Places of interest in Great Britain
Author Viktoriya Sapronova
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK, or Britain) is a sovereign state located off the north-western coast of continental Europe. The country includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land border with another sovereign state— the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel and the Irish Sea.
The United Kingdom is a unitary state governed under a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system, with its seat of government in the capital city of London. It is a country in its own right and consists of four countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. There are three devolved national administrations, each with varying powers, used in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh, the capitals of Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland respectively. Associated with the UK, but not constitutionally part of it, are three Crown Dependencies. The United Kingdom has fourteen overseas territories. These are remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in 1922, encompassed almost a quarter of the world's land surface and was the largest empire in history. British influence can still be observed in the language, culture and legal systems of many of its former territories.
Places of interest in Great Britain
Britain is rich in its historic places which link the present with the past. The oldest part of London is Lud Hill, where the city is originated. About a mile west of it there is Westminster Palace, where the king lived and the Parliament met, and there is also Westminster Abbey, the coronation church. Liverpool, the “city of ships”, is England's second greatest port, ranking after London. The most interesting sight in miles. The University of Liverpool, established in 1903, is noted for its School of Tropical Medicine. And in the music world Liverpool is a well-known name, for it's the home town of “The Beatles”. Stratford-on-Avon lies 93 miles north-west of London. Shakespeare was born in 1564, and here he died in 1616. Cambridge and Oxford Universities are famous centers of learning. Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument, presumably built by Druids, members of an order of priests in ancient Britain. Tintagel Castle is King Arthur's reputed birthplace. Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, head of the Church of England. The British Museums is the largest and richest museum in the world. It was founded in 1753 and contains one of the world's richest collections of antiquities. The Egyptian Galleries contain human and animal mummies. Some parts of Athens’ Parthenon are in the Greek section. Madam Tussaud’s Museum is an exhibition of hundreds of life-size wax models of famous people of yesterday and today. The collection was started by Madam Tussaud, a French modeller in wax, in the 18th century. Here you can meet Marilyn Monroe, Elton John, Picasso, the Royal Family, the Beatles and many others: writers, movie stars, singers, politicians, sportsmen, etc.
The towel of London
The towel of London is one of the most imposing and popular of London’s historical sites. The oldest of which, the White Towel, dates back to the 11th century and the time of William the Conqueror. Nowadays a lot of tourists visit the Tower’s evil reputation as a prison. The Tower is famous as home of the Crown Jewels. Today they can be viewed in their new jewel house. They include the Crown of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother which contains the celebrated Indian diamond. Many stories associated with British history come from the Tower. In 1483 King Edward IV’s two sons were murdered in the so-called Bloody Tower. Over two centuaries later the skeletons of two littli boys were found buried beneath steps the White Tower. Traitor’s Gate has steps leading down to the River Thames. Countless prisoners, including the future Queen Elizabeth I of England, were brought to the Tower by barge and ascended the steps before being imprisoned. For many it was their last moment of freedom before their death. But Elizabeth was released from the Tower and became Queen. The King’s second wife, Anne Boleyn, was brought to trial there in 1536 and beheaded. Six years later her cousin, Catherine, Henry VIII’s fifth wife, auffered the same fate. Sir Thomas More was beheaded there in 1535. Of course , no visit to the Tower would be complete without seeing the ravens; huge black birds who are an official part of the Tower community. Legend states that if the ravens were to leave the Tower the Crown will fall , and Britain with it. Under the special care of the Raven Master, the ravens are fed a daily diet of raw meat. And there is no danger of them flying away, because their wings are clipped.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, usually referred to as Kew Gardens, is 121 hectares of gardens and botanical glasshouses between Richmond and Kew in southwest London, England. "The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" and the brand name "Kew" are also used as umbrella terms for the institution that runs both the gardens at Kew and Wake Hurst Place gardens in Sussex. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, is an internationally important botanical research and education institution with 700 staff and an income of £56 million for the year ended 31 March 2008, as well as a visitor attraction receiving almost two million visits in that year. Created in 1759, the gardens celebrated their 250th anniversary in 2009. The director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, is responsible for the world's largest collection of living plants. The organisation employs more than 650 scientists and other staff. The living collections include more than 30,000 different kinds of plants, while the herbarium, which is one of the largest in the world, has over seven million preserved plant specimens. The library contains more than 750,000 volumes, and the illustrations collection contains more than 175,000 prints and drawings of plants. The Kew site includes four Grade I listed buildings and 36 Grade II listed structures in an internationally significant landscape.
There are many museums in London. One of them is the Tate Gallery in Millmank, which presents modern masters of sculpture there. Its collection of French impressionists is Marton Road. It has an outstanding collection of the appied arts of all coutries and periods. The National Gallery in Trafalgar square has one of the best picture collections in the world.It has the most valuable display of French paintings from the early impressionists, and of course, the finest english painting which Gainsborough, Turner, Constable and others. It shows the progress of Italian painting from the medieval to the Renaissance some outstanding pictures of the old Roman masters.It also has a great variety of Dutch and Flemish masters and an excellent choice of vate collections all over the world. The Queen`s collection is the most valuable among them.
The list of used literature
- Великобритания – все о Великобритании // сайт Euguide.Ru: журнал об отдыхе в Европе
- Кубарьков Г.Л., Тимощук В.А. 1000. Сборник новых тем современного английского языка.- Ростов-на-Дону: ООО «Удача», 2008.- 1184с
- Занина, Л.Е. 95 устных тем по английскому языку/Елена Занина.- 8-е издание.- М.:Айрис-пресс,2008.-300с.- (Домашний репетитор)