Big Ben is one of London's best-known landmarks, and looks most spectacular at night when the clock faces are illuminated. You even know when parliament is in session, because a light shines above the clock face. The four dials of the clock are 23 feet square, the minute hand is 14 feet long and the figures are 2 feet high. Minutely regulated with a stack of coins placed on the huge pendulum, Big Ben is an excellent timekeeper, which has rarely stopped. The name Big Ben actually refers not to the clock- tower itself, but to the thirteen ton bell hung within. The bell was named after the first commissioner of works, Sir Benjamin Hall.
Cambridge is one of the best known towns in the world and it can be found on most tourists' lists of places to visit. Cambridge is famous for its university, which started during the 13th century and grew steadily, until today there are more than twenty colleges. The Universities were only for men until 19th century when the first women's college was opened. Later the doors of colleges were opened to both men and women. Nowadays almost all the colleges are mixed. To the north of Cambridge is the Cambridge Science Park, the modern face of the University. This park has developed in response to the need for universities to increase their contact with high technology industry. It is now home to more than sixty companies and research institutes. Every year thousands of students come to Cambridge from overseas to study English.
Everybody coming to London for the first time wants to see St. Paul's Cathedral. This is the third cathedral with this name which London has had. The two others were burnt down, the first in 1086 and the second in 1666.Christopher Wren was an architect who had already built many buildings. Now, in 1675, he started on his greatest work. For 35 years the building of St. Paul's Cathedral went on, and Wren was an old man before it was finished. From far away you can see the huge dome with a golden ball and cross on the top. The inside of the cathedral is very beautiful. After looking around, you can climb 263 steps to the Whispering Gallery, above the library, which runs round the dome. It is called this because if someone whispers close to the wall on one side, a person with an ear close to the wall on the other side can hear what is said. Then, if you climb another 118 steps, you will be able to stand outside the dome and look over London. But not only can you climb up, you can also go down underneath the cathedral, into the crypt. Here are buried many great men, including Christopher Wren himself, Nelson and others.
Buckingham palace is the official London residence of Her Majesty The Queen and as such is one of the best known and most potent symbols of the British monarchy. Yet it has been a royal residence for only just over two hundred and thirty years and a palace for much less; and its name, known the world over, is owed not to a monarch but to an English Duke. The rooms open to visitors are used principally for official entertainment.These include Receptions and State Banquets, and it is on such occasions, when the rooms are filled with flowers and thronged with formally dressed guests and liveried servants, that the Palace is seen at its most splendid and imposing. But of course the Palace is also far more than just the London home of the Royal Family and a place of lavish entertainment. It has become the administrative centre of the monarchy where, among a multitude of engagements, Her Majesty receives foreign Heads of State, Commonwealth leaders and representatives of the Diplomatic Corps and conducts Investitures, and where the majority of the Royal Household, consisting of six main Departments and a staff of about three hundred people, have their offices.
Madam Tussauds Museum is an exhibition of hundreds of life-size wax models of famous people of yesterday and today. The collection was started by Madam Tussaud, a French modeler. In wax, in the 18 th century. Here you can meet Marilyn Monroe, Elton John, Picasso, the Royal Family, the Beatles and many others: writers, movie stars, singers, politicians, sportsmen, etc.
Stonehenge is a one of the most famous prehistoric places in the world. This ancient circle of stones stands in South-west England. It measures 30 meters across and made with massive blocks of stone up to four meters high.
The Lake District, also known as The Lakes or Lakeland, is a mountainous region in North West England. A popular holiday destination, it is famous for its lakes and its mountains, and its associations with the early 19th century poetry and writings of William Wordsworth and the Lake Poets. The central and most-visited part of the area is contained in the Lake District National Park, one of fourteen National Parks in the United Kingdom. It lies entirely within Cambria, and is one of England's few mountainous regions. All the land in England higher than three thousand feet above sea level lies within the National Park, including Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England.
Ch. Darwin, a great English naturalist, developed the idea of evolution of all living things from simpler creatures. He wrote two most famous books "The Origin of Species" and "The Descent of Man". Ch. Darwin is buried in Westminster Abbey, among the greatest English scientists. Isaac Newton, one of the greatest men in the history of science was born in England in He may be considered the founder of modern mathematics, physics and spectrographs. He discovered the low of motion and the universal Law of gravitation. Sir Isaac Newton lies buried in Westminster Abbey. Humphrey Davy is one of the greatest English chemists. One of his inventions is the miners safety lamp, known as the Davy Lamp. Michael Faraday is an English chemist and physicist. He was the discoverer of electromagnetic induction, of the law of relations between light and magnetism. He was the greatest experimental genius.
William Shakespeare, the greatest and most famous of English writers, and probably the greatest playwright who has ever lived, was born on the 23d of April, 1564, in Stratford-on- Avon. In sprite of his fame we know very little about his life. At the age of six he was sent to school, but had to leave it at the age of 13. His father, John Shakespeare, was a glove-maker, and when he fell into debt, William had to help him in the trade. Just what William did between his fourteenth and eighteenth years isnt known. At the age of eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway. Ann was eight years older than her husband and the marriage wasnt a happy one. When Shakespeare was twenty-one, he went to London. Shakespeare wrote 37 plays: 10 tragedies (such as Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, Macbeth), 17 comedies (such as As You Like It, Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing), 10 historical plays (such as Henry 4, Richard 3). He also left 7 books of poems and sonnets.
