The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Scalpay, Outer Hebrides
Scalpay is an island in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Scalpay rises to a height of 104 metres at Beinn Scorabhaig; the area of Scalpay is 653 hectares. The main settlement on the island is at the north, near the bridge, clustered around An Acairseid a Tuath; the island is peppered with small lochans. The largest of these is Loch an Duin which has a tiny island in it, with the remains of the fort still visible. Eilean Glas, a tiny peninsula on Scalpay's eastern shore, is home to the first lighthouse to be built in the Outer Hebrides. Scalpay's nearest neighbour, Harris, is just 300 metres away across the narrows of Caolas Scalpaigh. In 1997, a bridge from Harris to Scalpay was built. Mac an Tàilleir suggests. However, Haswell-Smith states that the Old Norse name was Skalprøy, meaning "scallop island"; the vast majority of the locals in Scalpay are Protestants. The island is home to two Presbyterian churches, the Free Church of Scotland and the Free Church of Scotland. In 2001, the island had 322 people, whose main employment was fish prawn fishing.
By 2011 the population had declined by 9% to 291 whilst during the same period Scottish island populations as a whole grew by 4% to 103,702. Scalpay is home to psalm precentors; the island used to have more than 10 shops over 30 years ago but due to lack of people and work, the last shop closed in 2007. There used to be a salmon factory, a major local employer from 2001 until its closure in 2005. In the spring of 2009, local newspapers reported that the factory was to reopen as a net washing facility to support the local fish farming industry. In 2012, the Scalpay community opened a community shop/café, Buth Scalpaigh. Photographer Marco Secchi lived on Scalpay for few years between 2002-2008 and documented life and landscape of the Outer Hebrides. In 2011 the island's owner, Fred Taylor, announced that he proposed handing over the land to the local population. One proposal was. Islanders voted to assume community ownership of the island, they will go into partnership with the North Harris Community Trust to run the island.
There is a Seaforth Island in the Whitsunday Islands of Queensland, AustraliaSeaforth Island is an uninhabited island in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Unlike many other islands of the Outer Hebrides which are surrounded by open sea, Seaforth Island lies in a narrow fjord-like sea loch named Loch Seaforth, 8 kilometres from the open waters of The Minch. There are two different Gaelic names for the island. Mulag is from the Old Norse name Múli, which describes its geographical location, the other is after the family of Francis Mackenzie, 1st Baron Seaforth, who inherited the island in 1783; the island has poor soil. There are no census records indicating inhabitation in the recent past, although the loch area was the subject of border disputes in the 19th century. In 1851 these were resolved by the unusual decision to allocate the whole of Seaforth Island to both counties, Ross-shire and Inverness-shire, which at the time controlled Lewis and Harris respectively; this situation continued until the 1975 county reorganisation
Scarp is an uninhabited island in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, west of Hushinish on Harris. Once inhabited, the island was the scene of unsuccessful experiments with rocket mail, since commemorated in two films. Scarp has an area of 1,045 hectares, divided into 16 crofts; the majority of the land is rocky and uncultivated, is dominated by two hills, of which the higher reaches 308 metres. There is a small area of low-lying fertile land in the south-east corner of the island, here, closest to Harris, is where the inhabitants of the island once lived; the population of Scarp peaked at 213 in 1881, as as the 1940s it was reported to be over 100. The island was settled by eight farming families in 1810, the population rose, following clearances on Harris, to over two hundred; this population could not be supported as there is little cultivatable land and no all-weather harbour, resulting in many families drifting away. In the 1950s the economy was still basic, relying on potatoes, oats, milk and some lobster fishing.
Scarp was one of several Scottish islands, including St Kilda and Handa, where all the men of the island would gather every morning in a so-called'parliament', to agree the work to be done on that day. Such meetings would sometimes last for many hours, on these occasions no work would be done, except by the women of the island. Crofting was the way of life on the island comprising sheep and dairy cattle rearing and fishing, in latter years principally lobster fishing, which provided an income for around 12 families. Islanders were religious and a Church of Scotland Mission House was the focal point for Sunday worship and weekly prayer meetings; the 1950s and 1960s saw a further decline in the island's population. The closure of the primary school in 1967 and the post office in 1968 were final blows and by the time of the 1971 census the population had dwindled to 12. By the end of 1971, the last permanent inhabitants of Scarp had moved to Harris. However, a few houses on the island are still in occasional use as private holiday homes.
