I was born and raised all my life in the Philippines some 10,889 kilometers away from the United Kingdom. As I am married to a British national, my husband and I both decided to stay in his country for good. It is where I will be spending half of my life and just the mere thought of being uprooted from the place where I grew up and have known like the back of my hand is so terrifying. There are a lot of issues and concerns I have in mind but whether I like it or not, I have to face them sooner than I have expected.

In preparation for this big milestone that I am going to face, I decided to arm myself with information essential for my survival. I did and am still doing lots of research. I know for a fact that I am not the only person in this world who is facing this big life transformation. So I decided to share what I learned and knew thinking that I want to be of help to others who are on the same plight as I am, even in my own little ways.

In this blog article, I will be sharing some key facts about the United Kingdom, Great Britain, and the British Isles. I will start off with the official name of the UK, which is the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”. The people in the UK are called British although they have different nationalities.

The United Kingdom is made up of four (4) countries, to wit:

A. England – The capital is London
B. Scotland – The capital is Edinburgh
C. Wales – The capital is Cardiff
D. Northern Ireland – The capital is Belfast

The main towns of the UK are:

1. London (capital, England)
2. Birmingham (England)
3. Liverpool (England)
4. Bristol (England)
5. Sheffield (England)
6. Manchester (England)
7. Leeds (England)
8. Leicester (England)
9. Bradford (England)
10. Coventry (England)
11. Nottingham (England)
12. Kingston upon Hull (England)
13. Stoke-on-Trent (England)
14. Newcastle-upon-Tyne (England)
15. Southampton (England)
16. Portsmouth (England)
17. Plymouth (England)
18. Derby (England)
19. Wolverhampton (England)
20. Norwich (England)
21. Oxford (England)
22. Cambridge (England)
23. Aberdeen (Scotland)
24. Glasgow (Scotland)
25. Edinburgh (Scotland)
26. Cardiff (Wales)
27. Swansea (Wales)
28. Belfast (Northern Ireland)

On the other hand, sometimes I personally find myself confused and at a loss as to the differences between Great Britain, UK and the British Isles. To help understand easily the differences between these three, I have here a simple explanation.

1) England, Scotland, and Wales together form GREAT BRITAIN.

2) Great Britain and Northern Ireland together form the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” (UK).

3) BRITISH ISLES is just purely a geographical term which includes two large islands, Great Britain and Ireland, and at least 5,000 small islands, most notably the Isle of Man which is an independent island and has its own parliament and laws.

Here are some notable islands of the British Isles:

1. Great Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales)
2. Ireland (the Republic of Ireland)
3. Northern Ireland (part of the United Kingdom)
4. The Orkney and Shetland Islands
5. The Isle of Man
6. Hebrides (including the Inner Hebrides, Outer Hebrides, and Small Isles)
7. The Isle of Wight
8. Isles of Scilly
9. Lundy Island
10. The Channel Islands
***Plus many other offshore islands

In addition, the Union Flag, popularly known as the Union Jack, symbolizes the union of the countries of the UK. It is made up of the individual flags of three countries in the Kingdom and of Northern Ireland. (Refer to photos posted for reference.)

Disclaimer: Some photos owned by their rightful owners. #ordnancesurvey


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