable to travel by subway. Using this mean of transport, you can reach just in few minutes to any part of the city without any problems with street’s traffic.