British Isles
Native name:

English / Scots: British Isles1
Irish: Oileáin Iarthair Eorpa / Na hOileáin Bhriotanacha / Éire agus an Bhreatain Mhór[1]
Manx: Ellanyn Goaldagh[2]
Scottish Gaelic: Eileanan Bhreatainn[3]
Welsh: Ynysoedd Prydain[4]

The British Isles in relation to Europe</td></tr>
LocationWestern Europe</td></tr>
Total islands6,000+</td></tr>
Major islandsGreat Britain and Ireland</td></tr>
Area315,134 km2 121,673 sq mi</td></tr>
Highest pointBen Nevis (1,344 m (4,409 ft))</td></tr>
Sovereign states and Crown Dependencies
Largest citySaint Peter Port</td></tr>
Isle of Man
Largest cityDouglas</td></tr>
Largest cityDublin</td></tr>
Largest citySaint Helier</td></tr>
United Kingdom
Largest cityLondon</td></tr>
Population~65 million</td></tr>
Ethnic groupsBritons, English, Irish, Scottish, Ulster-Scots, Welsh, Cornish,[5] Channel Islanders, Manx</td></tr>
<p align="left">1   May appear in Scots as "Breetish" Isles.[6]</td></tr>

</table> The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe that include Great Britain and Ireland, and numerous smaller islands.[7] There are two sovereign states located on the islands: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Ireland.[8] The British Isles also includes the Crown Dependencies of the Isle of Man and, by tradition, the Channel Islands, although the latter are not physically a part of the island group.[9]

The term British Isles is controversial in relation to Ireland, where there are objections to its usage due to the association of the term "British" with Ireland.[10] The Government of Ireland discourages its use,[11][12] and in relations with the United Kingdom the name "these islands" is used.[13][14]British Isles was first introduced to the English language in the late 16th century by English writer John Dee whose writings have been described as being politicised.[15][16]Although still used as a geographic term, the controversy means that alternative names such as "Britain and Ireland" are increasingly used.[17][18]

Alternative names and descriptionsEdit

Main article: Terminology of the British Isles

Several different names are currently used to describe the islands. Dictionaries, encyclopaedias and atlases that use the term British Isles define it as Great Britain and Ireland and adjacent islands – typically including the Isle of Man, the Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland.[19] Some definitions include the Channel Islands.[20] Commonly used alternative names are British-Irish Isles,[21] Britain and Ireland, Great Britain and Ireland, British Isles and Ireland[citation needed], or UK and Ireland. Some of these are used by corporate entities and can be seen on the internet, such as in the naming of Yahoo UK & Ireland,[22] or the renaming of the rugby union team British Isles or British Lions to the current British and Irish Lions. However, these may be be ambiguous regarding the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. Some critics have opted to use simply "the archipelago".[citation needed]

UK media organisations such as the The Times and the BBC have style-guide entries to try to maintain consistent usage,[23][24] but these are not always successful. Encyclopædia Britannica, the Oxford University Press (publishers of the Oxford English Dictionary) and the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (publisher of Admiralty charts) have all occasionally used the term British Isles and Ireland (with Britannica and Oxford contradicting their own definitions),[25][26][27] and some specialist encyclopedias also use that term.[28] The Economic History Society style guide suggests that use of the term British Isles should be avoided.[29]

A number of international publications have abandoned the term – in early 2008, National Geographic abandoned use of the term and replaced the plates on its maps which formerly read British Isles with British and Irish Isles.[30] Likewise, publishers of road atlases such as Michelin,[31][32] SK Baker,[33] Hallwag,[34] Philip's,[35][36] Reader's Digest[37] and The Automobile Association (AA)[38][39] have replaced British Isles with Great Britain and Ireland or Britain and Ireland in their recent maps. In 2008, Folens, an Irish publisher of school text books, decided to abandon using the term in Ireland while continuing to use it in the United Kingdom.[40][41]


Main article: Geography of the United Kingdom
Britain and Ireland satellite image bright

Satellite image of the British Isles, excluding Orkney (obscured by cloud) and Shetland (out of frame).