The island is reached by a short boat crossing across the Kyle of Scarp from Hushinish, but the sea here is shallow and landing on Scarp can be difficult when there is a swell. Scarp was the site of an experiment by German inventor Gerhard Zucker to deliver the island's post by rocket mail. In July 1934 Zucker made two unsuccessful attempts at firing rocket mail between Harris. Singed envelopes from the exploded rocket can still be seen at the island museum. A fictionalised account of the rocket mail experiment was used as the basis of the film, The Rocket Post, filmed on Harris and Taransay and directed by Stephen Whittaker, released in 2006; the film was intended to be filmed on location on Scarp but the owner refused permission and location was moved to Taransay. The artist Norman Adams bought a croft house on the island in 1963 with his wife Anna and two sons, painted many of his well-known works there in his distinctive style over the next ten summers. There are many references to the grave of Donald John MacLennan, buried at Scarp Burial Ground, in the book Not Forgotten by author Neil Oliver.
Donald John died on 18 March 1917 when his ship PS Duchess of Montrose struck a mine and was lost near Dunkirk during the First World War. The mother of Hugh Dan MacLennan, Gaelic broadcaster and shinty enthusiast, hailed from Scarp; the current, non-resident, owner of the island is an Anglo-American musicologist Mr Anderson Bakewell, founder and chairman of the Isle of Harris Distillery Scarp was bought by a Panamanian company for £100 in 1978 as a speculation, sold in 1983 for £50,000 to Libco Ltd resold immediately to Orbitglen Ltd for £500,000. The last two deals were financed by the now-failed BCCI bank. Nazmudin Virani, a Ugandan businessman, a director of BCCI, brokered the deals. Virani was jailed for fraud and when BCCI collapsed the property was resold in 1995 for £155,000 to Mr Anderson Duke Bakewell, the current owner. Adams, Anna. Island Chapters. Duncan, Angus. Hebridean Island: Memories of Scarp. Birlinn. ISBN 1-84158-394-4. Haswell-Smith, Hamish; the Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate.
ISBN 978-1-84195-454-7. Mac an Tàilleir, Iain Ainmean-àite/Placenames. Pàrlamaid na h-Alba. Retrieved 26 August 2012
Killegray is an island in the Sound of Harris in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Situated in the Sound of Harris, a channel of water between North Uist and the Isle of Harris, Killegray is 1 1⁄2 miles long; the south end of the island is nearly all deep uncultivated moss. There is better cultivated land at the north. Rubha Claidhe in the north is the site of a ruined chapel, Teampull na h-Annait, which may be the origin of the island's name. Uninhabited, the island was occupied by a family of around three to five people from 1861 to 1931. Two people were temporarily living on the island; the 19th-century Killegray House, the only house on the island was renovated as holiday accommodation in 1991. The shallow waters and reefs are a rich breeding ground for velvet lobsters. Jacobs Babtie has investigated building a combination of bridges and causeways across the Sound of Harris. Wind turbines and tidal generators could be incorporated in the scheme from Berneray via Killegray and Ensay to Harris.
The estimated cost of £75 million could rise to £145 million with the renewable energy devices
Scotland is a country, part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides; the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain; the union created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland enacted a political union to create a United Kingdom.
The majority of Ireland subsequently seceded from the UK in 1922. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland; the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The continued existence of legal, educational and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England; the Scottish Parliament, a unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, was established in 1999 and has authority over those areas of domestic policy which have been devolved by the United Kingdom Parliament. The head of the Scottish Government, the executive of the devolved legislature, is the First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the UK House of Commons by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs.
Scotland is a member of the British–Irish Council, sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is divided into councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. "Scotland" comes from the Latin name for the Gaels. From the ninth century, the meaning of Scotia shifted to designate Gaelic Scotland and by the eleventh century the name was being used to refer to the core territory of the Kingdom of Alba in what is now east-central Scotland; the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass most of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages, as the Kingdom of Alba expanded and came to encompass various peoples of diverse origins. Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period, it is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.
At the time, Scotland was covered in forests, had more bog-land, the main form of transport was by water. These settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, the first villages around 6,000 years ago; the well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation and ritual sites are common and well preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone. Evidence of sophisticated pre-Christian belief systems is demonstrated by sites such as the Callanish Stones on Lewis and the Maes Howe on Orkney, which were built in the third millennium BCE; the first written reference to Scotland was in 320 BC by Greek sailor Pytheas, who called the northern tip of Britain "Orcas", the source of the name of the Orkney islands. During the first millennium BCE, the society changed to a chiefdom model, as consolidation of settlement led to the concentration of wealth and underground stores of surplus food.
The first Roman incursion into Scotland occurred in 79 AD. After the Roman victory, Roman forts were set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line, but by three years after the battle, the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands; the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall in northern England and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the Roman Empire. The Roman influence on the southern part of the country was considerable, they introduced Christianity to Scotland. Beginning in the sixth century, the area, now Scotland was divided into three areas: Pictland, a patchwork of small lordships in central Scotland; these societies were based on the family unit and had sharp divisions in wealth, although the vast majority were poor and worked full-time in subsistence agriculture. The Picts kept slaves through the ninth century. Gaelic influence over Pictland and Northumbria was facilitated by the large number of Gaelic-speaking clerics working as missionaries. Operating in the sixth ce