United Kingdom/The Land - شهية الطبخ المغربي

United Kingdom/The Land

United Kingdom/The Land
The United Kingdom covers most of an island group called the British
Isles. The British Isles consist of two large islands-Great Britain and
Ireland-and thousands of small islands. England, Scotland, and Wales
occupy the island of Great Britain. Northern Ireland occupies the
northeastern part of the island of Ireland. The independent Republic of
Ireland occupies the rest of the island of Ireland. Some Irish people object
to the term British Isles because it seems to imply that Ireland is British.
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The island of Great Britain is the eighth largest island in the world. It
covers 84,550 square miles (218,980 square kilometers). The North Sea
on the east and the English Channel on the south separate the island from
the mainland of Europe. The island of Ireland lies to the west, across the
Irish Sea. The island of Great Britain is separated from mainland Europe
by only about 20 miles (32 kilometers) of water at the closest point. Most
of the coastline of Great Britain is so broken by deep bays and inlets that
no point on the island is more than 75 miles (121 kilometers) from the
sea.
The United Kingdom can be divided into eight main land regions. Seven of
these regions occupy the island of Great Britain. They are (1) the Scottish
Highlands, (2) the Central Lowlands, (3) the Southern Uplands, (4) the
Pennines, (5) Wales, (6) the Southwest Peninsula, and (7) the English
Lowlands. Northern Ireland makes up the eighth region.
The Scottish Highlands cover the northern half of Scotland. They are a
region of mountain ranges, plateaus, and deep valleys. The highest point
in the United Kingdom, 4,406-foot (1,343-meter) Ben Nevis, rises in the
Highlands. Many bays cut into the region's Atlantic Ocean and North Sea
coasts. Some narrow bays, called sea lochs, are flanked by steep
mountain slopes and reach far inland. Most of the Highlands is a moor-an
area of coarse grasses, a few small trees, and low evergreen shrubs called
heather. The soil of this rugged, windswept region is thin and poor. Few
people live there. Most of them raise sheep, or they fish in the seas.
The Central Lowlands lie south of the Scottish Highlands, in the valleys of
the Rivers Clyde, Forth, and Tay. This region is a gently rolling plain. It
has Scotland's best farmland and its richest coal deposits. Most of the
Scottish people live there, and most of Scotland's industry is in the
Lowlands.
The Southern Uplands rise gently south of the Central Lowlands. This is a
region of rounded, rolling hills. Sheep graze on the short grass that covers
much of the hills. Their fleece goes to Scotland's woolen mills in the
region's Tweed Valley. In the south, the Uplands rise to the Cheviot Hills,
which form the border between Scotland and England.
The Pennines are a region of rounded uplands that extend from the
Scottish border about halfway down the length of England. They are also
known as the Pennine Chain or Pennine Hills, and they are often called the
backbone of England. Their flanks are rich in coal. West of the Pennines
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lies the Lake District, a scenic area of clear, quiet lakes and low
mountains. The Lake District is one of England's most famous recreation
areas.
Wales lies southwest of the Pennines. It is separated from the Pennines by
a narrow strip of the English Lowlands. The Cambrian Mountains cover
most of Wales. These mountains are especially rugged and beautiful in the
north and are more rounded in central Wales. Southern Wales is largely a
plateau deeply cut by river valleys. Most of the people live on the narrow
coastal plains or in the deep, green river valleys. These are the best areas
for crop farming and raising dairy cattle. The rest of the land is too steep
for raising crops and is used mostly for grazing sheep and some beef
cattle. Wales has large deposits of coal in the south, though most of its
mines have been closed. Much of the industry of Wales is centered in the
large coastal towns.
The Southwest Peninsula lies south of Wales, across the Bristol Channel. It
is a plateau whose surface is broken by great masses of granite. Near
much of the coast, the plateau ends sharply in magnificent cliffs that
tower above the sea. Tiny fishing villages lie in sheltered bays along the
coast. The region has mild winters and summers that are not too dry. This
climate helps make agriculture important in the fertile lowland areas.
Farmers grow vegetables and raise dairy cattle.
The peninsula was once famous for its tin and copper mines, but most of
these metals have been worked out. More important today is the region's
fine white china clay, used to make pottery. The Southwest Peninsula's
beauty and pleasant climate attract many artists and retired people and
thousands of vacationers every year.
The English Lowlands cover all England south of the Pennines and east of
Wales and the Southwest Peninsula. This region has most of the United
Kingdom's farmable land, industry, and people. The Lowlands consist
chiefly of broad, gently rolling plains, broken here and there by low hills
and ridges. Much of the land is a patchwork of fields and meadows,
bordered by tall hedges, stone fences, or rows of trees.
A grassy plain called the Midlands lies in the center of the English
Lowlands, just south of the Pennines. Parts of the Midlands extend along
the western and eastern borders of the Pennines. The Midlands are the
industrial heart of the United Kingdom. Birmingham and the surrounding
communities form the country's chief manufacturing center.
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South of the Midlands, a series of hills and valleys crosses the land to the
valley of the River Thames. London, the United Kingdom's capital and
great commercial and cultural center, stands on the Thames. Most of the
land north of the Thames and up to a bay of the North Sea called The
Wash is low and flat. This area has some of the country's richest farmland.
A great plain called The Fens borders The Wash. In The Fens, near Ely, is
the lowest point on the island of Great Britain. It ranges from sea level to
15 feet (4.6 meters) below sea level, depending on the tide of the North
Sea.
South of the Thames, low chalk hills and valleys cross the land. Where the
hills reach the sea, they form great white cliffs. The most famous cliffs are
near Dover. On clear days, people in Calais, France, can look across the
Strait of Dover and see the white cliffs of Dover gleaming in the sun.
Northern Ireland is a region of low mountains, deep valleys, and fertile
lowlands. The land is lowest near the center and rises to its greatest
heights near the north and south coasts. The chief natural resources are
rich fields and pastures, and most of the land is used for crop farming or
grazing.
Rivers and lakes. The United Kingdom's longest rivers are the Severn,
which is 220 miles (354 kilometers) long, and the Thames, which is 210
miles (340 kilometers) long. Many British rivers have drowned, or sunken,
mouths called estuaries, up which the ocean tides flow. These rivers
include the Clyde and Forth of Scotland; the Humber, Mersey, and Thames
of England; and the Severn of England and Wales. The estuaries of these
rivers make excellent harbors. Bristol, Hull, Liverpool, London,
Southampton, and other cities on or near estuaries are important ports.
Lough Neagh (pronounced lok NAY) in Northern Ireland is the largest lake
in the British Isles. It is about 18 miles (29 kilometers) long and up to 15
miles (24 kilometers) wide. It covers about 150 square miles (388 square
kilometers). Loch Lomond in Scotland is the largest lake on the island of
Great Britain. It is 23 miles (37 kilometers) long and 5 miles (8
kilometers) wide at its widest point. England's biggest lakes are in the
Lake District. The largest, Windermere, is about 10 miles (16 kilometers)
long and up to 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) wide.

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