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The U.K., made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, is an island nation in northwestern Europe. England – birthplace of Shakespeare and The Beatles – is home to the capital, London, a globally influential centre of finance and culture. England is also site of neolithic Stonehenge, Bath’s Roman spa and centuries-old universities at Oxford and Cambridge.
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London, England’s capital, set on the River Thames, is a 21st-century city with history stretching back to Roman times. At its centre stand the imposing Houses of Parliament, the iconic ‘Big Ben’ clock tower and Westminster Abbey, site of British monarch coronations. Across the Thames, the London Eye observation wheel provides panoramic views of the South Bank cultural complex, and the entire city.
Hilly Edinburgh, Scotland's capital, has a medieval Old Town and an elegant Georgian New Town, with gardens and neoclassical buildings. It's home to Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano in Holyrood Park with sweeping views from its peak. Looming over the city is hilltop Edinburgh Castle, home to Scotland’s crown jewels and the Stone of Destiny, traditionally used in the coronation of Scottish rulers.