There are about 136 permanently inhabited islands in the group, the largest two being Great Britain and Ireland.

Great Britain is to the east and covers 216,777 km2 (83,698 square miles), over half of the total landmass of the group.

Ireland is to the west and covers 84,406 km2 (32,589 square miles).

The largest of the other islands are to be found in the Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland to the north, Anglesey and the Isle of Man between Great Britain and Ireland, and the Channel Islands near the coast of France.

Main article: List of islands in the British Isles

The islands are at relatively low altitudes, with central Ireland and southern Great Britain particularly low lying: the lowest point in the islands is the Fens at −4 m (−13 ft). The Scottish Highlands in the northern part of Great Britain are mountainous, with Ben Nevis being the highest point in the British Isles at 1,344 m (4,409 ft). Other mountainous areas include Wales and parts of the island of Ireland, but only seven peaks in these areas reach above 1,000 m (3,281 ft). Lakes on the islands are generally not large, although Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland is an exception, covering 381 km2 (147 square miles); the largest freshwater body in Great Britain is Loch Lomond at 71.1 km2 (27.5 square miles). Neither are rivers particularly long, the rivers Severn at 354 km (219 miles) and Shannon at 386 km (240 miles) being the longest.

The British Isles have a temperate marine climate, the North Atlantic Drift ("Gulf Stream") which flows from the Gulf of Mexico brings with it significant moisture and raises temperatures 11 °C (20 °F) above the global average for the islands' latitudes.[42] Winters are thus warm and wet, with summers mild and also wet. Most Atlantic depressions pass to the north of the islands, combined with the general westerly circulation and interactions with the landmass, this imposes an east-west variation in climate.[43]

Transport Edit

Heathrow is the busiest airport of Europe in terms of passenger traffic and the Dublin-London route is the busiest air route of Europe,[44] and the second-busiest in the world.

The English Channel and the southern North Sea are the busiest seaways in the world.[45] The Channel Tunnel, opened 1994, links Great Britain to France and is the second-longest rail tunnel in the world. The idea of building a tunnel under the Irish Sea has been raised since 1895,[46] when it was first investigated, but is not considered to be economically viable[citation needed]. Several potential Irish Sea tunnel projects have been proposed, most recently the Tusker Tunnel between the ports of Rosslare and Fishguard proposed by The Institute of Engineers of Ireland in 2004.[47][48] A different proposed route is between Dublin and Holyhead, proposed in 1997 by a leading British engineering firm, Symonds, for a rail tunnel from Dublin to Holyhead. Either tunnel, at 80 km, would be by far the longest in the world, and would cost an estimated €20 billion. A proposal in 2007,[49] estimated the cost of building a bridge from County Antrim in Northern Ireland to Galloway in Scotland at £3.5bn (€5bn). However, none of these is thought to be economically viable at this time.


Main article: Geology of Great Britain

An image showing the British Isles in relation to the north-west European continental shelf.

The British Isles lie at the juncture of several regions with past episodes of tectonic mountain building. These orogenic belts form a complex geology which records a huge and varied span of earth history.[50] Of particular note was the Caledonian Orogeny during the Ordovician Period, ca. 488–444 Ma and early Silurian period, when the craton Baltica collided with the terrane Avalonia to form the mountains and hills in northern Britain and Ireland. Baltica formed roughly the north western half of Ireland and Scotland. Further collisions caused the Variscan orogeny in the Devonian and Carboniferous periods, forming the hills of Munster, south-west England, and south Wales. Over the last 500 million years the land which forms the islands has drifted northwest from around 30°S, crossing the equator around 370 million years ago to reach its present northern latitude.[51]

The islands have been shaped by numerous glaciations during the Quaternary Period, the most recent being the Devensian. As this ended, the central Irish Sea was de-glaciated (whether or not there was a land bridge between Great Britain and Ireland at this time is somewhat disputed, though there was certainly a single ice sheet covering the entire sea) and the English Channel flooded, with sea levels rising to current levels some 4,000 to 5,000 years ago, leaving the British Isles in their current form.

