Geographic Regions of the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is an island nation in Western Europe on the island of Great Britain, part of the island of Ireland and several other small islands. The UK has a total area of 94,058 square miles (243,610 sq km) and a coastline of 7,723 miles (12,429 m). The population of the UK is 62,698,362 people (July 2011 estimate) and the capital. The UK is made up of four different regions that are not independent nations. These regions are England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

The following is a list of the UK's four regions and some information about each.

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Big Ben, London

TangMan Photography / Getty Images

England is the largest of the four geographical regions making up the United Kingdom. It is bordered by Scotland to the north and Wales to the west and it has coastlines along Celtic, North and Irish Seas and the English Channel. Its total land area is 50,346 square miles (130,395 sq km) and a population of 55.98 million people (2018 estimate). The capital and largest city of England (and the UK) is London. The topography of England consists mainly of gently rolling hills and lowlands. There are several large rivers in England and the most famous and longest of these is the Thames River that runs through London.

England is separated from continental Europe 21 mile (34 km) English Channel but they are connected by the undersea Channel Tunnel.

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Eilean Donan Castle - Scotland

Mathew Roberts Photography / Getty Images

Scotland is the second largest of the four regions making up the UK. It is located in the northern part of Great Britain and it borders England to the south and has coastlines along the North Sea, Atlantic Ocean, North Channel, and the Irish Sea. Its area is 30,414 square miles (78,772 sq km) and it has a population of 5.438 million (2018 estimate). Scotland's area also includes almost 800 offshore islands. The capital of Scotland is Edinburgh but the largest city is Glasgow.

The topography of Scotland is varied and its northern portions have high mountain ranges, while the central portion consists of lowlands and the south has gently rolling hills and uplands. Despite its latitude, the climate of Scotland is temperate because of the Gulf Stream.

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Cardiff Bay, the Pierhead building

Atlantide Phototravel / Getty Images

Wales is a region of the United Kingdom that is bordered by England to the east and the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea to the west. It has an area of 8,022 square miles (20,779 sq km) and a population of 3.139 million people (2018 estimate). The capital and largest city of Wales is Cardiff. Wales has a coastline of 746 miles (1,200 km) which includes the coastlines of its many offshore islands. The largest of these is Anglesey in the Irish Sea.

The topography of Wales consists mainly of mountains and its highest peak is Snowdon at 3,560 feet (1,085 m). Wales has a temperate, maritime climate and it is one of the wettest regions in Europe. Winters in Wales are mild and summers are warm.

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Northern Ireland

Medieval cannon along wall surrounding old Londonderry

Danita Delimont / Getty Images

Northern Ireland is a region of the United Kingdom that is located in the northern part of the island of Ireland. It borders the Republic of Ireland to the south and west and has coastlines along the Atlantic Ocean, North Channel, and the Irish Sea. Northern Ireland has an area of 5,345 square miles (13,843 sq km), making it the smallest of the UK's regions. The population of Northern Ireland is 1.882 million (2018 estimate) and the capital and largest city is Belfast.

The topography of Northern Ireland is varied and consists of both uplands and valleys. Lough Neagh is a large lake located in the center of Northern Ireland and with an area of 151 square miles (391 sq km) it is the largest lake in the British Isles.