Great Britain is an island lying off the western coast of Europe, comprising the main territory of the United Kingdom.
Great Britain is the official name given to the two kingdoms of England and Scotland, and the principality of Wales.
Great Britain is made up of:
- England - The capital is London.
- Scotland - The capital is Edinburgh .
- Wales - The capital is Cardiff.
Great Britain is divided into small regions called counties.
No, Great Britain and the United Kingdom refer to different areas.
Great Britain is very often, but incorrectly, used as a synonym for the sovereign state properly known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or the UK for short.
If you look at the full name of the UK, you will see that the UK includes Great Britain AND Northern Ireland.
Great Britain is a political term which describes the combination of England, Scotland, and Wales, the three nations which together include all the land on the island. It is also a geographical term referring to the island on which the greater parts of England, Wales and Scotland are situated.
Great Britain has an area of 229,850 km² (88,745 sq. mi.) and is the largest island of the British Isles.
Sometimes people use the shorten name Britain instead of Great Britain, to mean the same thing, but really Britain only refers to England and Wales.
The name Britain goes back to Roman times when they called England and Wales "Britannia" (or "Britannia Major", to distinguished from "Britannia Minor", ie Brittany in France). The Roman province of Britannia only covered the areas of modern England and Wales. The area of modern Scotland was never finally conquered.
Origins of the names of England, Britain and the UK
Click here to find out more about Great Britain.
England | Scotland | Wales
Great Britain | United Kingdom | British Isles
Questions about the United Kingdom
Where is the UK?
What countries make up the UK?
What is the official title (name) of the UK?
Why is the whole of Ireland not part of the UK?
How and why was the UK formed?
Questions about the British Isles
What is the British Isles?
Questions about England
Why does England dominate the UK?