Институт Экономических Преобразований
и Управления Рынком
по дисциплине: СТРАНОВЕДЕНИЕ
на тему: «The geographical location of the United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.»
Москва 2005 г.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland consists of 4 countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In addition there are Dependencies of the crown: The Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and remnants of the Empire such as Gibraltar and several islands and groups of islands in Atlantic, Caribbean, Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Britain constitutes the greater part of the British Isles. The largest one is Great Britain. The next largest comprises Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. Western Scotland is fringed by the large island chain known as the Hebrides and to the north-east of the Scottish Mainland are Orkney and Shetland. All these have administrative ties with the Mainland, but the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea and the Channel Islands between Great Britain and France are largely self-governing, and are not part of the UK.
The United Kingdom is situated on the north-west coast of Europe, between the Atlantic Ocean on the North and North-West and the North Sea on the East, being separated from the European continent by the English Channel and the Strait of Dover.
Its territory is 242 000 sq.km. It’s divided into 2 main geographical regions: high land and low land. The main territories of high land are in Scotland, Wales and Cambria. In the centre of England, there is a range of hills called the Pennies or ‘back bone of England’. The highest mountains are in Scotland and Wales: Ben Nevis (1 343 m) and Snow don (1 085 m). The longest rivers are the Severn (354 km) and the River Thames (346 km).
The climate is mild and temperate. Prevailing winds are south-westerly and the weather is mainly influenced by depressions moving westwards across the Atlantic.
The weather is object to frequent changes. There are few extremes of temperature, with the temperature rarely above 32o C or low -10o C
There are many lakes in Great Britain on the North-West side of Pennies lies the Lake District.
The largest cities of Great Britain are:
- Bristol, etc.
The main sea-ports are:
- Cardiff, etc.
England occupies the largest part of the island of Great Brit-ain. This part of the country is divided into 39 non-metropolitan and 7 metropolitan (that is, including a big city) counties.
Southern England is dominated by London and the suburbs, which stretch for miles around the capital into what is called "home counties".
KENT is one of these counties. The acres of apple and cherry blossom have earned Kent its nickname "The Garden of England". Kent has excelled in fruit growing since the Romans first planted orchards and vineyards there. Its fertile soil, mild climate and regular rainfall ensure top quality fruit noted for firmness and succulence. London markets are within easy reach, and as a gateway to and from the Continent Kent has always been a natural place for growers to try out foreign varieties.
It was through this same gently rolling countryside of Kent that the early pilgrims went on their way to Canterbury, one of the oldest English towns. Canterbury, a busy market town, still blessed with some of its medieval character, lies situated on the river Stour, at the heart of a predominantly agricultural region. It; is known principally as the see of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of All England and head of the Anglican Church.
The Weald of western Kent is a fertile land. Scores of country lanes turn and twist round the Wealden hills, giving views, in season, of orchards where apples, pears, plums and blackcurrants grow, and fields of corn, cabbages or hops.
One of the most elegant towns in the county is Royal Tunbridge Wells. Surrounded by the unspoilt beauty of the Weald the town lies at the heart of one of England's most beautiful regions: an area rich in scenery and heritage.
Royal Tunbridge Wells (it became Royal in 1909) was a much frequent visited spa in the 18th century.
The river Medway has played a major role in Kentish history. For centuries barges carried timber, and later iron and guns, from the Weald downstream through Maidstone to the towns of the Thames Estuary. Maidstone is originally a Roman and then a Saxon settlement, mentioned in the Domesday Book.
Today Maidstone is famous for Leeds Castle, one of the most beautiful and liveliest castles in the world.
In 1963 much of what is used to be the County of SURREY became part of Greater London, and in 1974 it lost even more land, both to Greater London and to the County of ^ . The landscape of Surrey is distinguished by its woods, heaths and commons, many of which link up and provide a chain of wild free "Green Belt" country. Surrey has managed to absorb a dense commuter population without sacrificing all its natural beauty.
The County of ESSEX is a region of beauty and peace, with its roots deep in English history. The oldest recorded town in England is Colchester. It is in Essex. The town was inhabited as early as the Bronze Age and is thus some 3,000 years old. Its strategically favourable location induced Cunobelin (Shakespeare's Cymbeline) to set up his capital town here.