The islands' geology is highly complex, though there are large numbers of limestone and chalk rocks that formed in the Permian and Triassic periods. The west coasts of Ireland and northern Great Britain that directly face the Atlantic Ocean are generally characterized by long peninsulas, and headlands and bays; the internal and eastern coasts are "smoother".

Demographics Edit


Population density per km$ ^2 $ of the British Isles. Dublin and London, with respective population densities of 1,288 and 4,761 are shaded blue.

The demographics of the British Isles shows a generally high density of population in England, which accounts for almost 80% of the total population of the islands. In Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales high density of population is limited to areas around, or close to, their respective capitals. Major population centres (greater than one million people) exist in the following areas:

The population of England has risen steadily throughout its history, while the populations of Scotland and Wales have shown little increase during the twentieth century - the population of Scotland remaining unchanged since 1951. Ireland, which for most of its history comprised a population proportionate to its land area, one third of the total population, has since the Great Famine fallen to less than one tenth of the population of the British Isles. The famine, which caused a century-long population decline, drastically reduced the Irish population and permanently altered the demographic make-up of the British Isles. On a global scale this disaster led to the creation of an Irish diaspora that number fifteen times the current population of the island

Population of Ireland since the Great Famine v Total for British Isles
Ireland British Isles  % of total Graph
1841 8.2 26.7 30.7% IrePop1500
1851 6.9 27.7 24.8%
1891 4.7 37.8 12.4%
1951 4.1 53.2 7.7%
1991 5.5 62.9 8.7%
2006 6.0 64.3 9.3%

Political co-operation within the islandsEdit

Between 1801 and 1922, Great Britain and Ireland together formed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.[52] In 1922, twenty-six counties of Ireland seceded from the United Kingdom following the Irish War of Independence and the Anglo-Irish Treaty; the remaining six counties, mainly in the northeast of the island, became known as Northern Ireland under the Government of Ireland Act, 1920. Both states, but not the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, are members of the European Union.

However, despite independence of most of Ireland, political cooperation exists across the islands on some levels:

  • Travel. Since Irish partition an informal free-travel area has continued to exist across the entire region; in 1997 it was formally recognised by the European Union, in the Amsterdam Treaty, as the Common Travel Area.
  • Voting rights. No part of the British Isles considers a citizen of any other part as an 'alien'[citation needed] This pre-dates and goes much further than that required by European Union law, and gives common voting rights to all citizens of the jurisdictions within the archipelago. Exceptions to this are presidential elections and referendums in the Republic of Ireland, for which there is no comparable franchise in the other states. Other EU nationals may only vote in local and European Parliament elections while resident in either the UK or Ireland. A 2008 UK Ministry of Justice report proposed to end this arrangement arguing that, "the right to vote is one of the hallmarks of the political status of citizens; it is not a means of expressing closeness between countries."[53]
  • Diplomatic. Bilateral agreements allow UK embassies to act as an Irish consulate when Ireland is not represented in a particular country.
  • Northern Ireland. Citizens of Northern Ireland are entitled to the choice of Irish or British citizenship or both.
  • The British-Irish Council was set up in 1999 following the 1998 Belfast Agreement. This body is made up of all political entities across the islands, both the sovereign governments of Ireland and the United Kingdom, the devolved governments of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and the dependencies of Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man. It has no executive authority but meets biannually to discuss issues of mutual importance, currently restricted to the misuse of drugs, the environment, the knowledge economy, social inclusion, tele-medicine, tourism, transport and national languages of the participants. During the February 2008 meeting of the Council, it was agreed to set-up a standing secretariat that would serve as a permanent 'civil service' for the Council.[54]
  • The British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body (Irish: Comhlacht Idir-Pharlaiminteach na Breataine agus na hÉireann) was established in 1990. Originally it comprised 25 members of the Oireachtas, the Irish parliament, and 25 members of the parliament of the United Kingdom, with the purpose of building mutual understanding between members of both legislature. Since then the role and scope of the body has been expanded with the addition of five representatives from the Scottish Parliament, five from the National Assembly for Wales and five from the Northern Ireland Assembly. One member is also taken from the States of Jersey, one from the States of Guernsey and one from the High Court of Tynwald (Isle of Man). With no executive powers, it may investigate and collect witness evidence from the public on matters of mutual concern to its members, these have in the past ranged from issues such as the delivery of health services to rural populations, to the Sellafield nuclear facility, to the mutual recognition of penalty points against drivers across the British Isles. Reports on its findings are presented to the governments of Ireland and the United Kingdom. Leading on from developments in the British-Irish Council, the chair of the Body, Niall Blaney, has suggested a name-change and that the body should shadow the British-Irish Council's work.[55]



