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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or, informally, Britain, is a sovereign country in western Europe. Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, the UK includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands.Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state‍—‌the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to its east, the English Channel to its south and the Celtic Sea to its south-south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the UK is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.5 million inhabitants in 2016.

The UK is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy. The monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state. The UK’s capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include the conurbations centred on Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow and Liverpool. The UK consists of four countries—England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. All but England have devolved administrations, each with varying powers, based in their capitals Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, respectively. The nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation.

The creation of the UK resulted from the medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories,the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed almost a quarter of the world’s land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language, culture and legal systems of many of its former colonies.

The UK is a developed country and has the world’s fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a “very high” Human Development Index, ranking 16th in the world. It was the first industrialised country and the world’s foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power with considerable economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence internationally. It is a recognised nuclear weapons state and is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946. It has been a leading member state of the European Union (EU) and its predecessor, the European Economic Community (EEC), since 1973; however, a referendum in 2016 resulted in 51.9% of UK voters favouring leaving the EU, and the country’s exit is being negotiated. The UK is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Interpol and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, two miles west of Amesbury. It consists of a ring of standing stones, each around 13 feet high, seven feet wide, and weighing around 25 tons

The Tower of London, officially Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London.

Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the striking clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London and is usually extended to refer to both the clock and the clock tower

Skyscanner is a leading global travel search site, a place where people are inspired to plan and book direct from millions of travel options at the best prices.

Couchsurfing is a global community of 14 million people in more than 200,000 cities who share their life, their world, their journey. Couchsurfing connects travelers with a global network of people willing to share in profound and meaningful ways, making travel a truly social experience.

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workaway.info is an international hospitality service that allows members to contact one another to organise homestays and cultural exchange. Volunteers or “Workawayers”, are expected to contribute a pre-agreed amount of time per day in exchange for lodging and food, which is provided by their host. Spread over 170 countries !

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Booking.com‘s description : Whoever you are, whatever you seek, we’ve got the perfect place for you. Our 28,475,497 listings include 5,251,653 listings of homes, apartments and other unique places to stay, and are located in 131,438 destinations in 228 countries and territories. Booking.com B.V. is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and is supported internationally by 198 offices in 70 countries.

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Airbnb is an international company which operates an online marketplace and hospitality service for people to lease or rent short-term lodging including holiday cottages, apartments, homestays, hostel beds, or hotel rooms, to participate in or facilitate experiences related to tourism such as walking tours, and to make reservations at restaurants. The company does not own any real estate or conduct tours.

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Numbeo is a crowd-sourced global database of reported consumer prices, perceived crime rates, quality of health care, among other statistics.Numbeo is the world’s largest database of user contributed data about cities and countries worldwide.

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TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site*, enables travelers to unleash the full potential of every trip. With over 600 million reviews and opinions covering the world’s largest selection of travel listings worldwide – covering approximately 7.5 million accommodations, airlines, attractions, and restaurants –