Great Britain is an island. It lies off the northwest corner of
Europe; the English Channel separates it from the mainland on
the south. The Straits of Dover, 18 miles wide, divide it from
France. Great Britain is separated from Belgium and Holland by
the North Sea and from Ireland by the Irish Sea. There are
several islands along the coasts most important of which are the
Isle of Man, and the Isle of Wight.
England is the part of the Island of Great Britain lying south of
Scotland and east and south of Wales. It is the most thickly
populated part of Great Britain.
No part of England lies more than one hundred miles from the
sea. The coast line is much broken and provides a number of
fine bays and excellent natural harbors. World famous ports
include London, Liverpool, Bristol, Southampton, Dover and
others. The climate of Great Britain varies considerably, but
only occasionally are there extremes of heat and cold and there
is a good average rainfall. The coasts are never troubled by ice.
Fogs often prevail in many parts of the country; “London fog”
holding much soot in suspension being particularly dense at
times is called “smog”. It is impossible to imagine the capital of
England without fog. London, the capital of Great Britain, lies in
the valley of the Thames. It is a large industrial and cultural
centre. From the earliest times the prosperity and even the
existence of London depended upon its water-born trade, and
now London is one of the largest ports of the world.
Most of London sights, such as the Tower, the Houses of
Parliament, Westminster Abbey and others are well-known
through photographs, cinema and television. Whoever comes to
London is eager to see the Tower of London, the scene of nearly
900 years of England’s history. The Tower has in the past been a
fortress, a palace and a prison.
Now the Tower is a museum and houses the Crown jewels and
In the West End of London one can see the famous. Paul’s
Cathedral, the masterpiece of the well-known English architect
Wren. The old building of the Cathedral was sadly in need of
repair and Wren was called on to carry out repairs and
alterations, but he was prevented from doing this by the Plague
and the Great Fire of London that destroyed the old cathedral.
Nearly 8 years passed after the fire before the ruins of the old
building were cleared away and the new work was begun. When
Wren made a start, he picked out a stone from the heap of ruins
and found on it a word in Latin which means “I shall rise again”.
It took him 35 years to build the Cathedral.