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About United Kingdom

About United Kingdom

The UK is bursting with energy and has a fascinating heritage ready to explore. As an international student you’ll fit straight into the UK’s multicultural society, ready to enjoy a student life full of excitement, fun and creativity.
It\\\'s easy to stay in touch with friends and family back home when you study in the UK. High speed internet is widely available, long distance phone calls are cheaper than you think and international postage is very reliable

Culture

Britain is the birthplace of Newton, Darwin, Shakespeare and the Beatles; home of the world\\\'s largest foreign exchange market, the world\\\'s richest football club - Manchester United , the inventor of the hovercraft and the JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books. From Scotland to Cornwall, Britain is full of customs and traditions. A lot of them have very long histories. Some are funny and some are strange. But they\\\'re all interesting and are all part of the British way of life. Throughout this section of our website you will have the chance to discover many of our customs and traditions.
We receive many e-mails from our visitors who want information on England and Britain. In this section of our web site our students answer some of those questions. You will find out about our homefamily and religious life as well as schools and how we spend our leisure time.

 

Population

Historically, from 1960 until 2010, the United Kingdom Population averaged 57.0800 Million reaching an all time high of 62.2500 Million in December of 2010 and a record low of 52.3700 Million in December of 1960. The total population in the United Kingdom was last reported at 62.3 million people in 2010 from 52.4 million in 1960, changing 18 percent during the last 50 years.

The United Kingdom has 0.90 percent of the world´s total population which means that one person in every 112 people on the planet is a resident of the United Kingdom. This page includes a chart with historical data for the United Kingdom\\\'s Total Population. This page includes a chart with historical data for the United Kingdom Population.

 

Climate

Regional climates in the United Kingdom are influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and latitude. Northern IrelandWales and western parts of England and Scotland, being closest to the Atlantic, are generally the mildest, wettest and windiest regions of the UK, and temperature ranges here are seldom extreme. Eastern areas are drier, cooler, less windy and also experience the greatest daily and seasonal temperature variations. Northern areas are generally cooler, wetter and have a slight bigger temperature range than southern areas. Though the UK is mostly under the influence of the maritime tropical air mass from the south-west, different regions are more susceptible than others when different air masses affect the country: Northern Ireland and the west of Scotland are the most exposed to the maritime polar air mass which brings cool moist air; the east of Scotland and north-east England are more exposed to the continental polar air mass which brings cold dry air; the south and south-east of England are more exposed to the continental tropical air mass which brings warm dry air (and consequently most of the time the warmest summer temperatures); Wales and the south-west of England are the most exposed to the maritime tropical air mass which brings warm moist air. If the air masses are strong enough in their respective areas during the summer there can sometimes be a massive difference in temperature between the far north/north-west of Scotland (including the Islands) and south-east of England - usually around 10-15°C (18-27°F) but can be as much as 20°C (36°F) or more. An example of this could be that in the height of summer the Northern Isles could be sitting at around 15°C (59°F) and areas around London could be basking at 30°C (86°F).

Seasons

Spring

Spring is the period from March to May. Spring is generally a calm, cool and dry season, particularly because the Atlantic has lost much of its heat throughout the autumn and winter. However, as the sun rises higher in the sky and the days get longer, temperatures can rise relatively high, but often tend to drop off again at night due to the cool oceans and the warm weather dependent solely on the sun. Thunderstorms and heavy showers can develop occasionally particularly towards the end of the season.
There is a fair chance of snow earlier in the season when temperatures are colder. Some of the country\\\'s heaviest snowfalls of recent years have happened in the first half of March and snow showers can occur infrequently until mid-April.
Mean temperatures in Spring are markedly influenced by latitude. Most of Scotland and the mountains of Wales and northern England are the coolest areas of the UK, with average temperatures ranging from -0.6 to 5.8 °C (30.9 to 42.4 °F).[11] The southern half of England experiences the warmest spring temperatures of between 8.8 and 10.3 °C (47.8 and 50.5 °F).

