United Kingdom

For such a compact country the United Kingdom offers outstanding variety – from London, a truly international city and the world’s capital of theatre, fashion and arts, to provincial England’s historic cities, busy seaside resorts, quaint villages, wild moorlands and gentle countryside.

The rugged beauty of Scotland’s sea lochs, islands, glens and highlands co-exist with the sophistication of Georgian Edinburgh and Glasgow’s exciting post-industrial reincarnation. Remote mountains, gentle valleys, windswept cliffs and languid sands of rural Wales up to Cardiff, the principality’s rejuvenated capital and across the Irish Sea, from Northern Ireland’s green hills and rugged coast to busy Belfast, it is a country of immense beauty.

Variety is not confined to the landscape. Britain’s long history, its legacy of imperialism and more recently, the arrival of immigrants from around the world have resulted in an extraordinary diversity of cultural influences. In the arts, this is expressed through theatre, concerts, opera, ballets and galleries. In food, through a multiplicity of ethnic cuisines that now supplement traditional dishes. In festivals and celebrations, from the stately Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace to the joyous Notting Hill Carnival, Europe’s largest street festival; and in entertainment, from the gentle pleasures of taking a rowing boat on the Thames or having a pint in a centuries-old pub to dancing the night away in a nightclub or thrilling to hair-raising rides in a theme park.