Today, the banner of the Union Jack unites England, Scotland and Ireland. Behind the flag’s red, white and blue hides a richly brocaded palette ranging from the sweet green of its meadows to the golden amber of its pints of ale, from the stony grey of its mountains and castles to the deep, mysterious jade of its lochs.
"In England, everything is permitted except what is forbidden", said Churchill. Behind the polite shell of good manners, meticulous service and apparent order, the country has the stylish knack of nurturing creativity. This is demonstrated by its two inescapable flagship cities: London and Liverpool.
An economic hub, a breeding ground for the arts, and a hotspot for fine food, London boasts countless stunning buildings and high-end shopping streets. Reinvigorated by winning the title of "European Capital of Culture" in 2008, the industrial city of Liverpool has a unique energy that you can only understand by exploring the twists and turns of this birthplace of The Beatles.
You only need to travel a few miles away from the big cities to discover the breathtaking natural scenery of the United Kingdom, such as the well-to-do Cotswolds, the location of many second homes belonging to wealthy Londoners. Then there’s the national park of Dartmoor whose turbulent beauty inspired The Hound of the Baskervilles, or Snowdonia in Wales, an emerald landscape of rolling hills to the southwest of Liverpool. Travelling back up north you can discover the rugged charms of Scotland, with its hardened identity, while the southeastern coast is home to a romantic shoreline studded with traditional seaside resorts.
The neighbouring Ireland also boasts vast swathes of wilderness, providing inspiration for countless directors, including the makers of the fantasy adventure Game of Thrones, as well as cultivating the art of living it up in the warm and welcoming city of Dublin. With so much to experience, it’s best to adopt the local expression, "Keep calm and enjoy the United Kingdom!"