The united Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Although they form one administrative unit (with regional exceptions) they have had separate cultures, languages and political histories.

The British landscape can be divided roughly into two kinds of terrain, highland and lowland. The highland area comprises the mountainous regions of Scotland, Northern Ireland and North Wales. The English Lake District in the northwest contains lakes and fells. The lowland area is broken up by sandstone and limestone hills and long valleys. In the south east, the North and South Downs culminate in the white cliffs of Dover.

You may well fall in love with London-but not necessarily at first sight. One of the world's most liveable, most lovable great cities grows on you. No single panorama, no instant revelation will bowl you over. Rather, the attractions add up: the elegance of a Georgian house, the details of a Victorian pub, a brave show of colour in a window box of geraniums, a gleaming brass doorknocker. All at once an accumulation of discreet charms will come into focus, and you'll discover that just being in this immensely civilized city makes you feel good.