It comprises the island of Great Britain, the north-east part of the island of Ireland and many small islands. It is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy comprising four constituent countries—England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland—with King Charles III as head of state. The United Kingdom is an interesting model for people concerned with promoting peace and cooperation. It has made significant contributions to the world economy, especially in technology and industry and is one of the world’s most developed nations and as such it has a global influence.
The United Kingdom is located in Western Europe to the northwest of France and between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. Its capital and largest city is London, but other large cities are Glasgow, Birmingham, Liverpool, and Edinburgh. The UK has a total area of 94,058 square miles (243,610 sq km). Much of the topography of the UK consists of rugged, undeveloped hills and low mountains but there are flat and gently rolling plains in the eastern and southeastern areas of the country. The highest point in the UK is Ben Nevis at 4,406 feet (1,343 m) and it is located in the northern UK in Scotland.
The average temperatures at sea level are above freezing (o°C or 32 °F) also in January, when they hover around 4/5 °C (39/41 °F) in the main cities, and reach 6 °C (43 °F) in the south-western tip of the country; in July, they range from 12 °C (53.5 °F) in northern Scotland to 19 °C (66 °F) in the London area.
Winters are fairly mild. In many places, maximum temperatures are well above freezing on many days and the number of nights with night frost is not very high. However, if there is cold polar air coming from the north, then the temperatures in England can drop significantly and there may be many nights with frost. It still doesn’t snow that often since the temperature is often not cold enough. If it does snow, however, then locally reasonable amounts may fall, with possible traffic problems as a result.
England often experiences strong winds. Especially in the higher regions in the north the chance of storms is high. Another place where the wind regularly prevails is the south-west of England. In the worst storms, the wind can reach force 10 or 11 (heavy to hurricane-like), occasionally even a hurricane force (wind force 12) is measured.