London, city, capital of the United Kingdom. It is among the oldest of the world’s great cities—its history spanning nearly two millennia—and one of the most cosmopolitan. By far Britain’s largest metropolis, it is also the country’s economic, transportation, and cultural centre.
London is situated in southeastern England, lying astride the River Thames some 50 miles (80 km) upstream from its estuary on the North Sea. In satellite photographs the metropolis can be seen to sit compactly in a Green Belt of open land, with its principal ring highway (the M25 motorway) threaded around it at a radius of about 20 miles (30 km) from the city centre. The growth of the built-up area was halted by strict town planning controls in the mid-1950s. Its physical limits more or less correspond to the administrative and statistical boundaries separating the metropolitan county of Greater London from the “home counties” of Kent, Surrey, and Berkshire (in clockwise order) to the south of the river and Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, and Essex to the north. The historic counties of Kent, Hertfordshire, and Essex extend in area beyond the current administrative counties with the same names to include substantial parts of the metropolitan county of Greater London, which was formed in 1965. Most of Greater London south of the Thames belongs to the historic county of Surrey, while most of Greater London north of the Thames belongs historically to the county of Middlesex. Area Greater London, 607 square miles (1,572 square km). Pop. (2001) Greater London, 7,172,091; (2011 prelim.) Greater London, 8,173,941.
London was the world's largest city from c.1831 to 1925, with a population density of 325 people per hectare. London's overcrowded conditions led to cholera epidemics, claiming 14,000 lives in 1848, and 6,000 in 1866. Rising traffic congestion led to the creation of the world's first local urban rail network. The Metropolitan Board of Works oversaw infrastructure expansion in the capital and some of the surrounding counties; it was abolished in 1889 when the London County Council was created out of those areas of the counties surrounding the capital.
London was bombed by the Germans during the First World War, and during the Second World War, the Blitz and other bombings by the German Luftwaffe killed over 30,000 Londoners, destroying large tracts of housing and other buildings across the city.
Immediately after the war, the 1948 Summer Olympics were held at the original Wembley Stadium, at a time when London was still recovering from the war. From the 1940s onwards, London became home to many immigrants, primarily from Commonwealth countries such as Jamaica, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, making London one of the most diverse cities worldwide. In 1951, the Festival of Britain was held on the South Bank. The Great Smog of 1952 led to the Clean Air Act 1956, which ended the "pea soup fogs" for which London had been notorious.
Primarily starting in the mid-1960s, London became a centre for the worldwide youth culture, exemplified by the Swinging London subculture associated with the King's Road, Chelsea and Carnaby Street. The role of trendsetter was revived during the punk era. In 1965 London's political boundaries were expanded to take into account the growth of the urban area and a new Greater London Council was created. During The Troubles in Northern Ireland, London was subjected to bombing attacks by the Provisional Irish Republican Army for two decades, starting with the Old Bailey bombing in 1973. Racial inequality was highlighted by the 1981 Brixton riot.
Greater London's population declined steadily in the decades after the Second World War, from an estimated peak of 8.6 million in 1939 to around 6.8 million in the 1980s. The principal ports for London moved downstream to Felixstowe and Tilbury, with the London Docklands area becoming a focus for regeneration, including the Canary Wharf development. This was borne out of London's ever-increasing role as a major international financial centre during the 1980s. The Thames Barrier was completed in the 1980s to protect London against tidal surges from the North Sea.
In 2008, Time named London alongside New York City and Hong Kong as Nylonkong, hailing it as the world's three most influential global cities. In January 2015, Greater London's population was estimated to be 8.63 million, the highest level since 1939. During the Brexit referendum in 2016, the UK as a whole decided to leave the European Union, but a majority of London constituencies voted to remain in the EU.
All the people enjoy summer holidays very much. It is a great pleasure to have a rest after a whole year of hard work or study. People like to travel during their summer holidays. Some people go abroad to see new countries, some people prefer to go to the country-side to enjoy country-life far from noise and fuss of big cities.
Some people like to spend their holidays in cities, visiting theatres, museums and going sightseeing. But a great number of people go to the seaside in summer.
I like to have rest at the seaside best of all. I do not like crowds when I am on holiday. My family and I always have our holiday on the coast. Sea and sunshine, that is what we look forward to every summer. Hotels at the large seaside towns are rather expensive, so we usually go to a holiday camp.
Last year we spent our holidays in such a camp. Each day was full of small joys. We swam in the sea, lay in the sun, played different games and had a wonderful time. We lived there for about a month and did not even notice when the time came for us to return home. The time flew very quickly. It was a wonderful rest.
MY HOBBY According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a hobby is an activity that someone does for pleasure when they are not working. Moreover, a hobby is the person’s interest and preference that reflects his inner world. Through hobbies people realize the need for development and creativity.
