Answer the following questions. 1. Where is the UK situated?

1. Where is the UK situated? 2. What is the official name of the British Kingdom? 3. How many countries is the UK made up? What are they? What are their capitals? 4. What do the British Isles consist of? 5. What is the UK washed by? 6. How does the surface of the British Isles vary? 7. What is the north of Scotland called? Why? 8. What is the highest mountain in Scotland? 9. What is the south of Scotland called? Why? 10. What are the lakes of Scotland called? 11. What is the largest lake in Scotland? 12. Why does Loch Ness attract millions of tourists? 13. What rivers are there in Great Britain? What are the largest ones? 14. What is the deepest river in Great Britain? 15. What is the climate of Great Britain? 16. What river does London stand on? 17. What do people usually call the flag of the UK? 18. How many crosses is the flag of the UK made up? What are they?

Text 2

The UK

Britain is very small compared with many other countries in the world, yet it is a surprisingly varied land in many different ways: the diversity of landscape in different parts of the country; a long history that is rich in great events, a varied cultural heritage; long-lived customs and traditions; a rich mixture of peoples who live in the country. All together they make the image of Britain fascinating and existing. England is often subdivided into three parts: the South, the Midlands and the North.

The South. The landscape is varied. The climate is warmer than in the other areas. There are hundreds of miles of sea coast which vary from flat, sandy or stony beaches to high rocky cliffs. The mild and sunny climate makes the south coast popular with holiday-makers. Some coastal resorts are famous, Brighton among them. Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall are rural counties, tucked away with hidden fishing hamlets and Britain's warmest weather in winter.

There are high bare hills, rocks and deep wooded valleys. Inland, the landscape is gentle and green; it is famous for its countryside. One of the most beautiful counties in the South of England is certainly Kent. It is known as the Garden of England, because it is famous for its picturesque orchards which produce a lot of fruit and vegetables.

Another area which has some of the richest farmland in the country is known as the Fens and lies to the east of Cambridge. This land was drained and now the Fen Country consists of miles of flat land with almost no tree or hedges. In general, the South is wealthier than other areas of Britain. Work of all kinds is provided on the land, in trade and industry. A lot of people are involved in service industries including financial, business and government services, computer services and information systems. There are science-based companies and research organizations.

The Midlands. The Midlands Region has much farm land, but this part of the country is better known as an industrial area, one of the England's most productive regions.

Derby is an engineering centre. Rolls Royce makes aero engines and cars there. Birmingham, which is often called "the Big Heart of England", is the most important city of the Midlands. It's famous for engineering, especially car production. The Potteries is another industrial area in the Midlands. It lies around the city of Stoke-on-Trent and produces china, crockery and all kinds of ceramics, some of which are famous worldwide, Wedgwood among them.

The North. The weather is considerably colder. There is almost always snow in winter. This is a region of great natural beauty although industry of some kind has existed here for hundreds of years. There is great contrast in the North between the beautiful open, hilly countryside and the industrial towns and mining villages. In parts of the North – in Yorkshire particularly – there are gentle wooded valleys and green pastures and excellent farm land. West Yorkshire is a very good county for sheep farming, and it has long been Britain's most important area for the wool industry. Coal is one of the few natural resources found in the North of England.

Some famous industrial cities in North are Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and Newcastle-on-Tyne.

Wales is the most westerly part of mainland, bordered on the east of England. It is the smallest land of the United Kingdom, but has considerable variety, from the picturesque mountains of the north to the mining and industrial areas of the south. The main areas of settlement are in the southern and coastal areas.

The chief cities are Cardiff, Swansea and Newport. In 1955 Cardiff was declared the capital of Wales. Wales is divided geographically into the industrial south, the central plateaux and lakes, and the mountainous north.

South Wales. The economy of Wales is based on coal, iron, and steel which are traditional industries in this part of the United Kingdom. The valleys to the north of Cardiff are the heart of the Welsh coal and steel industries. South Wales remains the principal industrial area. Today Wales is developing as an important centre for electronics, and several new high technology businesses in electronics and related industries have been established. Agriculture occupies about 80 per cent of the land area; the main activities are sheep and cattle rearing in the hill regions and dairy farming in the lowland.

North Wales is famous for the wild beauty of its mountains, lakes and waterfalls. With its good coastal resorts, famous for their sandy beaches, and three national parks (Snowdonia, The Brecon Beacons and the Pembrokeshire Coast), as well as other areas of picturesque hill, lake and mountain country, Wales attracts especially for outdoor holidays.

Scotland is the most Northern part of the Great Britain. The Cheviot Hills marks the border between England and Scotland. Scotland is a country of hills, lakes and rivers. There are many rivers but they are not long. The longest and the most important river is the Clyde. Scottish lakes are called “lochs” because of they are long and the most narrow. The famous Scottish loch is Loch Ness with its mysterious monster Nessie. Nessie sometimes appears to scare the tourists but only in fine weather, which is a great rarity for Scotland. But what can be more peculiar and attractive for tourists than a man in the kilt, playing the bagpipes?

Most of the country is within forty miles of salt water. On the west coast there are a lot of sea lochs and islands. Most of Scotland’s islands are off the northwest coast. The country may be divided into the Highlands and the Lowlands. The highest peak in the Highlands and in all Britain is Ben Nevis (4406 feet = 1343 m) with its head in cloud and snow towering above the little town of Fort William.

During the winter months there is usually sufficient snow for skiing. The east coast is drier than the west, where even in summer are frequent. Scotland is famous the world over as a land of beautiful scenery – of hills and valleys, of lochs and rivers, beaches and fishing villages. Fishing remains an important activity in Scotland.

More than half of the total landings of fish in Britain are made at Scottish ports. Scotland has about one-third of Britain's total agricultural land, but 70 per cent consists of hill grazing for cattle and sheep. But modern Scotland is also a land of steel and ship, coal and iron. Some of the traditional Scottish industries, such as coal. Steel and shipbuilding are declining. Other traditional manufactures, such as high quality tweeds and other textiles, and food and drink products, remain important. Much is being done to modernize Scotland industry. The electronics sector has greatly contributed to the country's development. The main urban centers are Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee.

Northern Ireland is the smallest component of the UK. It occupied North East of Ireland. The largest river is Shannon. The climate is oceanic.

The landscape of Northern Ireland is gentle. It is green because it rains a lot. But the rain showers quickly change to sunshine – and back to rain again. The mountains roll down to the sea. Northern Ireland is a land of lakes, rivers and a varied sea coast. It is a great place for tourism. Population and industry are concentrated on the eastern seaboard, while of Northern Ireland remains rural and relies mainly upon agriculture for its livelihood.

The traditional important industries are shipbuilding and linen. Other industrial activities include the manufacture of textile machinery and a wide range of engineering products, tobacco and clothing. There has also been extensive development in oil well equipment, electronics, telecommunications equipment, and carpets. Britain lives a complex modern life in which traditional values and love of the past side by side with a desire for change.

Today's Britain has a reputation for scientific innovations, for business, commerce and trade. It plays an important role in the political life of the world.


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