A 1490 Italian reconstruction of Ptolemy's Geography based on surviving latitude and longitude descriptions, showing Ibernia Britannica Insula ("Hibernia, Island of Britannia", Ireland), Albion Insula Britannica ("Albion, Island of Britannia", Great Britain) and Mona Insula (Isle of Man) separated from the European mainland by Oceanus Germanicus ("Germanic Ocean", North Sea) to the east and Oceanus Britannicus ("Britannic Ocean", English Channel) to the south.

Main article: History of the British Isles

The British Isles have a long and complex shared history. While this tends to be presented in terms of national narratives, many events transcended modern political boundaries. In particular these borders have little relevance to early times and in that context can be misleading, though useful as an indication of location to the modern reader. Also, cultural shifts which historians have previously interpreted as evidence of invaders eliminating or displacing the previous populations are now, in the light of genetic evidence, perceived by a number of archaeologists and historians as being to a considerable extent changes in the culture of the existing population brought by groups of immigrants or invaders who at times became a new ruling elite.


British Isles Languages Diagram

     Language branches     Modern languages     Typical spoken locations

A combined Venn diagram showing language branches, major languages and typically where they are spoken for modern languages in the British Isles.

The ethno-linguistic heritage of the British Isles is very rich in comparison to other areas of similar size, with twelve languages from six groups across four branches of the Indo-European family. The Insular Celtic languages of the Goidelic sub-group (Irish, Manx, Scottish Gaelic) and the Brythonic sub-group (Cornish, Welsh and Breton, spoken in north-western France) are the only remaining Celtic languages - their continental relations becoming extinct during the 4th, 5th and 6th centuries. The Norman languages of Guernésiais, Jèrriais and Sarkese are spoken in the Channel Islands, as is French. A cant, called Shelta, is a language spoken by Irish Travellers, often as a means to conceal meaning from those outside the group. However, English, sometimes in the form of Scots, is the dominant language, with few monoglots remaining in the other languages of the region. The Norn language appears to have become extinct in the 18th/19th century.

Until perhaps 1950 the use of languages other than English roughly coincided with the major ethno-cultural regions in the British Isles. As such, many of them, especially the Celtic languages, became intertwined with national movements in these areas, seeking either greater independence from the parliament of the United Kingdom, seated in England, or complete secession. The common history of these languages was one of sharp decline in the mid-19th century, prompted by centuries of economic deprivation and official policy to discourage their use in favour of English. However, since the mid-twentieth century there has been somewhat of a revival of interest in maintaining and using them. Celtic-language medium schools are available throughout Ireland, Scotland and Wales to such an extent that it is now possible to receive all formal education, up to and including third-level education, through a Celtic language. Instruction in Irish and Welsh is compulsory in all schools in the Republic of Ireland and Wales respectively. In the Isle of Man, Manx in taught in all schools, although it is not compulsory, and there is one Manx-medium school. The respective languages are official languages of state in Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales, with equal status with respect to English. In the Channel Islands French is a legislative and administrative language (see Jersey Legal French). Since 2007, Irish is a working language of the European Union.

