A Very Great Britain
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A Very Great Britain

Living in Britain, it’s easy to get a bit blasé about the history, natural beauty, architectural achievement and general fascination all around us. So here are 15 things you might not know about Great Britain - some wonderful, and some rather quirky…

Highest mountain: Ben Nevis in Scotland. At 4,409ft above sea level, it’s climbed 100,000 times every year. When you get to the top, you’ll find the ruins of an observatory which functioned from 1883 to 1904.

Deepest lake: In the Highlands of Scotland, Loch Morar is 310m deep. That means you could fully submerge the Shard, and just about have space for a double decker bus on top.

Snowiest place: Banffshire in Scotland averages 63.8 days of snow or sleet every year – that’s nearly twice the UK average.

Driest place: On average just 513mm of rain falls on St Osyth in Essex. London, by contrast, gets around 600mm.

Longest river: The River Thames is vying for top spot, but the Severn River is holding off the challenge. It is 220 miles long – further than the distance from Swansea to London

Biggest lake: The biggest lake in Britain is Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland. It’s also one of the biggest lakes in Europe.

Steepest driveable road: With a gradient of 1:3, Chimney Bank on the North York Moors is certainly not one to attempt on an icy morning!

Smallest city: The smallest city in Britain is St David’s in Wales, with a population of just 2,000. There’s been a monastery in St David’s since about 589AD, and the cathedral was established in 1123.

Tallest building: At 306m high, the Shard is not only the tallest building in Britain but also the tallest building in the EU. It’s 87 storeys high.

Oldest building: The Knap o’ Howar on the island of Papay in the Orkney Isles is the oldest standing building in Europe, dating back to 3,600BC. Archaeologists think that it was continually occupied by Neolithic farmers for at least 500 years.

Smallest pub: Measuring just 15ft by 7ft, The Nutshell in Bury St Edmunds is the smallest pub in Britain. That’s about the same size as three king-sized mattresses side by side.

Biggest castle: Windsor Castle in Berkshire covers an area of almost 55,000sqm. It’s often called the largest inhabited castle in the world.

Oldest sweet shop: The Oldest Sweet Shop in England has been trading in Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire, since 1827. That’s before Victoria became queen!

Highest restaurant: The Duck & Waffle is located on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower in London, 185m above the ground.

Oldest cinema: The Duke of York’s Picture House in Brighton has been open since September 1910. It has one screen, and a luxury balcony.

For more fun facts about this sceptred isle, why not check out Around the UK Snap? Click below for further details.

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