There are many interesting things that can be people’s hobbies. Some people discover their talent in playing musical instruments, singing or painting. People fascinated by sports find it in football, tennis or ice-skating etc. There are also some options for calm people e.g. collecting things or making models.
As for me I have always been a very energetic person and have always had plenty of hobbies. I was interested in sports, especially volleyball and tennis. I collected stickers, toys and coins, had painting and language lessons, took part in a choir. Nevertheless, my deepest passion was always dancing. When I first came to the training I was so charmed by my coach and got so inspired that I started spending two hours three times a week there. I think it was the perfect hobby for my body and my soul. I have learned how to express myself through the body movements.
At the current moment, I suppose that my hobby is English. It’s not only the process of learning the language for me. I like listening to English songs, watching videos and movies in original, visiting speaking clubs and communicating with native speakers. I admire the culture of English speaking countries and I’m interested in everything that is connected with it. I have lessons three times a week and I love my group and the teacher. She makes the process of studying so exciting.
Thus, I believe that the keyword in a hobby definition is "pleasure". My hobby brings me a lot of pleasure and satisfaction. I feel my progress and it’s the best motivation to go ahead.
Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of 209,331 km2(80,823 sq mi), it is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island, and the ninth-largest island in the world. In 2011, Great Britain had a population of about 61 million people, making it the world's third-most populous island after Java in Indonesia and Honshu in Japan. The island of Ireland is situated to the west of Great Britain, and together these islands, along with over 1,000 smaller surrounding islands, form the British Isles archipelago.
The island is dominated by a maritime climate with quite narrow temperature differences between seasons. Politically, Great Britain is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and constitutes most of its territory. 11 Most of England, Scotland, and Wales are on the island. The term "Great Britain" is often used to include the whole of England, Scotland and Wales including their component adjoining islands; and is also occasionally but contentiously applied to the UK as a whole in some contexts.
A single Kingdom of Great Britain resulted from the union of the Kingdom of England (which had already comprised the present-day countries of England and Wales) and the Kingdom of Scotland by the 1707 Acts of Union. In 1801, Great Britain united with the neighbouring Kingdom of Ireland, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, which was renamed the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" after the Irish Free State seceded in 1922.
The archipelago has been referred to by a single name for over 2000 years: the term 'British Isles' derives from terms used by classical geographers to describe this island group. By 50 BC Greek geographers were using equivalents of Prettanikē as a collective name for the British Isles. 13 However, with the Roman conquest of Britain the Latin term Britannia was used for the island of Great Britain, and later Roman-occupied Britain south of Caledonia.
The earliest known name for Great Britain is Albion (Greek: Ἀλβιών) or insula Albionum, from either the Latin albusmeaning "white" (possibly referring to the white cliffs of Dover, the first view of Britain from the continent) or the "island of the Albiones".
The oldest mention of terms related to Great Britain was by Aristotle (384–322 BC), or possibly by Pseudo-Aristotle, in his text On the Universe, Vol. III. To quote his works, "There are two very large islands in it, called the British Isles, Albion and Ierne".
Pliny the Elder (AD 23–79) in his Natural History records of Great Britain: "Its former name was Albion; but at a later period, all the islands, of which we shall just now briefly make mention, were included under the name of 'Britanniæ.'" 19
The name Britain descends from the Latin name for Britain, Britannia or Brittānia, the land of the Britons. Old FrenchBretaigne (whence also Modern French Bretagne) and Middle English Bretayne, Breteyne. The French form replaced the Old English Breoton, Breoten, Bryten, Breten (also Breoton-lond, Breten-lond). Britannia was used by the Romans from the 1st century BC for the British Isles taken together. It is derived from the travel writings of the Pytheas around 320 BC, which described various islands in the North Atlantic as far north as Thule (probably Norway).
Marcian of Heraclea, in his Periplus maris exteri, described the island group as αἱ Πρεττανικαὶ νῆσοι (the Prettanic Isles).
The peoples of these islands of Prettanike were called the Πρεττανοί, Priteni or Pretani. 17 Priteni is the source of the Welsh language term Prydain, Britain, which has the same source as the Goidelic term Cruithne used to refer to the early Brythonic-speaking inhabitants of Ireland. 21 The latter were later called Picts or Caledonians by the Romans. Greek historians Diodorus of Sicily and Strabo preserved variants of Prettanike from the work of Greek explorer Pytheas of Massalia, who travelled from his home in Hellenistic southern Gaul to Britain in the 4th century BC. The term used by Pytheas may derive from a Celtic word meaning "the painted ones" or "the tattooed folk" in reference to body decorations.