The most famous cities of the County of SUSSEX are Brighton and Hastings. Brighton is one of the most elegant and celebrating bathing resorts in the country. Combining old-style charm with all the latest amenities and superb shopping centres Brighton offers everything in style.
And don't forget the fabulous pier with its lively entertainments and superb views back over the town. Hastings was one of the five Cinque Ports and a base of the Royal Fleet.
The more counties adjoin Greater London: the Royal County of BERKSHIRE and the County of BUCKINGHAMSHIRE. Berkshire is famous for Windsor.
The Queen often stays here at her castle and because Windsor itself is one of the oldest towns in England. The people in Windsor always know when the Queen is at the castle because a special flag is put up to tell everybody.
The river in Windsor is not as wide nor as busy as it is in London. There are no big cargo ships sailing away to other countries and there are no big bridges with thousands of cars and buses crossing them every day. Instead, there are rowing boats on the river, canoes, and sailing yachts. Windsor, in fact, is a very good place to go if you are interested in boats. Windsor is also a very good place to go if you are interested in fishing. The river Thames is one of the longest rivers in England: there are at least ten important kinds of fish which you can catch... if you are lucky!
A mile up the river from Windsor is the little town of Eton. The most important building here is Eton College — one of England's best-known Public Schools (English State Schools give free education, but some people like to send their children to a Public School, although they have to pay). It was founded by king Henry VI in 1440, when he was only 18. Today, there are about a thousand boys at the school. Because Eton is so popular it is very difficult for parents to get a place for their sons. So some parents put their sons' names on the waiting list when they are still babies!
Windsor and the surrounding district is a delightful residential locality. Apart from the existence of the Castle itself and the pomp and ceremonial with which it is at times concerned, its attractions are many. An excellent service of trains enables London to be reached in about forty minutes, the Great Park and Forest stretching for miles are free to those who care to walk or ride, a large part of the Home Park is set aside for the public recreation, several first-class golf courses are close at hand.
Savill Garden. One of the great modern gardens of England, these 35 acres contain a world famous range of rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias and camellias at their peak from March until June. The formal garden offers a superb range of roses, alpine and herbaceous plants, providing a wealth of summer colour. Later the flames and gold of autumn catch the eye.
^ It has some of the most impressive and varied collections of animals in Britain. Come close to tigers, cheetahs and the largest pride of lions in Britain. Watch the European Brown Bears in their pool or relaxing among the trees. Don't miss the spectacular Elephant gardens — home to several African Elephants.
The Serengetti Plain features giraffe, eland, the largest herds of zebra and camels, and is the new home of the white rhino.
Your journey through the reserves will be the nearest experience in Britain to a real life African Safari.
Windsor Safari Park has a whole range of attractions suitable for all ages. Young children have their own specially designed and supervised play areas, while Port Livingstone offers a host of exciting rides for all the family including the Limpopo Crocodiles and African Queen Riverboat Ride. Windsor Safari Park has undergone a dramatic change. Millions of pounds have been spent improving the Park, enhancing the environment of many of the animals and building new attractions in the creation of really the African adventure.
An extensive area of open countryside with lakes and rivers. Windsurfing, dinghy sailing and canoeing on Black Swan Lake.
The delightly rural part of Royal Berkshire offers much to entertain and interest visitors for many days. The chalk downlands provide some of the most dramatic scenery in southern England, with many fine walks, including the Ridgeway, the oldest path in Britain. Picturesque villages, typically English in their appearance, with duckponds and thatched roofs, can be found throughout the area and are well worth exploring.
1.5 miles north of Newbury, is Shelsmore Common Country Park, the largest single area of open heathland remaining in Berkshire, and a scheduled Site of Special Scientific interest.
Newbury was the site of two Civil War battles in the mid-17th century, and the ruined gatehouse of Donnington Castle, razed during the siege, still stands today as a reminder of the ferocious fighting.
Sport is well catered for, opportunities and facilities throughout the district for swimming, golf, squash, riding and more.
