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England

By O. Zabolotnyi

England is the largest, the richest, the most industrialized, and the most densely
populated part of the United Kingdom. Over 46 million people live there.

Above Left: St. George’s Cross on the Flag of Above Centre:


England is the best-recognizable symbol. Coat of Arms of England.

Above Right: The “Tudor Rose” is the floral symbol of England. It combines the Red Rose of the
House of Lancaster with the White one of the House of York. This way both rivals who claimed the
throne between 1455 and 1485 are peacefully represented by this symbol.

The coasts of England are washed by the North Sea, the Irish Sea, the English Channel
and the Strait of Dover. It is a well-known fact that the sea has always been important
for the country. It was a good protection against the attacks of other nations, it
influences the climate, it has made fishing an important industry, and it has made
Englishmen the world’s finest sailors.
England has many rivers. The longest is the Severn (388 km), but the Thames (354 km)
is the most important as it flows through the capital city of London, which is also a major
sea port.
England is a flat country. Most of the plains lie to the east, while the west is hilly and
mountainous. However, the mountains are not very high. The territory is divided into
three main parts: Northern England, Midlands and Southern England.

Southern England is famous for its rural


beauty. The county of Kent is known as “the
garden of England” due to the many fruit and
vegetables grown here. The warmest climate of
the seaside suggested developing of such
prominent sea resorts as, for example Brighton
and Bournemouth. The south-west peninsula,
with its rocky coast, is the most popular holiday
area in Britain. The biggest city here is Bristol,
which once was Britain’s second-important port
after London. East Anglia to the north-east of
London is also flat. It has the driest climate on
the British Isles, so they grow wheat and other arable crops there.
Above: Arundel Castle, Sussex
The Midlands became the country’s engineering centre during the Industrial
Revolution. Most of the important industrial cities are located here. Birmingham and the
surrounding area of the West Midlands were called the Black Country because of black
(ferrous) metallurgy factories concentrated there.

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Left: The Black Country in 1869.

The towns between the Black Country and


Manchester are known as The Potteries. Wedgewood,
Spode and Minton are famous worldwide for
producing china.

Right: A fine sample of


Wedgewood china – a
commemorative plate.

There are other notable industrial towns in the East


Midlands, such as Derby, Leicester and Nottingham.
Although the Midlands do not create many positive
associations in people’s minds because of their industrial
background, tourism flourishes in ‘Shakespeare Country’ (centered in Stratford-upon-
Avon, which is believed to be Shakespeare’s birthplace), and in Nottingham, which is
famous for its connection with legendary Robin Hood.

Right: The statue of legendary Robin Hood in


Nottingham.

Below: Shakespeare’s boyhood house in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Left: The cottage of Ann Hathaway, whom William


Shakespeare married, Stratford-upon-Avon.

Northern England is another major industrial


area of England. The Pennine Mountains divide
Northern England into two halves. On either side,
the large deposits of coal and iron ore enabled
these areas to lead the Industrial Revolution in
the 18th century. On the western side, the
Manchester area connected to the port of Liverpool by canal became in the 19th century
the world’s leading producer of cotton goods. On the eastern side, such towns as
Bradford and Leeds approximately the same time became famous for producing woolen
goods. Further south Sheffield became a centre for production of steel. To the north,
around Newcastle, shipbuilding and coal-mining were the main industries.

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However, the decline in Europe’s heavy industry in the second half of the 20th century hit
the industrial north of England hard. For a long time this region had a level of
unemployment significantly above the national average.

Right: Lake Windermere, the largest lake


in England in the heart of the Lake District.

Away from the main industrial areas, the


north of England is sparsely populated. In
the north-western part of the country the
famous Lake District is located. It is one of
the most beautiful places on the planet,
combining the attractiveness of numerous
lakes and mountains, the highest peak in
England – Scaffel-Pike (978 m) among
them. The romantic poets of the nineteenth
century, Wordsworth, Coleridge and
Southey (the ‘Lake Poets’), lived here and
described the beauty of the area in their
immortal verses.

‘I wandered lonely as a cloud


That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze…’

By William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850)

Right:
Portrait of William Wordsworth, one of
‘the Lake Poets’.
The Lake District has become the favourite destination of people who enjoy walking
holidays. Today, it has been made a National Park (the largest in England), and its
natural wonders are protected by the law.