United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
242,514 sq km.
63.4 million (2013).
261.4 per sq km.
Head of state:
HM Queen Elizabeth II since 1953.
Head of government:
Prime Minister David Cameron since 2010.
240 volts AC, 50Hz. Square three-pin plugs are standard.
Few places cram in as much scenery, history and culture as the United Kingdom. England's southwest is dominated by a rugged shoreline and swathes of open national parkland, while its sprawling and vibrant capital London dominates the southeast. Hillwalkers can take some serious hikes in the Scottish Highlands or England's Lake District.
True British wilderness remains - stark, sometimes stunning and often inaccessible, particularly in the far north of Scotland. Historic Edinburgh is a fascinating city to explore, while Glasgow explodes with nightlife options. Visitors to Wales can meander from the urban highlights of Cardiff to Snowdon's jagged peaks in the north. Across the water, Belfast is reviving as a tourist destination, and Northern Ireland's countryside is green and rolling.
Most visits to the UK are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners. This advice is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organisations for the latest travel advice: