GEOGRAPHY AND ATTRACTIONS
The British Isles, divorced from continental Europe by the English Channel, the Strait of Dover and the North Seas, comprise three contiguous nationsEngland, Scotland, and Wales. Add Northern Ireland, separated from the other three countries by the North Channel and the Irish Sea, and we have the United Kingdom. The southern part of what was the whole of Ireland has since 1949 been the independent Republic of Ireland. The total population of Britain is about fifty-seven million.
In total area, Great Britain and Northern Ireland are surprisingly small, about the size of Oregon. Together, England, Scotland, and Wales stretch about six hundred miles from northernmost Scotland to southernmost England. At its widest part the country spreads 250 miles from the west coast of Wales to the east coast of England. The Irish Republic and Northern Ireland share an island about three hundred miles north to south and two hundred miles east to west.
London is the epicenter of England and once was of the British Empire. London is the money market, the political center, the city where legitimate plays rise or fall, the shipping and trade center of the British Isles. Few capitals dominate their respective nations as London does England.
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