The New Forest: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the New Forest.

  • The New Forest is an area of undeveloped woodland and pasture in southern England.

  • It covers an area of about 560 square km in the counties of Hampshire and Wiltshire.
  • The area became one of England’s 10 National Parks in 2005. It attracts about 15 million visitors each year, who enjoy cycling, walking, horse riding and bird watching.
  • The Norman King William I (William the Conqueror) created the area as a hunting preserve during the 11th century. The forest was mentioned in the Domesday Book, the 11th century survey of England and Wales.
  • It is classed as common land today, meaning that ordinary people can use it for grazing their animals. About 6,500 animals owned by commoners, roam the forest freely.

New Forest

  • In 1703, about 4,000 oak trees in the New Forest were lost during the Great Storm. The same storm also killed over 10,000 people in England, and sunk dozens of ships.
  • A popular New Forest attraction is the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu. The collection of 250 historic cars includes vehicles from the James Bond films and the TV show Top Gear.
  • The New Forest is home to over 4,000 ponies, which have right of way over cars and are a symbol of the forest. Horses’ bones dating back to 500,000 BC have been found nearby.
  • Other wildlife in the New Forest includes deer, goats, pigs, squirrels and snakes. It is home to several rare species of insect, as well as the only cicada species native to the UK.
  • Most of the New Forest is low lying heath and grassland. The highest point is at 129 metres, near the village of Nomansland on the Hampshire and Wiltshire border.
  • Within the New Forest are over 250 round barrows, or ancient burial chambers. One of these barrows is the only known example from the 7th century BC Hallstatt culture in Britain.

Cambridge: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Cambridge.

  • Cambridge is the county town of Cambridgeshire, located in the eastern part of England.

  • The city is about 80 km northeast of London and has a population of about 125,000.
  • The city is home to the University of Cambridge, one of the world’s top universities. The university consists of over 30 separate colleges, and over 100 academic departments.
  • Cambridge University was founded in the early 13th century, making it the 4th oldest in the world. In 1233, Pope Gregory IX gave permission for the students to teach anywhere in the known world.
  • Peterhouse, founded in 1284, is the oldest college still in existence. It still carries on many traditions, including the reading of Latin verses before meals, and requires students to wear gowns at mealtimes.
  • Hundreds of famous people have studied at the university over the years. Well-known alumni include Charles Darwin, John Cleese, Christopher Marlowe and 15 British Prime Ministers.
  • About 25 percent of Cambridge residents cycle to work, the highest number in the UK.
  • In 2014, the third stage of the Tour de France cycle race started in the city.
  • All the staircases in Trinity College are designated by letters rather than numbers. There is no ‘J’ staircase because St. John’s is considered to be their main rival.
  • The chapel at King’s College is one of the city’s best known buildings. The 15th century building has 26 large stained glass windows and the world’s largest fan-vault ceiling.
  • Punting is popular on the River Cam and there are more punts than on any other UK river. It has been known for students to grab the poles from tourists in punts as they go under the bridges.
  • The rock group Pink Floyd was formed in Cambridge during the late 1960s.
  • The city hosts several arts and music festivals each year, including the Midsummer Fair, dating back to 1211.

The Peak District: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Peak District.

  • The Peak District is one of 15 national parks in the UK. It covers an area of about 1,440 square km and lies between Manchester, Sheffield and Stoke on Trent.
  • It was the UK’s first national park, established in 1951. It is still one of the most popular, attracting over 10 million visitors each year.

  • The Pennine Way, the UK’s first long distance footpath, begins in the Peak District, near Edale. There are also over 100 km of cycling trails and over 2,000 km of public footpaths and trails.
  • Holmfirth is the area’s best known village, and was featured in the long running television comedy, Last of the Summer Wine.
  • The medical drama Peak Practice was filmed in the Peak District.
  • The spa town of Buxton is one of the most popular Peak District towns. It is home to the UK’s highest opera house, and several festivals, including a well dressing festival.
  • The Peak District is known for its spectacular caverns and is popular with potholers. Walking, cycling, horse riding and paragliding are also popular outdoor activities.
  • The most extensive caves, Peak Caverns, are over 400 metres below the ground and can be seen by boat. Up until 1910, people still lived in the caves.
  • The Blue John cavern is one of only a few places where the mineral of the same name can be found. Vases made from Blue John mineral were excavated at the Roman city of Pompeii, in Italy.
  • The town of Bakewell is famous for a sweet cake known as a Bakewell tart. Several of the town shops claim to have the original recipe for the cake.
  • Some of the most challenging rock climbing in the world can be found in the Peak District. Kinder Scout is the park’s highest peak, at just over 600 metres.

