England

England deserves a special page. It's Country Number 1.  I was born here. I've lived here most of my life. Great Britain has rightly been described as the most  diverse island in the world and England is the largest part of that island. Every few miles the scenery changes and it's nearly always rewarding, and often amazing. I could easily write a whole book on England, so instead here are a a few facts and a selection of my favourite photographs.

England, Albion in a Nutshell

  • England is the largest country in Great Britain and the United Kingdom (UK) and nearly 84% of the population of the UK lives in England, mainly in the major cities and metropolitan areas.
  • England is frequently  and  wrongly, used to refer to the whole of the United Kingdom, the entire island of Great Britain, or indeed the British Isles, much to the chagrin of the Welsh, Scots and Irish. However, England has not had a separate political identity since 1707, when Great Britain was established as a political entity. There is no government or parliament just for England.
  • England  means "Land of the Angles". The Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. An alternative name for England is Albion. The name Albion originally referred to the entire island of Great Britain (see above!). Albion means white - presumably referring to those 'white cliffs of Dover'.
  • Nowhere in the UK is more than 70 miles (113km) from the sea.
  • The English law legal system, developed over the centuries, is the basis of common law legal systems used in most Commonwealth countries and the United States (except Louisiana).  Similarly, the UK Parliament has shaped the political systems of many countries and is often called the "Mother of Parliaments".
  • For purposes of administration, England is subdivided into 48 ceremonial counties, each with a lord lieutenant who is the representative of the crown. It's more complicated than this of course. and boundaries and responsibilities have changed over time. Many are subdivided further and/or include metropolitan areas or boroughs. Most also have a high sheriff and so are known as shrieval counties as well. Whilst I'm writing about my explorations, I'm going to stick to the ceremonial counties.

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