During the last 60 years there has been a great deal of immigration into Great Britain (less into Ireland). As a result a number of languages not formerly found in the British Isles are in regular use. Polish, Punjabi, and Hindustani (inc Urdu & Hindi), are each probably the first language of over 1 million residents, and a number of other languages are regularly spoken by substantial numbers of persons. Even in provincial areas it has become common for local government to publish information to residents in ten or so languages,[56] and in the largest city, London, the first language of about 20% of the population is neither English nor an indigenous Celtic language.[57] Cornish and the Norman languages of Guernésiais, Jèrriais and Sarkese are far less supported. In Jersey, a language office (L'Office du Jèrriais) is funded to provide education services for Jèrriais in schools and other language services, while in Guernsey there is a language officer and Guernésiais is taught in some schools on a volunteer basis. Of the four, only Cornish is recognised officially under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, and it is taught in some schools as an optional modern language. Guernésiais and Jèrriais are recognised as regional languages by the British and Irish governments within the framework of the British-Irish Council. Scots, as either a dialect of or a closely related language to English, is similarly recognised by the European Charter, the British-Irish Council, and as "part of the cultural wealth of the island of Ireland" under the Good Friday Agreement. However, it is without official status as a language of state in Scotland, where English is used in its place.

Shelta, spoken by the ethnic minority Irish Travellers, is thought to be spoken by 6,000–25,000 people, according to varying sources. Although evidence suggests that it existed as far back as the 13th century, as a secret language, it was only discovered at the end of the 19th century. It is without any official status, despite being thought to have 86,000 speakers worldwide, mostly in the USA.


Main article: Culture of Ireland


Main article: Sport in Ireland

A number of sports are popular throughout the British Isles, the most prominent of which is association football. While this is organised separately in different national associations, leagues and national teams, even within the UK, it is a common passion in all parts of the islands.

There are several sports popular in Ireland but not in Great Britain, and vice versa. Cricket, hurling and Gaelic football are probably the best examples of this. Cricket, while being very popular in England and Wales, is rare in Scotland and Ireland. Similarly, hurling and Gaelic football, although hugely popular across the island of Ireland and capable of regularly filling the 82,500-capacity Croke Park, the 4th largest stadium in Europe, are almost unknown in Great Britain.

Some sporting events do operate across Great Britain and Ireland as a whole.

The British and Irish Lions is a rugby union team made up of players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales that undertakes tours of the southern hemisphere rugby playing nations every few years. This team was formerly known as The British Isles or colloquially as "The British Lions", but was renamed as "The British and Irish Lions" in 2001. In rugby one united team represents both Northern Ireland and the Republic. The four national rugby teams from Great Britain and Ireland play each other each year for the Triple Crown.

Since 2001 the professional club teams of Ireland, Scotland and Wales compete together in the Celtic League. Clubs in the English Guinness Premiership do not participate in the Celtic League.

Between 1927 and 1971 the Ryder Cup in golf was played between a United States team and a Great Britain team, although, in practice, a team representing Great Britain and Ireland. In 1973, the team was renamed so that United States faced an official Great Britain and Ireland team. From 1979 onwards this was expanded to include the whole of Europe. Bowls is also an example of a sport that continues to have a British Isles championship.[citation needed]

Popular cultureEdit

The United Kingdom and Ireland have separate television and radio networks, although UK television is widely available and watched in Ireland,[58] giving people in Ireland a high level of familiarity with cultural matters in Great Britain. People in Ireland can also vote on many British shows, and telephone numbers for the Republic of Ireland are also available to enter competitions and contribute to comment lines. Irish television is not widely watched in Great Britain. A previous venture, Tara TV by a consortium that included RTÉ, the Republic of Ireland's national broadcaster, to broadcast Irish television in the UK was wound up in 2002 after broadcasting since 1996. RTÉ are now expected to relaunch a new service, RTÉ International beginning in 2009.

