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Hurley Riverside Park

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Long Acres Touring Park

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Brakes Coppice Park

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Petwood Caravan Park

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The Black Horse

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Callow Top Holiday Park

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Woodovis Park

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Cofton Country Holidays

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Polborder House Caravan & Camping Park

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Porlock Caravan Park

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Primrose Valley Holiday Park

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Wooda Farm Park

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Seaview Holiday Park

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Craig Tara Holiday Parks

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Blue Dolphin Holiday Park

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Seton Sands Holiday Park

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Delph Bank Caravan Park

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Wild Duck Holiday Park

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Great Yarmouth, East Of England
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Retanna Holiday Park

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About United Kingdom

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the United Kingdom or the UK) is a constitutional monarchy in northern Europe. The Union comprises four 'home nations': England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It occupies all of the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern portion of the island of Ireland and most of the remaining British Isles.

It counts Ireland, France, Belgium and Holland as its nearest neighbours. The Isle of Man and the various Channel Islands are "crown dependencies", linked to the UK by various ties and mutual obligations but not part of it.  The UK today is a diverse patchwork of native and immigrant cultures, possessing a fascinating history and dynamic modern culture, both of which remain hugely influential in the wider world. Although Britannia no longer rules the waves, the UK is still a popular destination for many travellers. The capital city of the United Kingdom (and the largest city) is London.

Home nations

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a country made up of several 'home nations' and territories: 

  • Great Britain:
    • England - by far the largest component, in terms both of size and population.
      Scotland - situated in the far north of Great Britain.
      Wales - located within the largely mountainous western portion of Great Britain.
      Northern Ireland - occupies the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland.

Note that 'Great Britain' (or 'GB', or 'Britain') means Scotland, England, and Wales taken together (as a purely geographical term, GB refers just to the biggest island). GB became the UK when the Irish And British parliaments merged in 1804 to form the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland". This was reduced to '... and Northern Ireland' when all but six Irish counties left the Union to form an independent state in the 20th century. However, 'Britain' is often seen as shorthand for the whole of the United Kingdom ("British Government", "British Subject").

  • Crown Dependencies
    • The Channel Islands: Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney and Sark. 
    • The Isle of Man

The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are not strictly part of the UK, but rather are 'Crown Dependencies'. This means that they have their own democratic governments, laws and courts and are not part of the EU; but they are not entirely sovereign either.


Many cities and towns in the United Kingdom are of interest to travellers outside the capital city of London. Following is an alphabetical selection of nine (four in England, two each for Scotland and Wales and one in Northern Ireland) - others are listed under their specific countries and regions:

  • Belfast - capital of Northern Ireland
  • Birmingham - central England's main city and England's second city, features great shopping, and is home of the famous Balti
  • Bristol - an historical city famed for its Georgian architecture and nautical heritage.
  • Cardiff - capital of Wales, castle and varied cultural events
  • Edinburgh - capital of Scotland, home to the famous festival and numerous tourist attractions
  • Glasgow - Scotland's largest city, new cultural hotspot, former European City of Culture
  • Leeds - Great base to explore all of ··Yorkshire
  • Manchester - north-western England's main city, thriving bohemian music scene, gay quarter and dozens of tourist attractions
  • Swansea - Wales's second city, spectacular coastal scenery, sandy beaches and diverse cultural events


The UK has a benign humid-temperate climate moderated by the North Atlantic Current and the country's proximity to the sea. Warm, damp summers and mild winters provide temperatures pleasant enough to engage in outdoor activities all year round. Having said that, the weather in the UK can be changeable and quite often conditions are windy and wet. British rain is legendary, but in practice it rarely rains more than two or three hours at a time and sometimes parts of the country stay dry for weeks, especially in the East. More common are overcast or partly cloudy skies. It is usual to be prepared for a change of weather when going out; a jumper and a raincoat usually suffice when it is not winter.

Because the UK stretches nearly a thousand kilometres from end to end, temperatures can vary quite considerably between north and south. Differences in rainfall are also pronounced between the drier east and wetter west. Scotland and north-western England (particularly the Lake District) are often rainy and cold, with heavy snowfall in northern Scotland in winter. The north-east and Midlands are also cool, though with less rainfall. The south-east is generally warm and dry, and the south-west warm and often wet. Wales and Northern Ireland tend to experience mild temperatures and moderate rainfall. Even though the highest land in the UK barely reaches 4000 feet, the effect of height on rainfall and temperature is great.

