Brash and forward, the people of the north England are among the friendliest, and the wild and windswept Northumberland coast, Peak District and Lake District are brooding and beautiful. But it is the highlands of Scotland where true British wilderness remains - harsh, snow capped and often inaccessible. Art-drenched Edinburgh is a stunning city to explore, and the larger islands of the Hebrides attract walkers and whiskey lovers.
Enchanting Wales features energetic Cardiff and industrial Swansea to the south, and jagged peaks of the Snowdon Massif to the north. Across the water, stylish Belfast is a forward thinking and exciting city, and Northern Ireland's countryside is every bit as intoxicating as the UK's mainland.
Few places cram in as much scenery, history and culture as the United Kingdom. England's southwest is dominated by a rugged shoreline and ancient history, while the UK's sprawling and ethnically diverse capital London sits amid the rolling hills of the cosmopolitan southeast.
Culture and History:
The culture of the United Kingdom refers to the patterns of human activity and symbolism associated with the United Kingdom and its people. It is informed by the UK's history as a developed island country, being a major power, and, its composition of four countries—England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales—each of which have preserved and distinct customs, cultures and symbolism.
As a direct result of the British Empire, British cultural influence (such as the English language) can be observed in the language and culture of a geographically wide assortment of countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan, the United States, and the British
As a result of the history of the formation of the United Kingdom, the cultures of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are diverse and have varying degrees of overlap and distinctiveness.
The monarchy, though now only symbolic politically, is a powerful and often subconscious unifying force. Members of the Royal Family are the subject of unceasing fascination, with their every move avidly followed and reported by the popular press, both in the UK and abroad.
Handshaking is customary when introduced to someone for the first time. One kiss on the cheek is gaining popularity for close friends. Normal social courtesies should be observed when visiting someone's home and a small present such as flowers or chocolates is appreciated. It is polite to wait until everyone has been served before eating.
Clothing: Some nightclubs and restaurants do not allow jeans and trainers, otherwise casual wear is widely acceptable. For business, a suit and tie should be worn, although in some workplaces an open neck is acceptable.
Use of public places: Topless sunbathing is allowed on certain beaches and tolerated in some parks. Smoking is banned in all enclosed public places, including stations, pubs and restaurants, throughout the UK.
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