The Geography of the British Isles
To the west of the continent of Europe lie two large islands called the British Isles. The larger of these is known as Great Britain, the smaller, Ireland. The North Sea and the English Channel separate the British Isles from the European continent.
The larger island of Great Britain consists of three parts: England, Scotland and Wales which were once separate kingdoms. After centuries of war at the beginning of the 18th century England, Wales and Scotland were united. In 1800 Ireland was included in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, as it was called.
The Irish, however, continued to struggle for self-government and in 1922 twenty six out of thirty two Irish counties formed the independent Irish Republic, now called Eire, with the capital in Dublin. Six northern counties remained a part of the UK, and since that time the official name of the state has become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The country is washed by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea and the Irish Sea, which is between Great Britain and Ireland.
Thousands of years ago, the mainland of Europe stretched much further west than now, and by the sinking of the land, the ocean covered a great deal of the continent.
Ireland — Ирландия
the English Channel — Ла-Манш
county (counties) — графство
Eire — Эйре
Dublin — Дублин
UK (United Kingdom) — Объединенное Королевство