What is Great Britain? – Facts and Information

There is quite a bit of confusion about what people actually mean when they use the term. This article should help to answer the questions: What is Great Britain? and Where is Great Britain?

  • Great Britain is an island to the north-west of Continental Europe. It is located to the east of Ireland and is surrounded by the North Sea, the English Channel and the Irish Sea.
  • Three countries make up Great Britain: England, Scotland and Wales.
  • Great Britain is sometimes just called Britain. Confusingly, Britain can also be used to mean the United Kingdom.
  • The term Great Britain was first used in the 15th century.
  • Great Britain used be home to brown bears, wolves and wild boars, but these have become extinct in the region. Now the largest wild animals to be found on the island are: deer (red, roe and fallow), badgers, foxes, otters and hedgehogs. Wildcats still live in parts of Scotland.
  • Over 550 species of bird can be seen in Great Britain at various points during the year.
  • There are only six types of reptile in Great Britain – 3 types of snake and 3 types of lizard.
  • The largest city in Great Britain is London (the capital of England), and other large settlements include: Edinburgh (the capital of Scotland), Cardiff (the capital of Wales), Glasgow, Birmingham, Brighton, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and Nottingham.

Click the links below to find out some more facts about the countries of Great Britain:

Learn more about the difference between England, Great Britain, the United Kingdom and the British Isles.

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