Bristol: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Bristol.

  • Bristol is the largest city in south-west England, with a population of over 500,000. It is located on the River Severn, on the other side of which is Wales.
  • Bristol developed as a port and major shipbuilding centre during the 12th century.

  • In the 17th century the city became a centre for the slave trade, as well as tobacco, sugar, rum and cotton.
  • The Clifton Suspension Bridge crosses the River Avon and is Bristol’s best known landmark. The 1864 bridge is 412 metres long, and carries traffic 75 metres above the river.
  • Bristol’s Theatre Royal was built in 1766 and is the oldest continually operating theatre in the UK. Bristol has also been voted the most musical city in the UK.
  • Concorde was designed and built in Bristol and made its first test flight from the city.
  • The city’s international balloon fiesta is the largest hot air balloon event in Europe.
  • An estimated 100,000 buildings were damaged and 1,300 people killed during air raids on Bristol during World War II. Several bombed churches remain as part of the cityscape.
  • Bristol’s top tourist attraction is the SS Great Britain, launched in 1843. The ship carried thousands of people across the Atlantic Ocean and was the first to have both a steel hull and a propeller.
  • The actor, Cary Grant was born in Bristol in 1904. Other famous people from the city include the rock group Portishead and the controversial graffiti artist Banksy.
  • A popular day trip from Bristol is to Cheddar Gorge, the largest gorge in Britain. The gorge reaches a depth of almost 140 metres and has several caves, where cheese was made in prehistoric times.
  • There are over 30 other cities named Bristol around the world, mostly in America, but also in Peru, Jamaica, Costa Rica and Canada. Bristol is twinned with Porto, Bordeaux and Guangzhou.

England Facts

England Fact File

Location: England is located on the island known as Great Britain. It is part of the United Kingdom (along with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). The country of England also includes more than 100 smaller islands (such as: The Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly).

Capital: London (also England’s largest city)

Population: 53 million (approx)

Area: 130,395 km sq

Currency: Pound Sterling

Official Language: English


The Flag of England

Flag of England

Known as the St George’s Cross (after the patron saint of England), the design has been used as a naval ensign since the 1500s, but it doesn’t have any official status. The St George’s Cross is incorporated into the design of the Union Flag (the Union Jack), the official flag of the United Kingdom.


Other Facts About England

  • The lands of modern-day England have been settled by numerous different groups of people throughout history, such as: The Celts, the Romans, the Angles, the Saxons, the Jutes, the Danes (Vikings) and the Normans.
  • England is divided into 48 ceremonial counties, and more than 80 counties for the purpose of organising local government.
  • At its closest point, England is only 21 miles from the coast of France. England and France are connected by the Channel Tunnel.
  • The River Thames is the longest river flowing entirely in the country of England.
  • The highest point in England is Scafell Pike in Cumbria. It is 978 metres high.
  • Some of the largest cities in England, include: London (the capital), Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Nottingham, Sheffield, Bristol and Brighton.
  • The Bank of England was started in 1694 by William Paterson (from Scotland).
  • Many of the world’s greatest scientists were born in England, including: Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle and Charles Darwin.
  • England was the ‘birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and many inventors and engineers, such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel, were English.
  • English inventions include: the industrial spinning machine, the first computer, HTML, the World Wide Web, the seat belt and the hovercraft.
  • Passenger railways were started in England.
  • St George is the patron saint of England and St George’s Day is on 23rd April.
  • About one quarter of English people have no religion.
  • English food is often described as simple, and traditional meals include: roast meat (beef, lamb, pork or chicken) usually eaten on Sundays, fish and chips, English breakfast (sausages, bacon, fried bread, mushrooms, tomatoes, eggs and black pudding) and meat pies.
  • Cheddar cheese comes from England.
  • William Shakespeare is probably the most well-known English writer, but England has produced many other outstanding authors, such as: Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Hardy, Lewis Carroll, George Orwell, Virginia Woolf and J. R. R. Tolkien (to name but a few).
  • England has produced some of the most influential and important bands and pop artists, including: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Queen, David Bowie, Pink Floyd and The Who.
  • Sport is very popular in England, and many sports originated in England or were developed by the English, such as: football (soccer), cricket, rugby, tennis, badminton, snooker, boxing, darts and netball.
  • The English football team won the World Cup in 1966.

What next? Discover some facts about London (England’s capital city).