England is the largest of the four UK nations. It includes the central and southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain, plus the offshore islands of the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly. With over 53 million inhabitants, England is the most populous nation of the United Kingdom.
The English language was formed here. It’s also the birthplace of the parliamentary system of government and the common law judicial system.
The country consists of many different landscapes and counties. The Severn is the longest river flowing through England, notable for its Severn bore tidal waves which can reach 2m in height!
Parts of the economy, notably in the financial services industry, are concentrated in London and the south-east of England.
About one-fifth of England’s workers are employed in manufacturing. Major industries located in the northern counties include food processing, brewing and the manufacture of chemicals, textiles, computers, automobiles and aircraft.
Traditional examples of English food include the Sunday roast, featuring a roasted joint (usually beef, lamb, chicken or pork) served with assorted vegetables, Yorkshire pudding and gravy.
Many English bands and solo artists have been cited as some of the most influential and best-selling musicians of all time. These include The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Sir Elton John, Queen, and The Rolling Stones.
It’s believed that football, rugby and cricket were first played in England.
Traditionally one of the powerhouses of Commonwealth sport, England has competed in all of the Commonwealth Games. At the Hamilton 1930 British Empire Games it won 61 medals, and currently ranks second to Australia on the all-time medal winners list.
At the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, England won 37 Gold, 60 Silver and 45 Bronze medals.
England has also taken part in each edition of the Commonwealth Youth Games since its inception in 2000.
England has hosted the Games on two occasions – in London in 1934 and in Manchester in 2002. It was also the host of the Olympic Games in 1908, 1948 and 2012.
Fun fact: In 1949 a flock of starlings landed on the minute hand of Big Ben, the tower clock that symbolises London and the UK parliament. It’s said that this landing put the time back by almost five minutes!
Sport fact: London’s annual Wimbledon Championships is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, and is widely considered the most prestigious.