Neuschwanstein castle, germany

Britain and Ireland at a Glance

The islands of Great Britain and Ireland lie to the northwest of continental Europe and have remained relatively isolated throughout their history.

Great Britain consists of three countries, England, Scotland, and Wales, each with a distinctive way of life and traditions. These three, together with Northern Ireland, form the United Kingdom. In the south of Ireland, the Republic of Ireland is a separate country. London, one of Europe's liveliest cities, offers the greatest range of cultural attractions. The islands have a rich variety of landscapes, from rolling green hills to windswept moors and craggy mountains in the Scottish Highlands.

The Highlands is an area prized for its beauty and diversity of wildlife. This region of mountains and glens is home to many animal species rarely found living wild elsewhere in the British Isles.

Dublin, Ireland's capital, has a lively atmosphere. Many of its finest public buildings, such as the Custom House, date from the 18th century.

Killarney is a typical friendly Irish town in County Kerry. The surrounding area is renowned for its spectacular scenery, with three huge lakes, waterfalls, and some of the country's highest mountains.

Edinburgh is the administrative and cultural capital of Scotland. Its castle, which dates back to the 12th century, gives spectacular views of the entire city.

York is a city of historical treasures, with many relics from the Roman and Viking ages. Its magnificent minster has the largest collection of medieval stained glass in Britain, and the city walls are well preserved.

London was founded by the Romans in the 1st century AD. The oldest part of the capital is the City, where Sir Christopher Wren's masterpiece, St. Paul's Cathedral, stands.

Bath is named after the Roman baths that stand at the heart of the old town, next to the splendid medieval abbey. The city is full of elegant Georgian terraces, built in local honey-colored limestone.