AREA: 244,820 km2
TIME ZONE: UTC
LANGUAGE: English, Welsh, Scots
TELEPHONE CODE: 0044
INTERNET TLD: .uk
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a union made up of the following regions, home nations and territories:
England - the largest component, in terms both of size and, by far, population.
Scotland - the second largest home nation and occupies the northern third of Great Britain. The four archipelagos of Orkney, Shetland, and the Inner and Outer Hebrides are also part of Scotland.
Wales - located within the largely mountainous western portion of Great Britain.
Northern Ireland - Located in the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, consisting of six of the nine counties of the ancient Irish province of Ulster.
Channel Islands (Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, Sark) - technically not a part of the UK, the Channel Islands consist of four small islands off the coast of France.
The large temperature variation creates instability and this is a major factor that influences the often unsettled weather the country experiences, where many types of weather can be experienced in a single day. Northern Ireland, Wales 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.
January 1 - New Year's Day
December 25 - Christmas Day
December 26 & 27 – Boxing Day
The following are also public holidays that do not occur on the same date every year:
May Day Bank Holiday (1st Monday in May)
Spring Bank Holiday (Last Monday in May)
Late Summer Bank Holiday (Last Monday in August)