Many of the rivers like the Thames are navigable for some distances inland. The Manchester Ship Canal links Manchester with the world.
The country is well served by all the major international airways. London’s Heathrow Airport is of the busiest airports in the world.
The United Kingdom has a large merchant fleet handing a very large trade. There are about 300 ports in the United Kingdom. The most important are London, Liverpool, Bristol and Southampton. Glasgow is the chief port of Scotland.
Forging New Links
Till the end of World War II, the British took pride in being aloof from the mainland of Europe. They thanked the English Channel for separating them from Europe. It helped them to protect their freedom. It helped them to protect their freedom. They relived more on their distant colonies than on their European neighbors. Today all this has changed. The United Kingdom has now become an active member of the European Economic no more separates this country from the rest of Europe.
Under the bedrock of the English Channel, a huge tunnel has been dug out. It is about in Northern France with Dover in south – east England, where the Channel is the narrowest. A railway line and a road have been laid in this tunnel. It now connects London with direct rail and road links. The British people know that what was good till yesterday is not necessarily so today.
The United Kingdom is the fourth largest trading nation in the world, providing 10 per cent of world exports of manufactured goods. It is called a maritime nation as it lives by fishing, shipping and sea-borne trade. More than 85 per cent of the country’s exports are manufactured goods, including goods, cotton and woolen goods, engineering goods, machinery, instruments and chemicals Modern destructive weapons now from the leading items of export the main imports are foodstuff, timber, wood-pulp, copper, tin, fruit, tea, rubber, tobacco, cotton, vegetable oils, meat and petroleum.
The United Kingdom is very densely populated the population of nearly 57 million people give it a density of 239 people per square kilometer. However, the density of population is much higher in the industrial areas. Nine out to every ten people live in cities and towns. It is thus the most urbanized country of Europe.
The British people are the result of the mixing of a number of groups of people mainly Celts and Anglo- Saxons besides Normans and Vikings who migrated to the islands from time to time in the past. They came from Denmark, Germany, France and Scandinavia. English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish are the four major regional languages today. After the World War II, a large number of Blacks or the Negroes from West Indies and Africa, and Asians from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have settled in the U.K. This has made it a multiracial country.