SUMMER

Summer lasts from June to August and is the warmest season. Rainfall totals can have a wide local variation due to localised thunderstorms. These thunderstorms mainly occur in southern, eastern, and central England and are less frequent and severe in the north and west. North Atlantic depressions are not as severe in summer but increase both in severity and frequency towards the end of the season. Summer can see high pressure systems from the Azores High.

Climatic differences at this time of year are more influenced by latitude and temperatures are highest in southern and central areas and lowest in the north. Generally, summer temperatures rarely exceed 32 degrees, which happens more frequently in London and the South East than other parts of the country. Scotland and northern England have the coolest summers (average 12.2 °C (54.0 °F) to14.8 °C (58.6 °F)), while Wales and the south-west of England have warmer summers (14.9 °C (58.8 °F) to 15.4 °C (59.7 °F)) and the south and south-east of England have the warmest summers (15.5 °C (59.9 °F) to 17.7 °C (63.9 °F)).[12] The record maximum is38.5 °C (101.3 °F) recorded in Faversham, Kent in August 2003.[13] Due to its proximity to the European land mass, the south-east usually experiences the highest summer temperatures in the United Kingdom.

 

AUTUMN

Autumn in the United Kingdom lasts from September to November.[14] The season is notorious for being unsettled—as cool polar air moves southwards following the sun, it meets the warm air of the tropics and produces an area of great disturbance along which the country lies. This combined with the warm ocean due to heating throughout the spring and summer, produces the unsettled weather of autumn. In addition, when the air is particularly cold temperatures on land may be colder than the ocean, resulting in significant amounts of condensation and clouds which bring rain to the country.
Atlantic depressions during this time can become intense and winds of hurricane force (greater than 119 km/h/74 mph) can be recorded. Western areas, being closest to the Atlantic, experience these severe conditions to a significantly greater extent than eastern areas. As such, autumn, particularly the latter part, is often the stormiest time of the year. One particularly intense depression was theGreat Storm of 1987.
However, the United Kingdom sometimes experiences an \\\'Indian Summer\\\', where temperatures particularly by night can be very mild and rarely fall below 10 °C (50 °F). Such events are aided by the surrounding Atlantic Ocean and seas being at their warmest, keeping the country in warm air, despite the relatively weak sun. Examples of this were in 1985, 2005, 2006, and 2011 [15] where October even more so, saw above average temperatures which felt more like a continuation of summer than autumn. Autumns since 2000 have been very mild with notable extremes of precipitation; the UK has seen some of its wettest and driest autumns since the millennium.
Coastal areas in the southern half of England have on average the warmest autumns, with mean temperatures of 10.7 to 13.0 °C (51.3 to 55.4 °F).[16] Mountainous areas of Wales and northern England, and almost all of Scotland, experience mean temperatures between 1.7 and 7.5 °C (35.1 and 45.5 °F).[16]