The winding valleys of the Kenneth and Lambourn rivers i have a unique charm of their own, as does the picturesque Kennet and Avon canal, which flows gently through the countryside. On the river Thames, lies Pangbourne; Kenneth Grahame, who wrote "Wind in the Willows", lived here in Church Cottage. Just a few miles up the river is Streatley — the village store has a marvellous range of over 150 cheeses on sale.
Newbury is well known for its excellent racecourse, and nearby Lambourn, high on the Downs', is home to many racecourses. The old country atmosphere is still much in evidence in these historic towns, with their weekly auctions and markets, and the varied shops and arcades. Hungerford is renowned as an antiques centre, and the period houses lining the main street add much charm to this ancient settlement.
Wedged in between the upper boundaries of the Counties of Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire lies the County of BEDFORDSHIRE. The Russel family, Dukes of Bedford, used to own a tenth of the county, and they gave their estate good churches, inns and private houses. Many of the cottages have a carved monogram "B" under a coronet on their facades; some of them have no door at the front of the house, owing to the whim of an early Duke of Bedford who disliked seeing cottagers gossiping at their front door.
The original Woburn Abbey, the most well-known sight of the county, was founded in 1145, but Henry VIII gave it to the Russels. The present house was rebuilt in 1787-88. The State Apartments have gilded ceilings and are filled with art treasures. In the 3,000-acre park is the famous Wild Animal Kingdom, where visitors can drive among lions, giraffes and elephants.
The centre of the County of HAMPSHIRE in every way is Winchester, for centuries the capital of Saxon and Norman Kings of England and still a city of history and charm, dominated by its long, greybacked Cathedral, begun in 1079. Hampshire has two important seaports — Southampton and Portsmouth. DORSETSHIRE is internationally famous for its limestone. St. Paul's Cathedral and other churches, as well as many palaces and houses were built from it. Buckingham Palace, and even the White House in Washington, D. C. and the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
WILTSHIRE is a largely rural area of unspoilt rolling countryside set between the Marlborough Downs to the east, the Cotswolds to the north and west, and Salisbury Plain to the south.
Set into the various landscapes of open fields, wooded valleys and rounded hills are the quiet market towns, each with its unique character and individual importance and steeped in historical interest.
They can bustle with modern activity and yet still retain an old-world dignity, remaining aloof from man's insistence on progress.
Salisbury, or New Sarum, built at the meeting-point of four river valleys and sheltered by downland, is one of the most beautiful cathedral cities in Britain. The Cathedral spire is the graceful centre-piece of a unified city in which buildings of all styles blend harmoniously — from medieval gabled houses, historic inns and market places to stately pedimented Georgian houses and even a modern shopping centre.
Some of the richest prehistoric landmarks in the whole of Europe can be found in Wiltshire — a testament to the time when these plains were settled by early Iron Age farmers. Stonehenge and Avebury are World Heritage sites.
The vision of Stonehenge rising from the bare contours of Salisbury Plain must be one of the most awe-inspiring sights in Britain.
Perhaps the most famous, as well as the most mysterious, of all prehistoric monuments, there is nothing else quite like it anywhere in the world. Started 5,000 years ago and remodelled several times in the centuries that followed, Stonehenge represents one of the most remarkable achievements of prehistoric engineering. Yet why it was built is remaining a mystery. As its major axis is aligned with the rising of the midsummer sun, the stone circle has long been thought to be a temple, but we shall never know precisely how it was used or what religious beliefs were celebrated there.
The village of Avebury lies within the boundaries of the largest henge (bank and ditch) monument in the country. Planned to a complex geometry, it covers 11.5 hectares and is enclosed by a ditch 9 metres deep; the outer bank is 1.5 kilometres long and was originally 17 metres high. There is an enormous — but incomplete — stone circle and two other smaller stone circles and a number of individual standing stones. Avebury has been described as "as much surpassing Stonehenge as a cathedral doth a parish church".
West Kennet is one of the largest and most accessible of all Neolithic tombs, a great chalk long-barrow 100 metres long and 2.4 metres high. The burial chamber is built of massive stones, skilfully joined together. This mound has been excavated a number of times, and the dismembered remains of at least 46 individuals have been found — babies and adults. It is believed that barrow was in use for over 1000 years, perhaps as something more than a tomb. Legend has it that at midsummer sunrise the tomb is visited by the ghost of a priest with a large white dog.