British newspapers and magazines are widely available in Ireland and in recent decades have started to produce specific Ireland-orientated editorial copy. Again, as with television, the reverse is not true and Irish newspapers are not widely available in Great Britain. For example, the Irish Times is distributed only in London and the South East of England - although available in two thousand retail outlets, and with plans to extend distribution to Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and Cardiff on a trial basis with a possibility to extend to Scotland.[59]

Pubs and beer are an important part of social life in all parts of the British Isles.

A few cultural events are organised for the island group as a whole. For example, the Costa Book Awards are awarded to authors resident in the UK or Ireland. The Man Booker Prize is awarded to authors from the Commonwealth of Nations or the Republic of Ireland. The Mercury Music Prize is handed out every year to the best album from a British or Irish musician or group, though other musical awards are considered on a national basis. It is not unusual for British organisations to include Irish people in lists of "Great Britons" or to include Irish authors in collections of "British" literature. Seamus Heaney made an objection to his inclusion in a 1982 anthology of British poetry by remarking: 'Don’t be surprised If I demur, for, be advised My passport’s green. No glass of ours was ever raised To toast the Queen. (Open Letter, Field day Pamphlet no.2 1983)".

Many other bodies are organised throughout the islands as a whole; for example the Samaritans which is deliberately organised without regard to national boundaries on the basis that a service which is not political or religious should not recognise sectarian or political divisions.[60] The RNLI is also organised throughout the islands as a whole, and describes itself as covering the UK and Republic of Ireland.[61]


  1. Na hOileáin Bhriotanacha from CollinsHapper Pocket Irish Dictionary (ISBN 0-00-470765-6). Oileáin Iarthair Eorpa meaning Islands of Western Europe from Patrick S. Dineen, Foclóir Gaeilge Béarla, Irish-English Dictionary, Dublin, 1927. Éire agus an Bhreatain Mhór, meaning Ireland and Great Britain (from, "The British Isles", Foras na Gaeilge, 2006)
  2. Office of The President of Tynwald
  3. University of Glasgow Department of Celtic. See paragraph "Dè dìreach a th’ ann an Ceiltis an Glaschu?" (Version in English. See para' "What is Celtic at Glasgow?")
  4. Example:"HUNANIAETHAU CENEDLAETHOL YN YNYSOEDD PRYDAIN 1801-1914" (In English: "NATIONAL IDENTITIES IN THE BRITISH ISLES 1801-1914"). See also: Cardiff University Welsh-English Lexicon
  5. National Statistics Office (2003). "Ethnic group statistics A guide for the collection and classification of ethnicity data". HMSO. 
  6. For "Breetish" see Dictionary of the Scots Language (DSL) & Scottish National Dictionary Supplement (1976) (SNDS). For use in term "Breetish Isles" see Scots Language Centre website ("Show content as Scots").
  7. "British Isles," Encyclopædia Britannica
  8. The diplomatic and constitutional name of the Irish state is simply Ireland. For disambiguation purposes "Republic of Ireland" is often used although technically not the name of the state but, according to the Republic of Ireland Act 1948, its "description". Article 4, Bunreacht na hÉireann. Section 2, Republic of Ireland Act, 1948.
  9. [1]
    Collier's Encyclopedia, 1997 Edition
    Don Aitken, "What is the UK? Is it the same as Britain, Great Britain or England?", February 2002

    Usage is not consistent as to whether the Channel Islands are included [in the British Isles] - geographically they should not be, politically they should.

