IF YOU’RE LOOKING TO CLIMB, HIKE, CAVE, DIVE, OR JUST ENJOY THE BEAUTIFUL SCENERY, LOOK NO FURTHER. PACKED WITH SO MANY GEOLOGICALLY FASCINATING LOCATIONS, BRITAIN WILL PRESENT A PARTICULARLY ADVENTUROUS CHALLENGE.
Here are 19 most interesting facts about Great Britain, with the links to more information about its mountains and adventures.
1. The name “Britain” comes from the name of the Celtic tribe “The Brythons”, and “England” comes from the “Angle Land” – Land of the Angles, the Viking tribe that settled in the northern and eastern parts of the land.
2. The Great Britain includes England, Scotland and Wales. With the addition of the Northern Ireland in 1801, the name changed to the United Kingdom. If you add the Republic of Ireland and The Isle of Man, it’s called the British Isles.
3. Inhabitants of the Isle of Man claim that it’s not a part of England, nor even the United Kingdom. They have their own government, Tynwald, supposedly the oldest democratic parliament in the world.
4. Tee-Exe Line is an imaginary line that can be drawn on the map of Great Britain and which divides it into the highlands and lowlands. England is mostly lowland terrain, with the mountains located north from the mentioned line. Scotland and Wales are mostly mountainous.
5. Scotland has the most of the highest mountains in Great Britain, including the highest – Ben Nevis, standing at 1,345 meters (4,411 ft). It’s located at the Grampian Mountains, in the Lochaber area of the Scottish Highlands. The highest mountain of England is Scafell Pike, at 978 metres (3,209 ft), and the highest mountain of Wales is Snowdon (welsh: Yr Wyddfa) at 1,085 metres (3,560 ft). The National Three Peaks Challenge is an event where participants try to summit all three highest peaks of Great Britain in 24 hours.
6. All Scottish mountains over 3000 ft (914 m) are called Munros. At the end of the 19th century, a hiker called Sir Hugh Munro made a list of all those hills called Munro’s Tables. The list was revised and today there are 282 Munros. “Munro bagging” is summiting all of the listed Munros, the fastest continuous round made by Stephen Pyke who completed it in just under 40 days.
7. There is a town in Wales with the most unusual name - Llanfairpwllgwyngyll-gogerychwyrndrobwlllllandysiliogogogoch. It translates as “St. Mary’s Church in the hollow of the white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio near the cave.” It’s usually shortened to Llanfairpwill.
8. Build around 3000 B.C., the Stonehenge predates even the Egyptian pyramids! It’s located on the England’s Salisbury Plain, and it’s the best known prehistoric monument in Europe, and probably in the world.
9. Loch Ness is the largest lake in Great Britain. It may be the home of the famous Loch Ness Monster, or Nessie, an aquatic being, probably a plesiosaurus. The sightings were reported numerous times, the last one in May 2017, which was followed by a bizarre footage of a mysterious Nessie-like shape swimming across the lake.
10. The deepest cave in Great Britain is Ogof Ffynnon Ddu (welsh for Cave of the Black Spring), located in Wales, with the total length of 50km (31 miles) and depth of 247.5 meters (901 ft). The longest cave system is the Three Counties System in Northern England, with 86.7 km (53.9 miles) of passageways.
11. The Slimbridge Wetland Centre in England has the world’s largest collection of captive Anatidae (ducks, geese and swans), and it’s the only place left in the world where you can still observe all six species of Flamingo.
12. The word “pub” is short for “public house”. Almost all of the world’s oldest pubs are located in Great Britain, and according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest one is The Bingley Arms, in Bardsey, England. Britain’s most remote pub is the Old Forge, on Inverie, Scotland. It’s located 172km (107 miles) from the nearest town and has no road access.
13. As you all probably already know, the British love tea. Every day they drink 165 million cups of tea – that’s 60.2 billion cups per year!
14. Britain has all sorts of rock types and formations – classic gritstone, rough granite, limestone and sandstone crags. Because of that, you have every possible style of climbing available, from sport and trad climbing, to bouldering and even deep-water soloing. The most popular spots for climbing are The Peak District, Lake District, The Wye Valley and The Avon Gorge.
15. The London’s Underground, nicknamed The Tube dur to the shape of its tunnels, has the oldest section of underground railway in the world. The Metropolitan Railway, opened in 1863., is now part of the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines.
16. The Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake is an annual event held near Gloucester, England. The round of 9lb of Double Gloucester cheese is rolled, with one second head-start, and competitors run downhill after it. The first person over the finish line at the bottom wins the cheese.
17. The Welsh probably think the regular snorkeling is for wimps. Every year on August Bank Holiday in Waen Rhydd peat bog south of Llanwrtyd Wells in Powys, people compete in the World Bog Snorkeling Championship. “Wet suits are optional but advisable”.
18. The Channel tunnel, connecting England and France, has the longest undersea portion of any tunnel in the world - 37.9 kilometres (23.5 mi).
19. The London Eye is the world’s tallest observation wheel. It’s 135 m (443 feet) tall and the wheel has a diameter of 120 m (394 feet). Each rotation takes about 30 minutes during which you can observe the London from above, and on a clear day see as far as Windsor Castle – actually up to 40 kilometers in all directions.