CORNWALL is unique, an ancient Celtic land with a magnificent coastline of 326 miles. The north coast, washed by Atlantic breakers, has wonderful stretches, of firm golden sands and soaring cliffs.
The south coast is a complete contrast — wooded estuaries, sheltered coves, picturesque little fishing ports, and popular resorts. Penzance, with its vivid colours, is an all-the-year-round resort and has wonderful views across the bay to St Michael's Mount.
Inland Cornwall also has its attractions. To the east of Bodmin, the county town, are open uplands known as Bodmin Moor, with the county's highest peaks at Rough Tor and Brown Willy. The historic town of Launceston is dominated by its ruined castle.
Cornwall has the longest coastline of any English county and so, perhaps not surprisingly, it can claim the largest quota among the major lighthouses of England (or for that matter Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland). In Cornwall — which administratively includes the Isles of Scilly — there are 11 understandingly important lighthouses, quite apart from dozens of smaller lights marking harbour entrances. Among the 11 there are several of the world's most famous landmarks — notably Bishop Rock, on the Scilles, the first winking light to greet travellers crossing the Atlantic from America; and the Lizard, whose familiar three-second flash has so often been recognized with relief by ships that have battled their way through the Bay of Biscay into the English Channel.
Cornwall is popular among the tourists who are attracted by good bathing and delightful surroundings. Land's End, the westerlymost point of the English mainland is in Cornwall. It is a mass of granite cliffs which plunge into the sea. Not even the crowds of people and the cars and coaches which bring them can dispel the fascinating atmosphere of the place. For those, who want to breathe in the Celtic "other-wilderness" of Land's End to the full, the best time are dawn and dusk. Especially fine is the view of the Longships Lighthouse, on a rock 1.5 miles out to sea. The area is rich in prehistoric remains. There are the ruins of dwellings more than 2,000 years old, evidence of one of the earliest mining settlements in Britain.
Many of the legends of ancient West are linked with stone circles and standing stones scattered over the region, dating mostly from the Bronze Age some 4,000 years ago.
A stone circle called the Marry Maidens, near St Bunyan in Cornwall, is one of the best-known sites associated with a legend common to many of the West's prehistoric relics. There are 19 stones in the circle, with two menhirs (single standing stones) near by. It is said that 19 maidens were dancing on the Sabbath to the music of the pipers. The Devil appeared among them and turned them to stone. The early Christian church may have encouraged this legend, in order to persuade the villagers to keep away the stones as being "evil" and so to break the influence of older beliefs. Perhaps the strangest prehistoric relics in the West are the tolmens — huge stones with a hole cut through the centre.
The great size of the prehistoric relics in the West forms the basis of wide-spread tales of giants and other supernaturally strong people.
The County of DEVONSHIRE is one of England's biggest counties. Exeter is one of the chief cities of the county and one of the most historic cities of Britain.
The surrounding Devon countryside is one of England's richest areas of pastureland and is famous for its thick cream and cream cheese; a delicious specialty is the "cream tea", a pot of tea served with small scones topped with cream and jam.
Devonshire is also famous for Plymouth, one of the largest cities of the West Country. It was formed from the union of the old towns of Plymouth, Stonehouse and Devonport. The centre of the city was almost obliterated during the Second World War.
The entrance to Plymouth harbour is guarded by the Eddystone Lighthouse. Over the centuries there have been several lighthouses and one of the oldest ones now stands on Plymouth Hoe, a high, flat piece of land facing the sea.
Outside the city is a large and beautiful national park, Dartmoor and Plymouth is only a few miles from some of the most beaches in Britain. During the summer thousands of tourists come to the area and use Plymouth as a centre for exploring the counties of Devon and Cornwall.
The County of SOMERSETSHIRE is mostly a land of willows and quiet streams. The part of the county is Exmoor which became a royal forest 1,000 years ago. Today the Exmoor National Park covers 265 square miles. The region includes 3 types of landscape: coastal, pastoral moorland and heathland.