  10. An Irishman's Diary Myers, Kevin; The Irish Times (subscription needed) 09/03/2000, Accessed July 2006 'millions of people from these islands - oh how angry we get when people call them the British Isles'
  11. The Times 'New atlas lets Ireland slip shackles of Britain'
  12. "Written Answers - Official Terms", Dáil Éireann - Volume 606 - 28 September, 2005. In his response, the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs stated that "The British Isles is not an officially recognised term in any legal or inter-governmental sense. It is without any official status. The Government, including the Department of Foreign Affairs, does not use this term. Our officials in the Embassy of Ireland, London, continue to monitor the media in Britain for any abuse of the official terms as set out in the Constitution of Ireland and in legislation. These include the name of the State, the President, Taoiseach and others."
  13. Bertie Ahern's Address to the Joint Houses of Parliament, Westminster, 15 May 2007
  14. Tony Blair's Address to the Dáil and Seanad, November 1998
  15. Ken MacMillan, 2001, "Discourse on history, geography, and law: John Dee and the limits of the British empire," in the Canadian Journal of History, April 2001
  16. Robert Mayhew, 2005, "Template:PDFlink" in the British Journal of the History of Science, 38(1): 73-92, March 2005
  17. British Culture of the Postwar: An Introduction to Literature and Society, 1945-1999, Alistair Davies & Alan Sinfield, Routledge, 2000, ISBN 0415128110, Page 9.
  18. The Reformation in Britain and Ireland: An Introduction, Ian Hazlett, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2003, ISBN 0567082806, Chapter 2
  19. Longman Modern English Dictionary - "a group of islands off N.W. Europe comprising Great Britain Ireland, the Hebrides, Orkney the Shetland Is and adjacent islands"
    Merriam Webster - "Function: geographical name, island group W Europe comprising Great Britain, Ireland, & adjacent islands" - includes for example the American Heritage Dictionary - "British Isles, A group of islands off the northwest coast of Europe comprising Great Britain, Ireland, and adjacent smaller islands"
    Encarta - "British Isles, group of islands in the northeastern Atlantic, separated from mainland Europe by the North Sea and the English Channel. It consists of the large islands of Great Britain and Ireland and almost 5,000 surrounding smaller islands and islets"
    Philip's World Atlas
    Times Atlas of the World
    Insight Family World Atlas
  20. OED Online: "a geographical term for the islands comprising Great Britain and Ireland with all their offshore islands including the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands"
    GENUKI: Crown Dependencies
    The British Isles and all that
    Philips University Atlas
  21. John Oakland, 2003, British Civilization: A Student's Dictionary, Routledge: London
    British-Irish Isles, the (geography) see BRITISH ISLES
    British Isles, the (geography) A geographical (not political or CONSTITUTIONAL) term for ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, WALES, and IRELAND (including the REPUBLIC OF IRELAND), together with all offshore islands. A more accurate (and politically acceptable) term today is the British-Irish Isles.
  22. Yahoo UK and Ireland
  23. Template:PDFlink "The British Isles is not a political entity. It is a geographical unit, the archipelago off the west coast of continental Europe covering Scotland, Wales, England, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands."
  24. The Times: "Britain or Great Britain = England, Wales, Scotland and islands governed from the mainland (i.e. not Isle of Man or Channel Islands). United Kingdom = Great Britain and Northern Ireland. British Isles = United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man and Channel Islands. Do not confuse these entities."
  25. Template:PDFlink Notice to Mariners of 2005 referring to a new edition of a nautical chart of the Western Approaches. Chart 2723 INT1605 International Chart Series, British Isles & Ireland, Western Approaches to the North Channel.
  26. "[2] Thus, the Gulf Stream–North Atlantic–Norway Current brings warm tropical waters northward, warming the climates of eastern North America, the British Isles and Ireland, and the Atlantic coast of Norway in winter, and the Kuroshio–North Pacific Current does the same for Japan and western North America, where warmer winter climates also occur. Page retrieved Feb eighteenth 2007.
  27. "[3] The description of the OUP textbook "The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries" in the series on the history of the British Isles carries the description that it 'Offers an integrated geographical coverage of the whole of the British Isles and Ireland - rather than purely English history'" The same blurb goes on to say that the "book encompasses the histories of England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, and also considers the relationships between the different parts of the British Isles". Page retrieved Feb eighteenth 2007.
  28. "[4] Illustrated Encyclopedia of Trees by David More and John White, Timber Press, Inc., 2002, "This book began and for many years quietly proceeded as DM's (David Martin's) personal project to record in detail as many tree species, varieties and cultivars as he could find in the British Isles and Ireland."
  29. Economic History Society Style Guide
  30. 'British Isles' references leave Irish eyes frowning, The Sunday Tribune, 27 January 2008
  31. Michelin Tyre
  32. Michelin Great Britain Ireland (Michelin Maps): Books: Michelin Travel Publications
  33. Rail Atlas Great Britain and Ireland: Books: S.K. Baker
  34. Hallwag Kümmerley und Frey
  35. Octopus Publishing Group
  36. Octopus Publishing Group
  37. Complete Driver's Atlas of Great Britain & Ireland | |Readers Digest UK
  38. Inc
  39. The Automobile Association
  40. The Irish Times, "Folens to wipe 'British Isles' off the map in new atlas", 2 October 2006
  41. British Isles is removed from school atlases
  42. Mayes, Julian; Dennis Wheeler (1997). Regional Climates of the British Isles. London: Routledge. pp. 13. 
  43. Ibid., pp. 13–14.
  44. Seán McCárthaigh, Dublin–London busiest air traffic route within EU, Irish Examiner, 31 March 2003
  45. Thenail, Bruno. "EMDI - Espace Manche Development Initiative". European Community INTERREG IIIB NWE Programme. Retrieved on 2008-06-24. 
  46. "TUNNEL UNDER THE SEA", The Washington Post, 2 May 1897 (Archive link)
  47. A Vision of Transport in Ireland in 2050, IEI report (pdf), The Irish Academy of Engineers, 21/12/2004
  48. Tunnel 'vision' under Irish Sea, (link), BBC news, Thursday, 23 December 2004
  49. BBC News, From Twinbrook to the Trevi Fountain, 21 August 2007
  50. Goudie, Andrew S.; D. Brunsden (1994). The Environment of the British Isles, an Atlas. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 2. 
  51. Ibid., p. 5.
  52. Though the Irish Free State left the United Kingdom on 6 December 1922 the name of the United Kingdom was not changed to reflect that until April 1927, when Northern Ireland was substituted for Ireland in its name.
  53. Goldsmith, 2008, Citizenship: Our Common Bond, Ministry of Justice: London
  54. [Communiqué of the British-Irish Council], February 2008
  55. Martina Purdy, 28 February 2008 2008, Unionists urged to drop boycott, BBC: London
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  59. Irish Times to extend distribution to Liverpool and Manchester, How-Do, Monday, 28 April 2008
  60. Samaritans - Would you like to know more? > History > National growth
  61. [5] The RNLI is a charity that provides a 24-hour lifesaving service around the UK and Republic of Ireland.


