The United Kingdom is the correct political name for the country, which as well as the main land mass of England, Scotland and Wales includes numerous offshore islands, and Northern Ireland. The country is divided into counties which each have a County Council with limited autonomy.
The British Isles is a name for the two large islands of Great Britain and Ireland a geographical rather than a political grouping.
The UK tourist guide is designed for both British and overseas visitors who want to know more about what there is to see and do in some of Britains finest tourist destinations.
For overseas tourists, the United Kingdom is traditionally composed of a mere handful of famous destinations. London, Edinburgh, Bath, and Oxford. British themselves, a holiday in Britain was what you did when you couldnt afford to travel abroad.
But now the face of British tourism is changing. Thanks to low cost airlines, a foreign holiday is now in almost any Britons reach. A holiday in Britain, then, has become a choice rather than a last resort. As local travellers become more selective, UK resorts are revamping their images to compete for visitors. As well as traditional chips on the seafront, towns offer an increasing range of alternative and unusual attractions.
At the same time as British travellers are becoming more selective, overseas visitors are taking advantage of the possibilities offered by regional destinations and the fashion for travelling off the beaten track is growing.
Charming cliches include the black and white pub, the village cricket match, colourful Carnaby Street but it can be worth taking a closer look. The pub on the village green might turn out to offer fine cuisine and an extensive wine list. And few could deny Londons status at the cutting edge of cool, while the city is closely followed and occasionally eclipsed by other leading UK cities such as Manchester and Glasgow. From mountain hiking to dancing all night theres not much you cant do in Britain. Part of the fun is the juxtaposition of possibilities old and new, local and international, traditional and innovative.
By all means enjoy a fine Devon cream tea its one of Englands pleasures. But dont forget to take a look at some of the other faces of our island.
This United Kingdom destination guide is brought to you by Tourist Heaven, a tourist and visitor information website for Great Britain and Europe. Designed for travellers from around the world who want to plan a trip, take a holiday, book accommodation in the UK, or just learn more about the country from a tourist viewpoint: its geography, art, culture and entertainment options.