The County of AVON is famous for two cities — Bristol and Bath. Bristol, the busy industrial town and trading centre, was founded by the Saxons and has been known as a port since early times because it could be reached up the Avon on a flood tide. In 1497 John Cabot sailed from Bristol to the American mainland.
Wherever you go in Bristol, you are never far from its adventurous and sea faring past.
The City is proud of its strong links with the sea — but now the trade ships have moved down-river to a port geared to the 21st century.
Bristol is full of historic treasures, spacious colourful parks and miles of waterways. There is always something new to explore and discover.
The old City Docks in the heart of the City are taking on new life as a recreation area and exhibition complex.
Since ancient time, when men first came upon the magical hot spring that still gush in this green valley, Bath has been a place of refreshment in an otherwise turbulent world. As a Roman spa it drew visitors from all parts of the Empire. In the 18th century it became an unparalleled setting for the civilized pleasures of that vigorous and sparkling age.
And Bath was not built for cars — nor yet for chariots and carriages. It was built for people to enjoy on foot. It is a small city.
Bath stands on the site of Britain's only hot springs, where every day a quarter of a million gallons of water gush out of the earth at a constant temperature of 48.90C. Legend has it that Bladud, father of Shakespeare's King Lear, first discovered these springs in about 500 B. C. But it was the Romans who put Bath on the map when, in honour of their goddess Minerva, they built one of the finest temples in Britain. They developed the hot springs as a sophisticated series of baths which were used not only for bathing and curative purposes, but as a social centre as well. Significant finds from the Roman site were first recorded in the 18th century when the gilded head of Minerva was unearthed, but the discovery of the baths complex did not really begin until 1878. Since then excavations, which continue today, have uncovered the most fascinating Roman remains in Britain.
For 350 years Bath was a Roman health resort, and votive altars and magnificently carved fragments, the remains of temples of Sul, the goddess of the springs, and other deities are preserved in the museum adjoining the Roman Baths.
The main town the County of OXFORDSHIRE is Oxford. Many periods of English history are impressingly documented fin Oxford's streets, houses, colleges and chapels. Within one 'square mile alone the city has more than 900 buildings of architectural and historic interest. The first attested reference to Oxford is as late as 912. From about that time it grew to prominence as an important road and river crossing. In 1188 the University was clearly described by Gerald of Wales who lectured to the doctors and scholars of Oxford — so the University itself is over 800 years old.
SUFFOLK'S central plateau was once clothed by widespread forests, but now it is open farmland with little shelter from trees or hedges. The farms are extensive — many are as large as 3,000 acres — and, in this bleak landscape, villages cluster around greens which originated in the Middle Ages as clearings in the woodland.
The glory of CAMBRIDGESHIRE is Cambridge. It has been described as the loveliest city in Britain, and there is no doubt that it has been captivated countless visitors with its great beauty — the magnificent courtyards, the bridges along the river Cam and above all, the wealth of architectural styles to be admired — all part of the city's splendour.
It soon became a teaching centre for scholars from neighbouring monasteries, and by the 13th century the University came into being.
The lovely ISLE of WIGHT is separated from the mainland of Hampshire by two. stretches of water, the Solent and the Spithead. Some 147 miles of undulating country make up the island. It is big enough to possess a dozen small towns and several rivers to absorb 90,000 people, yet still present areas where moorlands and cliff offer vistas of uninhabited loneliness.
The Isle of Wight sprang into prominence during the 19th century, when Queen Victoria took up residence at Osborne House, near Cowes, and Alfred, Lord Tennyson came to live at Farringford, near Freshwater. It was realized that the island would make a splendid health resort, and the region known as the Undercliff, stretching for seven miles on the southern part of the island, was selected as a winter holiday area. Ventnor, the sheltered hilly town facing south across the English Channel, enjoyed a boom during the latter years of the 19th century. Palm trees and subtropical vegetation abound along the Undercliff, and the area is genuinely mild by day in winter, trapping all the sun that shines. Times have changed, however, and Wentnor is now, in company with its sister resorts of Sandown and Shanklin, full of summer holiday-makers and almost deserted in winter.