WINTER

Winter in the UK is defined as lasting from December to February. The season is generally cool, wet and windy. Temperatures at night rarely drop below −10 °C (14 °F) and in the day rarely rise above 15 °C (59 °F). Precipitation is plentiful throughout the season, though snow is relatively infrequent despite the country\\\'s high latitude: The only areas with significant snowfall are the Scottish highlands and the Pennines, where at higher elevations a colder climate determines the vegetation, mainly temperate coniferous forest, although deforestation has severely decreased forest area. For a majority of the landmass snow is possible but not frequent, apart from the higher altitudes, where snow can lie 1–5 months or even beyond 6 months.
Towards the later part of the season the weather usually stabilises with less wind, less precipitation and lower temperatures. This change is particularly pronounced near the coasts mainly because the Atlantic ocean is often at its coldest during this time after being cooled throughout the autumn and the winter. The early part of winter however is often unsettled and stormy; often the wettest and windiest time of the year.
Snow falls intermittently and mainly affects northern and eastern areas, Wales and chiefly higher ground, especially the mountains of Scotland where the amount of lying snow is frequently high enough to permit skiing at one of the five Scottish ski resorts. Snow however rarely lasts more than a week in most of these areas as the cold air brought by northerly or easterly winds, or in a high pressure system gives way to mild southerly or westerly winds introduced by low pressure systems. However, on rare occasions some potent depressions may move in from the north in the form of \\\'polar lows\\\', introducing heavy snow and oftenblizzard-like conditions to parts of the United Kingdom, particularly Scotland. During periods of light winds and high pressure frost and fog can become a problem and can pose a major hazard for drivers on the roads.
Mean winter temperatures in the UK are most influenced by proximity to the sea. The coldest areas are the mountains of Wales and northern England, and inland areas of Scotland, averaging -3.6 to 2.3 °C (25.5 to 36.1 °F).[17] Coastal areas, particularly those in the south and west, experience the mildest winters, on average 5 to 8.7 °C (41 to 47.7 °F).[17] Hardiness zones in the UK are high, ranging from zone 7 in the Scottish Highlands, the Pennines and Snowdonia, to zone 10 on the Isles of Scilly. Most of the UK lies in zones 8 or 9.[18] In zone 7, the average lowest temperature each year is between -17.7 and -12.3 °C (0.1 and 9.9 °F), and in zone 10, this figure is between -1.1 and 4.4 °C (30 and 39.9 °F).[19]

GEOGRAPHY

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or UK, is a sovereign statelocated off the northwestern coast of continental Europe. With a total area of approximately 243,610 square kilometres (94,060 sq mi), the UK occupies the major part of the British Isles[1]archipelago and includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern one-sixth of the island of Ireland and many smaller surrounding islands. The mainland areas lie between latitudes 49°N and 59°N (the Shetland Islands reach to nearly 61°N), and longitudes 8°W to 2°E. The Royal Greenwich Observatory, in South East London, is the defining point of the Prime Meridian.
The UK lies between the North Atlantic and the North Sea, and comes within 35 km (22 mi) of the northwest coast of France, from which it is separated by the English Channel. It shares a 360 km international land boundary with the Republic of Ireland. The Channel Tunnel bored beneath the English Channel, now links the UK with France.

HISTORY

The history of the United Kingdom as a unified sovereign state began with the political union of the kingdoms of England, which included Wales, and Scotland. On the new kingdom, the historian Simon Schama said, \\\"What began as a hostile merger would end in a full partnership in the most powerful going concern in the world... it was one of the most astonishing transformations in European history.\\\"[1] A further Act of Union in 1800 added theKingdom of Ireland to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
The early years of the unified kingdom of Great Britain were marked by Jacobite risingswhich ended with defeat for the Stuart cause at Culloden in 1746. Later, in 1763, victory in the Seven Years War led to the dominance of the British Empire, which was to be the foremost global power for over a century and grew to become the largest empire in history. As a result, the culture of the United Kingdom, and its industrial, political, constitutional, educational and linguistic legacy, is widespread.
In 1922, following the Anglo-Irish Treaty, Ireland effectively seceded from the United Kingdom to become the Irish Free State; a day later, Northern Ireland seceded from the Free State and became part of the United Kingdom. As a result, in 1927 the United Kingdom changed its formal title to the \\\"United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,\\\"[2] usuallyshortened to the \\\"United Kingdom\\\", the \\\"UK\\\" or \\\"Britain\\\". Former parts of the British Empirebecame independent dominions.
In the Second World War, in which Britain joined the U.S. and the Soviet Union as an allied power, Britain and its Empire fought a successful war against Germany, Italy and Japan. The cost was high and Britain no longer had the wealth or the inclination to maintain an empire, so it granted independence to most of the Empire. The new states typically joined theCommonwealth of Nations.[3] The United Kingdom has sought to be a leading member of theUnited Nations, the European Union and NATO, yet since the 1990s large-scale devolution movements in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have brought into question the future viability of this constantly evolving political union.