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50 Essential Facts About the British Isles

The 50 facts that you MUST know on your way to becoming an expert on Britain!

There are 2 countries in the British Isles: The UK and the Irish RepublicCountries
There are also 3 dependencies: Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man
The UK is 4 countries: England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales
Great Britain is an island, not a country. It does not include N Ireland
There are over 6,000 islands in the British Isles. Only 136 are inhabited
The highest mountain in the British Isles is Ben Nevis in ScotlandMountains
The 10 highest mountains in England are all in the Lake District 
The mountainous terrain of Wales helped defend it from the English
Carrauntoohil is the highest peak on the island of Ireland
Two thirds of the UK's mountains are in Scotland
The Giant's Causeway in Ireland was made by crystalising lavaLandmarks
The 3 km Tay Bridge in Scotland is the longest bridge in the British Isles
Stonehenge was built with rocks quarried 180 miles away in Wales
The Cliffs of Moher in County Clare are Ireland's most visited attraction
The clocktower known as Big Ben is actually named Elizabeth Tower
78% of the 68 million people in the British Isles live in EnglandPeople
The first "humans" arrived in the British Isles almost a million years ago
78% of Irish people are Catholics. In Britain its just 7%
The biggest cause of death is dementia
Life expectancy in the UK is 81.4. In Ireland it is 81.5
The largest lake in the British Isles is Lough Neagh in Northern IrelandLakes
The deepest lake is Loch Morar in Scotland. It's 310 meters deep
Lakes in Scotland are "lochs", in Ireland "loughs" and in Wales "llyn"
Loch Ness is famous the world over as home of the Loch Ness Monster
The Lakes of Killarney in Ireland have their own monster - Muckie
There are no snakes in Ireland. Legend says St. Patrick banished themWildlife
4,000 species of beetle live in the British Isles
There is a species of wren found nowhere but Fair Isle in the Shetlands
The schely is a fish found only in the lakes of the Lake District
The Snowdon lily is a flower found only in the mountains of Wales
There are many native languages including Cornish, Gaelic and SheltaLanguages
3,000-5,000 people speak Cornish fluently
Welsh is over 1,500 years old - one of the oldest languages in Europe
The most common tongue is English, a mix of German and other languages
The Scottish Gaelic alphabet has only 18 letters
The smallest city is St. David's in Wales. Less than 2,000 people live there Cities
England has 51 cities, Ireland 8, Scotland 7, Wales 6, and Northern Ireland 5
Almost 10 million people live in London - 14% of the British Isles' population
Aberdeen’s nickname is the Granite City
London Underground is the oldest tube network in the world. It opened in 1863
The first fish and chip shops opened in the 1860sFoods
A type of stew called "cawl" is Wales' national dish
The main ingredients of haggis are sheep's offal
Irish stew is made with root vegetables with either lamb or mutton
England's national dish is roast beef so the French call Englishmen "les rosbifs"
Irish post-boxes are greenCulture
Wales' nickname is "The Land of Song"
William Shakespeare is the UK's greatest cultural icon
Scotland is the birthplace and home of golf
Robin Hood is a character from medieval folklore still culturally relevant today

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