children looking at globe

Read about the UK, then do the exercises to help you practise your reading in English.


Do the preparation exercise first. Then read the text and do the other exercises.

Reading text

Some British people say that they are from Great Britain. Other British people say they are from the UK. Some say they are from England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. What do you know about these different places?

England, Scotland and Wales are on an island in the north-west of Europe called Great Britain. Great Britain together with Northern Ireland is called the United Kingdom, or UK.

Map of the UK


England is the largest part of the UK. Its name comes from people called the Angles, who came from Germany 1500 years ago. About 56 million people live in England and the capital city is London.


Scotland is in the north of Britain. Over 5 million people live in Scotland. The highest mountain in the UK is in Scotland. It is called Ben Nevis and is 1,345 metres high. The capital city of Scotland is Edinburgh but the largest city is Glasgow.


Wales is in the west of Britain. About 3 million people live there and about 20 per cent of them speak Welsh. Welsh is one of the oldest languages in Europe. The Welsh flag has a picture of a dragon! The capital of Wales is Cardiff.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is a part of Ireland, an island west of Britain. Nearly 2 million people live there. The Giant's Causeway is a popular tourist attraction. There are huge rocks made by lava from a volcano, but an old story says that a giant built it! The capital of Northern Ireland is Belfast.

Fun facts

  • The UK flag is called the 'Union Jack'.
  • The UK is the only country in the world with four national football teams.


What country do you live in? Tell us some interesting facts about your country!

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English courses for children aged 6-17

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