Home > England Facts
Facts about the country of England, including location, climate, landscape, population, currency, government and more.
(This page was last updated 2nd February 2012)
England is an island country situated in North-West Europe, on the island of 'Great Britain'.
Great Britain is made up of 3 countries - England, Scotland, and Wales (see map below).
Covering two-thirds of Great Britain, England is the largest country on the island.
Map of Great Britain, showing the countries of England, Scotland, and Wales.
Below is a map showing the whole of the island of Great Britain in relation to the rest of Europe. Great Britain is the largest island in Europe and the eighth largest island in the world.
France, on mainland Europe, is approx 35 kilometres away from the island of Great Britain and since 1994 has been joined to the island via an undersea rail network called the Channel Tunnel.
The Channel Tunnel runs from Folkestone in the county of Kent ( Southern England) beneath the English Channel, to arrive at Coquelles near Calais in northern France.
At 31.4 miles (50.5 km) it is the second longest undersea tunnel in the world, Japan's Seikan Tunnel being the longest at 33.49 miles.
Map of Great Britain (in red) and mainland Europe.
The British Isles
The group of islands known as 'The British Isles' consist of Great Britain (the largest island in the group), Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Orkneys, the Shetland Islands, the Isle of Man, the Isle of Wight, Isle of Scilly, the Hebrides, and the Channel Islands which lie just off the coast of France and include the islands of Jersey and Guernsey.
There are said to be over 6,000 islands in the British Isles, with Great Britain being the largest, and Bishop's Rock not only being the smallest island in the British Isles, but also the smallest island in the world!
The United Kingdom (UK)
The UK, or rather 'The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland' includes the island of Great Britain (consisting of the countries of England, Scotland, and Wales), and the North-East part of Ireland (Eire). The country of England accounts for around 84% of the population of the UK
This map shows the whole of the United Kingdom (in blue)
Key facts to remember -
- ENGLAND is a country. It is on the island of GREAT BRITAIN (part of the British Isles) along with the countries of Scotland and Wales.
- ENGLAND is also part of the United Kingdom (the UK) along with Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
ENGLAND'S CLIMATE & WEATHER
The English summer consists of "three fine days and a thunderstorm". - Charles II
England's weather can be summed up in two words - mild & varied. One minute it can be gorgeous sunshine, the next it can be cloudy, cold and raining. Even on extremely sunny days during summer, if someone goes out they will usually 'take a coat just in case' for the weather is so unpredictable and can change at any moment. This unpredictability also makes England's weather extremely interesting and frequently talked about.
The warmest part of the country is the South, with Faversham in Kent having the highest ever recorded temperature of 38.5C (101.3F) on the 10th August 2003.
During the winter months the warmest parts of England are along the South, and South-West, particularly the counties of Devon and Cornwall and around the London area.
The Lake District, one of the most scenic regions of England, is also the wettest.
The bottom line is, if you plan on visiting England or any other part of Britain, always come prepared for any kind of weather.
To understand more about the British weather, please read the following article by the BBC - British Weather (Part 1)
To see what the weather is like in England right now and for a detailed forecast, please click here
As varied as the weather, comes the beautiful English landscape. From the chalk cliffs and rolling hills of the South, to the Mountainous ranges of the Lake District in the North.
Topography map of the UK. This map shows how England is relatively low-lying compared to the countries Scotland in the North, and Wales in the West. In the North of England can be seen The Pennines, a mountain range known as 'the backbone of England' which stretch all the way from Scotland down to the Peak District in the county of Derbyshire, England.
High in the North-West close to The Pennines can be seen the mountainous region of The Lake District. The two high areas in the South-West are Exmoor National Park, and lower down is Dartmoor National Park.
Interesting facts about England and its landscape
- England has around 2,000 miles of coastline.
- No place in England is more than 75 miles (120 km) from the coast.
- England's longest river is the river Thames at 215 miles long.
- Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England at 3,209 feet (978 metres). It can be found in the Lake District in the North of England.
POPULATION OF ENGLAND
In 2005 the population of England was approximately 50.4 million.
Most of England's population lives in or around its major cities such as London (7.5 million).
Population Facts & Figures
- In the 1600's the population of Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales combined) was just over 4 million. It is now over 60 million
- London is the most populous city in the European union with over 7 million residents. It is home to around 12% of the UK population.
For more details of the population of England and the rest of the UK, visit the National Statistics website here
FLAG OF ENGLAND
England's flag is the St George's cross -
The St George's Cross is the national flag of England
The Union Jack (below) is the flag of the UK. It is a symbol of the administrative union of the countries of the United Kingdom.
The Union Jack - Flag of the UK
For more England flags, visit our England flags page
GOVERNMENT OF ENGLAND
"There is a forgotten, nay almost forbidden word, which means more to me than any other. That word is England". - Sir Winston Churchill
There is no government just for England, and hasn't been since 1707. The government, although seated in London, is in fact a UK government.
The UK government is known as a 'Constitutional Monarchy' and a 'Parliamentary Democracy'.
A 'Constitutional Monarchy' can be defined as a King or Queen that reigns over a country, but does not govern it. Our Queen is head of state, but does not run the country.
A 'Parliamentary Democracy' is one in which the people choose representatives at regular elections to govern the country.
Key facts to remember -
- The Queen of England, Elizabeth II, is head of state, and does not govern the country.
- The people of the UK vote for a political party such as Labour, Conservative, or Liberal Democrats, and whoever is leader of the party that gets the most votes is then appointed by the queen to be the Prime Minister.
- The houses of Parliament is where politicians meet to discuss and decide the laws of the UK. There are three sections: the House of Commons, the House of Lords, and the Monarchy. New laws have to go through both the house of commons and the house of lords, then the Queen as head of state signs any laws that parliament has voted for. She can reject a law, though this hasn't happened since the reign of Queen Anne who reigned between 1702 and 1714.
Visit Parliament's website for details on how it works, history, and much more.
CURRENCY OF ENGLAND
The currency of England and Britain is officially called Pounds Sterling.
The currency sign is the pound sign: £
A pound is made up of 100 pence. (pence is plural of penny)
Coins currently in circulation (copper, silver and gold)-
1p (one penny), 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 (one pound)
Notes currently in circulation -
£5, £10, £20, £50, £100
For pictures of what our currency looks like, please click here to see pictures of UK currency.
To see the current exchange rates, please visit xe.com.
More facts about England coming very soon...