The United Kingdom, commonly called the UK, is comprised of the small countries of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales. The UK’s island location in the North Atlantic made it a major world sea power for centuries, allowing it to establish colonies around the world. Today, the UK’s colonial past can be readily seen in its cuisine and culture.
The UK is one of the world’s top destinations for business and leisure travelers, with England’s capital city, London, at its epicenter. Attractions such as Buckingham Palace, home of the country’s royal family, and the Tower of London attract thousands of visitors each year.
The UK is known for its contributions to literature and music. The country’s more notable writers include William Shakespeare, Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes novels, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland. The Beatles, one of the world’s most famous and successful rock bands are from England.
The UK official language is English. Many people in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland also speak Gaelic as well as English.
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