Though it is difficult to reach the British Isles from the continent, they have been inhabited since ancient times. In prehistoric times, this territory was rich in tin, and the Phoenicians and the Greeks called Britain the Tin Islands. The most amazing and famous monument here is Stonehenge. A lot of legends are connected with it: Stonehenge used to be an observatory during the Stone Age and a religious monument with an altar; some even considered it to be an alien spaceport.
The Romans have founded many of the current cities in the UK, including its capital London. The Romans failed to conquer all the islands and did not want to move to the cold northern lands. In order to isolate themselves from the barbarians in the north, they built several fortifications. The most famous of them is Hadrian's wall that separates England from Scotland. The city gate of Lincoln, the gate in Colchester, and many ruins of Roman military fortifications have been preserved till nowadays.
The territory of the United Kingdom has long been thoroughly settled, but here you can find many places with almost untouched nature. Loch Ness in Scotland is famous primarily as the abode of the famous Nessie, a mythical monster that is the descendant of the dinosaurs, which, according to the legend, lives in the depths of the lake and sometimes appears on the surface. But even without the monster, picturesque beaches and steep green hills that surround the blue expanse of the lake can hardly leave anyone indifferent.
The fans of lakes and water recreation will certainly have to visit the Lake District in Cumbria and Lancashire County, where the largest national park in England is located. Stunning fjords and steep cliffs of the Hebride Islands, the beautiful island of Iona is among the most popular attractions. The Orkney Islands and the famous ornithological reserve on the 'bird island' Bass Rock are yet another destination.
Those passionate about mountain hiking, skiing and climbing are drawn to the Scottish Highlands, the Pennines, and Peak District at the border of England and Wales. Extraordinarily beautiful mountains are in the northern part of Wales, where the highest mountain in England and Wales, Snowdon, dominates the landscape. Right here, one will also find the Snowdonia national park filled with numerous mountain streams, waterfalls, and wooded valleys. In the south-west of Wales, there are sulfuric, hydrochloric and other mineral springs.
Great Britain represents a variety of architectural styles, including Romanesque Anglo-Saxon buildings noted by the simplicity of design. A typical example of the Norman style of architecture is the legendary Edinburgh Castle in Scotland. The rich ornamentation of buildings has reached perfection in late Gothic style, represented by King's College in Cambridge, St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle and Henry VII Chapel in Westminster Abbey. The period of the Renaissance and Baroque is illustrated by such monuments as St. Paul's Cathedral in London, built by Sir Christopher Wren, one of the greatest English architects. One of the most famous buildings in the world, the Buckingham Palace, is built in the Victorian style characterized by grandeur and beauty. Modern constructivism does not change the architectural appearance of most cities in the UK, although sometimes contrasts the ancient edifices and underlines their irresistible charm.
True symbols of the United Kingdom are the Tower, the Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament on the banks of the Thames in London, Westminster Abbey, Stratford-upon-Avon, where William Shakespeare was born, and many other places which attract thousands of tourists each month all year round.