Further readingEdit

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frp:Iles britaniques

ast:Islles britániques be:Брытанскія астравы bs:Britanska ostrva bg:Британски острови ca:Illes Britàniques cs:Britské ostrovy cy:Ynysoedd Prydain ac Iwerddon da:Britiske Øer de:Britische Inseln et:Briti saared el:Βρετανικά Νησιά es:Islas Británicas eo:Britaj Insuloj eu:Britainiar Uharteak fa:جزایر بریتانیا fr:Îles Britanniques fy:Britske Eilannen gl:Illas Británicas ko:브리튼 제도 hr:Britanski otoci is:Bretlandseyjar it:Arcipelago britannico he:האיים הבריטיים ka:ბრიტანეთის კუნძულები sw:Funguvisiwa ya Britania lb:Britesch Inselen lt:Britų salos hu:Brit-szigetek nl:Britse Eilanden ja:ブリテン諸島 no:De britiske øyer nn:Dei britiske øyane nrm:Îles Britanniques oc:Illas Britanicas pms:Ìsole britàniche pl:Wyspy Brytyjskie pt:Ilhas Britânicas ro:Insulele Britanice rmy:Britanikane dvipa ru:Британские острова sco:Breetish Isles simple:British Isles sk:Britské ostrovy sl:Britansko otočje sr:Британска острва sh:Britanski otoci fi:Britteinsaaret sv:Brittiska öarna ta:பிரித்தானியத் தீவுகள் tr:Britanya Adaları (terminoloji) uk:Британські острови zh-yue:不列顛群島


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