Isaac Newton, one of the greatest men in the history of science, was born in a little village in England in When Isaac was nineteen he became a student of Cambridge University. He began to study physics, astronomy and mathematics. Newtons contribution to these sciences is so great that he may be considered the founder of modern mathematics, physics and spectroscopy. Newton discovered the law of motion and the universal law of gravitation. He studied the nature of light and colour and came to the conclusion that white light is composed of many different colours known to us as the spectrum. Such a phenomenon was quite unknown before Newtons work. So long as humanity lives, Isaac Newton, the greatest of men of science, will never be forgotten.
Agatha Christie is known all over the world as the Queen of Crime. She wrote 78 crime novels, 19 plays and 6 romantic novels under the name of Mary Westmacott. Her books have been translated into 103 foreign languages. She is the third best-selling author in the world (after Shakespeare and the Bible). Many of her novels and short stories have been filmed. The Mousetrap, her most famous play, is now the longest-running play in history. Agatha Christie was born at Torquay, Devonshire. She was educated at home and took singing lessons in Paris. She began writing at the end of the First World War. Her, first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, was published in That was the first appearance of Hercule Poirot, who became one of the most popular private detectives since Sherlock Holmes. This little Belgian with the egg-shaped head and the passion for order amazes everyone by his powerful intellect and is brilliant solutions to the most complicated crimes. Agatha Christie became generally recognized in 1926, after the publishing of her novel The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. It's still considered her masterpiece. When Agatha Christie got tired of Hercule Poirot she invented Miss Marple, a deceptively mild old lady with her own method of investigation. Her last Poirot book, Curtain, appeared shortly before her death, and her last Miss Marple story, Sleeping Murder, and her autobiography were published after her death. Agatha Christie's success with millions of readers lies in her ability to combine clever plots with excellent character drawing, and a keen sense of humor with great powers of observation. Her plots always mislead the reader and keep him in suspense. He cannot guess who the criminal is. Fortunately, evil is always conquered in her novels. Agatha Christie's language is simple and good and it's pleasant to read her books in the original.
Halloween is a day on which many children dress up in unusual costumes. In fact, this holiday has a Celtic origin. The day was originally called All Halloween's Eve, because it happens on October 31, the eve of all Saint's Day. The name was later shortened to Halloween. The Celts celebrated the coming of New Year on that day.
Another tradition is the holiday called Bonfire Night. On November 5,1605, a man called Guy Fawkes planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament where the king James 1st was to open Parliament on that day. But Guy Fawkes was unable to realize his plan and was caught and later, hanged. The British still remember that Guy Fawkes' Night. It is another name for this holiday. This day one can see children with figures, made of sacks and straw and dressed in old clothes. On November 5th, children put their figures on the bonfire, burn them, and light their fireworks.
Christmas in Great Britain For most British families, this is the most important festival of the year. This is the day when many people are travelling home to be with their families on Christmas Day. If you try to catch a train on 24th December you may have difficulty in finding a seat. There are a lot of traditions connected with Christmas but the most important one is the giving of presents. Family members wrap up their gifts and leave them at the bottom of the Christmas tree to be "bound on Christmas morning. At some time on Christmas Day the family will sit down to a big turkey dinner followed by Christmas pudding. In the afternoon they may watch the Queen on the television as she delivers her traditional Christmas message to the United Kingdom and Commonwealth. On the Sunday before Christmas many churches hold a service where special hymns are sung. Most families decorate their houses and they usually have a Christmas tree in the corner of the room.
Boxing Day The second day of Christmas in a church calendar is devoted sacred Stefanu. By tradition this day in churches opened boxes with donations, and their contents were distributed poor.
The main winter holiday in Britain is a Christmas, and New year is possible to name faster continuation of celebratory Christmas days. On the eve of Christmas on the central Trafalgarsky area of London establish the main fur-tree of the country. British celebrate New year according to local, national traditions and personal preferences. The youth marks New year on New Year's parties which begin about 8 o'clock in the evening and proceed till the morning. For New year people give each other cards and gifts, but in difference from Christmas, this tradition not so widespread.
St.Valentines Day Violets are blue Roses are red, Sugar is sweet And so are you! People of all ages love to send and receive valentines. Handmade valentines, created by cutting hearts out of colored paper, show that a lot of thought was put into making them personal. Valentines can be heart-shaped, or have hearts, the symbol of love.
Easter Today on Easter Sunday, children wake up to find that the Easter Bunny has left them baskets of candy. He has also hidden the eggs that they decorated earlier tat week. Children hunt for the eggs all around the house. Neighborhoods and organizations hold Easter egg hunts, and the child who finds the most eggs wins a prize. The Easter Bunny is a rabbit- spirit. Long ago, he was called the" Easter Hare." Hares and rabbits have frequent multiple births, so they became a symbol of fertility.
Mother"s Day This holiday is similar for March, 8th in Russia. Its roots leave during the Victorian times when children at early enough age worked far from the house, the money earned by them, were sent to the family budget. Then one day in a year to children was authorised to spend houses together with parents. Usually they brought to mothers and grandmothers small gifts - bouquets of colours or fresh eggs. Today the British children this day give to mothers flowers and carry out for them homework.
Tea is the Most Popular Drink in Britain Everyone knows that tea is the most popular drink in Britain. It's even more popular than coffee, which is favoured throughout Europe and America. The Dutch brought the first tea to Europe in Nowadays, throughout the homes, tea shops and hotels of Britain, the custom of tea-time continues. Tea in Britain is brewed in a teapot. Then the one spoonful of tea per person and one for the pot is added. Most people in Britain prefer a rich, strong cup of tea with milk, and sugar is sometimes added to taste.
St. George"s Day It is day of the patron of England, sacred George. Sacred George has released some villages from a terrible dragon, for as has received national respect. This day England hoist the colours.