Newport, on the Medina River, is the island's capital.
Fast paddle ferries cross from the Isle of Wight to the mainland in half an hour, with the result that many of the island's resorts are invaded by London trippers. Elegance is a thing of the past, although it remains the haunt of yachts-men of modest means. Many sailing clubs are located at Ryde and Yarmouth.
But the charm of the Isle of Wight remains. Its quiet narrow lanes with their high hedgegrows, the lust vegetation, open downland, and bold cliffs make an ever-changing picture. Alum Bay has cliffs of many colours, which change even as you gaze upon them from cream to rich red, sometimes mauve in the sunset, or brown in the rain. Each mile has something new to offer the visitor, and most turns in the road bring rewarding scenes.
JERSEY, the largest and southmost of the Channel Islands, was Norman during the Middle Ages and remained a part of England in 1450, along with the other Channel Islands, when Normandy itself fell to France. The Islands are subject to the Crown but owing to their historical background they have a political constitution of their own. French is an official language.
The County of WARWICKSHIRE is the birthplace of William Shakespeare. It is a fascinating region with its unparalleled variety of attractions.
Birmingham is the main city of the County of ^ . It is the second city in Britain after London. It's in the west Midlands and has a population of just over one million. It's a big industrial centre, producing jewellery, metal and most important of all, cars. British Leyland, the biggest car producers in the United Kingdom, employ thousands of people in the Birmingham area.
Birmingham grew quickly after the industrial revolution in the 18th century because it was in the centre of Britain with good communications and large local supplies of coal and water. In the 20th century it expanded even more and now it's a major European city with excellent facilities. For example, in the modern city there is a huge shopping centre called the Bull Ring.
The County of SALOP has rich arable farming land, which is well-watered by the Severn and its many tributaries; and charming black-and-white timbered villages reflect the prosperity of many centuries. Shrewsbury, ornamented by its pink-sandstone castle, is a historic and attractive county town on the banks of the Severn. It had existed since the 5th century. Everywhere are superb black-and-white buildings in plaster and weathered timber.
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE lies in the heart of England's East Midlands. The capital city of Nottingham is ancient. Its castle was founded by William the Conqueror in 1068.
Although the great Sherwood Forest has practically disappeared, parts of it still exist in the Dukeries, and near the village of Edwinstowe is the Major Oak, a tree of immense girth and age, which Robin Hood and his Merry Men made their headquarters.
South of the city is the River Trent with its wide embankment, floral gardens, boating and fishing. Across Trent Bridge is the famous Cricket Ground, scene of many test matches and known to sportsmen everywhere. To the north of the city is Newstead Abbey, home of the poet Lord Byron. The Abbey contains many interesting pictures and relics associated with its monastic history and the Byron family.
Countryside like a vast park rolls across the County of CHESHIRE. The River Dee runs gently through this rich farmland past the ancient city of Chester and out to the Irish Sea across a huge sandy estuary. Chester which is situated on the lower reaches of the Dee has both Roman and Anglo-Saxon ramparts and walls and has the best-preserved old town in the whole Great Britain.
The chief city of the County of MERSEYSIDE, began to take on its modern form: Liverpool is not only an important trading metropolis, university town and financial centre. For years it has been trying to resolve serious structure problems by far-reaching redevelopment programmes, diversification initiatives for industry and incentives for the tertiary sector.
The county of ^ includes Manchester, one of Britain's largest cities, which was founded by the Romans at a major crossroads. Today Manchester is the home for not just one kind of industry but for 101 and is the biggest commercial and service centre outside London.
Bradford and Leeds are the largest cities of the County of ^ Bradford grew into Britain's biggest wool market, Leeds became a world centre for ready-made clothing of all kinds.
For at least 7 centuries, knife blades have been made in Sheffield, the main city of the County of SOUTH YORKSHIRE. The steel and cutlery industry first grew up in Sheffield because there was iron-ore near at hand; there were great forests to provide charcoal for smelting; there were fast streams to power the forges; and there was millstone grit for the grindstones. Today, though few of these factors are still relevant, Sheffield has retained its importance — partly because of its coal, which revolutionized the industry, but mainly through the craftsmanship bred through generations of skill with steel.
