Great Britain is basically a large island, located northwest of continental Europe. It’s the ninth largest island in the world, the largest European island, and the largest of the British Isles. It’s the third most populous island in the world (60 million people in 2009). It’s surrounded by over 1,000 smaller islands, the largest of which is Ireland to its west, and islets.
Most people, when they’re referring to Great Britain, are talking about the island itself, along with several surrounding islands that comprise the territory of England, Scotland, and Wales, along with their respective capital cities: London, Edinburgh, and Cardiff. Currently, the entire island is territory of the sovereign state of the United Kingdom, and most of the UK’s territory is in Great Britain.
The Kingdom of Great Britain was established in 1707, when the kingdoms of England and Scotland were politically united under Queen Anne. This kingdom lasted for 100 years, when it merged with the Kingdom of Ireland to create the United Kingdom in 1801. Most of Ireland is no longer part of the UK, since the Irish War of Independence.
If you’re going to visit Great Britain, you should know about the numerous bank holidays during the year because transport links tend to be busier and more expensive than normal. Shops, pubs, and restaurants are open, but most residents of Great Britain don’t work on bank holidays and take advantage of their time off to travel themselves. As a result, you may want to avoid traveling to or from the UK during these times.
The bank holidays that apply to all of Great Britain are: New Year’s Day (1st January), Good Friday (the Friday immediately before Easter Sunday), Easter Monday (the Monday after Easter), the Early May Bank Holiday (the first Monday in May), Spring Bank Holiday (the last Monday in May), Summer Bank Holiday (the last Monday in August), Christmas Day (25th December), and Boxing Day (26th December).
Great Britain is a diverse patchwork of native and immigrant cultures, with a fascinating history and dynamic modern culture. Great Britain remains a great influence in the world, and continues to be a great place to visit.
A popular area to visit is South Kensington which is popular because of its museums and shopping districts. People often make the trip here and stay in one of the Luxury Hotels, South Kensington London and experience one of the most civilised of urban enclaves which was made for exploring on foot.