By car

A car will get you pretty much anywhere in the UK. Parking can be a problem in large cities, and especially in London, can be very expensive. Petrol (gasoline) is heavily taxed and therefore expensive, currently at around £1.00 per litre. There are very few tolls (mainly on some large bridges/tunnels) but a levy (congestion charge) is payable for driving in central London and certain other cities on weekdays. Traffic can be very heavy, especially during 'rush hour', when commuters are on their way to and from work - typically 7-10am and 4-7pm. The M25 London orbital motorway is particularly notorious (known to most Britons as London's car park because all the traffic comes to a standstill) - it is best avoided on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons, and only use it if you need to. School holidays can make a noticeable difference, however, particularly in the morning rush hour.

All of the UK drives on the left - the opposite side from Europe and the USA, but the same as Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Africa.

Speed limits for cars are 70mph on motorways and dual carriageways; 60mph on single carriageway roads unless otherwise signposted; and 30mph in built-up unless signs show otherwise. The use of 20mph zones has become increasingly common to improve safety in areas such as those around schools. Enforcement cameras are widespread on all types of road, though more used in some areas than others (North Yorkshire, for example, has a policy of using only mobile speed cameras operated by police). There are some variable mandatory speed limits on the M25 to the west of London, and the M42 near Birmingham - these are shown on overhead gantries inside a red circle; other temporary speed limits shown on matrix boards are recommended but not mandatory.

Despite the fact that the Traffic Police have now largely been replaced by speed cameras, driving standards still remain relatively good in the UK, with the road system being (statistically) among the safest in Europe. It has long been known by visitors (and an increasing number of British) that a foreign licence plate makes you largely immune from speed cameras, congestion charge cameras and Traffic (Parking) Wardens, but do not abuse this. You may just hit upon the one Camera Operator/Warden who can be bothered to take the trouble to track down your address from your home licencing authority. Police in some areas have started to occasionally stop foreign-registered cars at random to simply confirm that the owners are not in fact British drivers evading UK road tax / insurance / annual vehicle inspections etc. Although it is quite rare to see a Traffic Police car nowadays, some do still prowl the motorways in un-marked cars.

Don't drink and drive in the UK. The maximum limit is 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. The police often patrol roads in cities on Friday and Saturday night, on the lookout for drink drivers. Fines are automatic and steep, and imprisonment and a ban from driving or removal of licence can also be expected.

Regional specialities

It should be pointed out that whilst these are foods famous for being found primarily in Britain, the British diet actually consists largely of imports, and the menu of even the cheapest pub will include international dishes such as pasta, pizza, or Chinese foods. 

  • Black Pudding - a sausage made of congealed pig's blood and rusks cooked in an intestine. Available in all over the UK but a speciality of the north of England.
  • Cornish Pasty - beef and vegetables baked in a folded pastry case. Originally a speciality of Cornwall, but now available throughout the UK. 
  • Deep Fried Mars Bar - Orignally from Stonehaven, Kincardineshire, but now available in other parts of Scotland.
  • Haggis - a mixture of sheep innards and oatmeal boiled in a sheep's stomach. Available widely, but a speciality of Scotland. 
  • Lancashire Hotpot - a hearty vegetable and meat stew. A speciality of Lancashire, but available throughout the UK. 
  • Laverbread - a puree made from seaweed, rolled in oatmeal, lightly fried and generally served with bacon rashers, though can be prepared as a vegetarian dish. Available in Swansea and West Wales.
  • Oatcakes - this speciality of North Staffordshire and Derbyshire is a large, floppy, oat-based pancake, eaten hot with a savoury filling. Not to be confused with the Scottish oatcake, a sort of biscuit.
  • Potato Bread - a mixture of potatoes, salt, butter and flour. A speciality of Northern Ireland, which when added to a Full English Breakfast (alongside Soda Bread) forms an 'Ulster Fry! This is also known as Potato Cakes in England.
  • Yorkshire Pudding - a savoury side dish made from unsweetened batter. Squat and round in shape - often served with a roast dinner (consisting of roast potatoes, roast beef and yorkshire puddings). Originally a speciality of Yorkshire, but a popular side-dish throughout the UK.

Modified: 2007-02-11 09:17:28+01
Source: http://wikitravel.org/en/United_kingdom


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