England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, and since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world. The English language, the Anglican Church, and English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, and the country's parliamentary system of government has been widely adopted by other nations. The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation.
England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains, especially in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the north (for example, the Lake District and Pennines) and in the west (for example, Dartmoor and the Shropshire Hills). The capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom, largely concentrated around London, the South East, and conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, and Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century.
The Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland (through another Act of Union) to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Read more...
The Herdwick is a traditional breed of domestic sheep native to the mountainous Lake District of Cumbria in North West England. The name "Herdwick" is derived from the Old Norse herdvyck, meaning sheep pasture. Though low in lambing capacity and wool quality when compared to more common commercial breeds such as Merino sheep, Herdwicks are prized for their robust health, their ability to live solely on forage, and their tendency not to stray over the difficult upland terrain of the Lake District. An integral part of the cultural identity of the Lake District, the breed is for the most part found in the central and western dales of the region.
Severely threatened by the 2001 outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in England and Wales, the breed has survived due to the intent to preserve this unique animal as a crucial part of traditional Lakeland agriculture. Still far less in number than most commercial breeds, Herdwicks survive largely due to farming subsidies and the aid of the British National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty.
William Hogarth's depiction of a scene from Shakespeare's The Tempest is an example of how English literature influenced English painting in the 18th century
Centre Court at Wimbledon. First played in 1877, the Wimbledon Championships is the oldest tennis tournament in the world.
The frontage of Warwick School, one of the oldest independent schools in England
English stately homes, manor houses, and gardens are associated with England and its heritage.
Edward Elgar is one of England's most celebrated classical composers.
The Christmas Pantomime 1890, UK. Pantomime plays a prominent role in British culture during the Christmas and New Year season.
Life expectancy at birth in England and Wales 2012 to 2014. Lighter colours indicate longer life expectancy.
Clarks was founded in 1825 and has since become a popular shoe brand internationally, seen as specialists in school shoes for children.
Alfred Hitchcock is often regarded as the greatest British filmmaker. He was described as "a straightforward middle-class Englishman who just happened to be an artistic genius."
Pubs are strongly associated with England, traditionally serving English food and beers.
Countries where English has official status or is widely spoken
The Anglo-Saxon Ingwaz Rune
First played in 1877, the Wimbledon Championships is the oldest tennis tournament in the world.
Mo Farah is the most successful British track athlete in modern Olympic Games history, winning the 5000 m and 10,000 m events at two Olympic Games.
Henry Singleton The Ale-House Door c. 1790
Portrait of King George IV, Thomas Lawrence.
Population of England and Wales by administrative areas. Their size shows their population, with some approximation. Each group of squares in the map key is 20 % of total number of districts.
The Examination and Trial of Father Christmas (1686), published after Christmas was reinstated as a holy day in England
Family-sized meat pie made by Sweeney & Todd of Reading
The Beatles are the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed band in popular music.
Hugh John Mungo Grant
(born 9 September 1960) is a Golden Globe
-winning British actor
and film producer
. He achieved international stardom after playing the alter ego
of writer-director Richard Curtis
in the sleeper hit Four Weddings and a Funeral
(1994). He used this breakthrough role as a frequent cinematic persona during the 1990s to deliver comic performances in mainstream films like Mickey Blue Eyes
(1999) and Notting Hill
(1999). He established himself, by the turn of the 21st century, as a prominent leading man
skilled with a satirical comic talent. In recent years, Grant has expanded his oeuvre with critically acclaimed turns as a cad
in Bridget Jones's Diary
(2001), About A Boy
(2002), and American Dreamz
Grant has been criticised by students of cinema for putting emphasis on nuanced mannerisms, for the predictability of his movies, and for his unwillingness to stretch as an actor. Within the film industry, he is cited as a movie star who approaches his roles like a character actor, with the ability to make acting look effortless. Hallmarks of his comic skills include a nonchalant touch of irony/sarcasm and studied physical mannerisms as well as his precisely-timed dialogue delivery and facial expressions.