It is hard to find beauty among the steelworks that dominate this industrial Yorkshire scene. Yet Sheffield is favoured in a way that few other cities are. To the west, its boundaries stretch far into the moors on the borders of Derbyshire.
The main city of the County of ^ is the city of York. In 71 BC the Romans made the local settlement into a garrison town known as Eboracum, which became the capital of the Roman province of Brittania.
The County of CUMBRIA is the place where one of the most beautiful spots of England, Lake District, is situated. It contains the beautiful lakes which give it its name. It is variously termed the Lake Country, Lakeland and the Lakes.
Much of the land is high and thinly peopled. These high parts are used as rough pasture for sheep. Most of the farmland is on the low ground and as conditions are too wet for cropping it is chiefly under grass. There are few mineral resources and ores proved too poor or too limited to be worth mining.
The lakes which occupy many of its ice-deepened valley show a wonderful variety of character. The largest lakes are Winder-mere, Coniston water, Derwent water and Ullswater. There are numerous swift and clear streams and small water-falls and ; though the altitude is not great (Scafell Pike which is the highest peak only 3,210 feet), the individual masses tower over the surrounding areas. The whole region is well known for its great natural beauty.
The poets Wordsworth and Coleridge can probably be held responsible for the development of the Lake District as a tourist area. They, and other English men of letters, found it soothing background for their work — and fashion followed Goethe's saying, "to understand a poet one must go to his country" is largely true of Wordsworth, who was born at Cockermouth. The calmand concentration, the melancholy vision, the tranquillity and vagueness that graced Wordsworth's poetry can be understood only after a stay in the Lake District.
The Lake District is one of the finest districts in the British Isles, and gives any visitors a good insight into the internal rhythm of English life and of the kind of country existence that Prevailed before industrialization. It has, in fact, been turned into one of Britain's national parks, and large areas belong to the National Trust.
The Lake District is one of the most charming reservoirs of calm — one could say of green calm. There is hardly any county in Britain that can beat the Lake District in that competition in shades of green, from the rather watery hue round Keswick, across the deepening lustre near Grasmere, down to the depth of blackish green round Lake Windermere. The Lake District is a vast natural park, one of the most impressive to be found in Europe. It offers a splendid playground for ramblers who travel with their own tents, and thrills for the experienced rock climber; a happy hunting ground for anglers; a peaceful reserve for yachtsmen.
The district of 16 lakes is a sad region under a canopy of rain, but when sunshine breaks through there is in this vast green-house a perfect, plantlike peace. It is not an easy task to avail oneself of a succession of sunny days in the Lake District —I some malicious statistics allot to it about 250 rainy days per year — but when the sun descends upon that vast natural reserve, and the surfaces of the lakes smile benignly, it is a place to remember. In sunshine, the long valleys of the Pennine range, painted in subtle tints of sandy-brown, are hospitable and merry; a few of the climbs are easy, some of the faces being useful "alpine kindergartens", though never to be treated with contempt.
The ISLE of MAN lies between England and Ireland. A large island lying in the Irish Sea, Man, was once a Viking colony and retains many old Norse relics and traditions.
During the summer various hordes of tourists cross by steamer and plane from the great English Midland cities. For countless years, the island has been a favourite spot for what is called Wakes Week — the annual industrial holiday that factory employees enjoy en masse. Today, however, the fame of Man has spread until its attractions are savoured by Scots and Londoners.
Douglas, capital of the Island, is a vivid town with a spectacular promenade on which you'll see horse trams still at work. This doesn't mean that Douglas is behind the times — modern ballrooms and hotels have made it into a plush, well-equipped resort. Surprisingly, Douglas is the busiest cross-Channel harbour in the British Isles.
The Isle of Man offers abundant moorland scenery, crowded beaches, secluded coves, even palm-fringed shores (at Ramsey, the latitude is 55 degrees), the world's largest ballroom with space for 7,000 couples on the floor, fishing and golf, earsplitting noise, and lonely solitude. In short, it is a land of contrasts, an island deeply soaked in history, living for summer pleasure, yet Proud and independent.
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