The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a country in western Europe, lying off the north western coast of the European mainland. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that has a land border with another sovereign country, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from that, the UK borders the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel and the Celtic Sea. Between Great Britain and Ireland lies the Irish Sea.
The capital and largest city of the UK is London, which is a global city and financial centre. It is the fourth largest city in Europe, and the second largest in the EU. The UK consists of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It houses 25 Unesco World Heritage Sites.
As a result of its history of the British Empire, British influences can be found around the world in many of its former colonies: Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and the United States.