England Geography

National borders, coasts

England itself has no national border, only geographical and political “borders” with Scotland in the north and Wales in the west. Since Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom (UK) along with England, Scotland and Wales, the UK still has a border with the Republic of Ireland – with a length of around 360 km.
England has coastline to the North Sea in the east, the English Channel in the south, and the Celtic Sea in the north-west. In the south-west England borders with the county of Cornwall on the Atlantic. Great Britain – England, Wales and Scotland together – has a total coastline of around 12,430 km.

General, regions

England covers a large part of the British Isles and has an area of ​​130,395 km². It is on the southernmost half of the island of Great Britain. Most of England is made up of flat plains. Between the rivers Tees (Middlesborough) and Exe (near Exeter) the land is divided into plains and mountains. The Cumbrian Mountains, Pennines, Peak District, Cotsworlds and Chilterns run north to south. The main and longest rivers are the Thames, Severn, Trent and Great Ouse. The largest cities in England are London, Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield and Liverpool. The following regions of England are not political entities. but only listed according to their location in the country (in alphabetical order). It should also be noted that Great Britain consists of Scotland, Wales and England.

England Northern England is characterized by an impressive mountain landscape, the Lake District, many castles, national parks, coasts and unspoiled nature. In addition, cities such as medieval York or Manchester, which became famous not least for football, attract numerous visitors. In recent years the north of the country has become a cultural center: there are museums and galleries as well as world cultural monuments. The city of Liverpool, apart from London, is considered the UK’s pop music capital.

North East England
With Humberside, North Yorkshire – Durham

Central England
With Warwickshire, West Midlands, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire. The heart of England is particularly scenic with its rolling hills of the Cotswolds and spectacular views of the Derbyshire Peak District. Shakespeare and Robin Hood lived here. Central England is full of history and culture. The half-timbered houses of the Marches are as beautiful as the villages of Leicestershire and the market towns of Worcestershire. But there are also truly cosmopolitan cities in Central England: Birmingham and Nottingham, for example, entice with a variety of visitor attractions.

East England
With Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire

South of England
with the Isle of Wight, Wiltshire, Dorset.
Southern England is also a particularly varied area. There are traditional seaside resorts, romantic rivers and canals and long sandy beaches and imposing cliffs on the coast. In addition, some of the most famous parks and gardens in the world can be visited here. Southern England is largely rural and visitors can visit the medieval cathedral cities of Winchester and Salisbury and the World Heritage Site of Stonehenge. In the south-west, the country delights with its rugged coastline in Cornwall and the picturesque villages of the Cotswolds with thatched-roof cottages.

South East England
With Kent, Sussex, Surrey

South West
Devon, Cornwall, Somerset

West England
With Avon, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire

Area, land use and boundaries

England covers an area of ​​130,395 km², the island of Great Britain covers an area of ​​229,850 km² and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland covers an area of ​​244,820 km².

  • Forest
    Around 11% of the country is forested. 61.5% of it is coniferous forest, 28% is deciduous forest, the rest is bush wood. A total of 67% of the UK’s forests are severely damaged, which is the highest percentage of forest damage anywhere in Europe.
  • Meadow and pasture land
    Around 51% of the total area of ​​Great Britain is used as meadow, pasture or arable land.
  • Fields and fields
    A good third of the arable land in the country is used for arable farming. Mainly grain, fruit, vegetables and rapeseed are grown.
  • Wetlands
    Wetlands are few in the UK.
  • Gebrige
    About 19% of the country is occupied by mountains.

England itself has no direct land border, only limits to the other “Member States” Scotland and Wales, United Kingdom in Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland km with a length of around 360th

Tidal range in Liverpool

In Liverpool the mean tidal range is around 3 m. (For a detailed explanation of ebb and flow, see tides, ebb and flow).

The world’s highest tidal range can be found in the Bay of Fundy in Canada, where it is up to 16 m, and at spring tide even over 20 m. The Bay of Fundy is located on the Atlantic between the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, which is called Nova Scotia in German and whose capital is Halifax. On the German North Sea coast it varies between 1 m and 3 m. In the western Baltic Sea, on the other hand, the tidal range is only 0.3 m, while it is barely noticeable in the eastern Baltic Sea.

Longitude and latitude

England extends over the following geographical latitude (abbreviation Δφ) and geographical longitude (abbreviation Δλ):

Δφ = from 50 ° 03` to ° 55 48` north latitude
Δλ = from 005 ° 45 ‘west to 001 ° 50` east longitude

You can find detailed information on this subject under Longitude and Latitude.

Legal time

In England there is a one-hour time difference to Central European Time (CET). It’s an hour earlier there.

Δt (CET) = – 1 h

Further and detailed explanations of the time can be found under Time zones, time.

Highest point of the sun in London

London lies at a north latitude of around φ = 51.5 °. Because of the huge size of the city, this only applies to central London.
If the sun is at the tropic, i.e. at δ = 23.5 °, summer starts in London on June 21st. Then, for the highest position of the sun at noon, according to Eq. 1 (see position of the sun):

51.5 ° = (90 ° – h) + 23.5 °


H = 62 °

This is the highest level above the horizon (exactly: above the chimney) that the sun occupies within the year in London.


Scafell Pike
The highest mountain in England is Scafell Pike with a height of 978 m.

Ben Nevis
The highest mountain in Great Britain is Ben Nevis in Scotland with a height of 1,344 m.
Other high mountains in Great Britain are:

  • Ben Macdhui in Scotland at an altitude of 1,310 m
  • Braeriach in Scotland with a height of 1,296 m
  • Cairn Toul in Scotland with an altitude of 1,291 m
  • The highest mountain in Wales is Snowdon with a height of 1,085 m
  • The highest mountain in Northern Ireland is Slieve Donard with a height of 852 m


The longest river in England and Great Britain is the Severn with a length of around 354 km. It rises in Wales near Llanidloes in the Cambrian Mountains and flows through the English counties of Shropshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire. The Severn flows over the Bristol Channel, the “border” between England and Wales in the north, into the Irish Sea.

The Thames with a length of 346 km is without a doubt the most famous river in England and Great Britain, not least because it flows through London and the university city of Oxford and is only slightly shorter than the Severn. The Thames flows only through England and flows into the North Sea a little less than 60 km east of London at the village of Southend-on-sea. It rises in the town of Kemble in the county of Gloucestershire – in the Cotswolds region – in which there are six counties and which is often referred to as the heart of England. About 90 km upstream the ebb and flow of the North Sea are noticeable.

Other rivers in the country:

  • Trent with a length of around 297km
  • Aire with a length of around 259 km
  • Great Ouse with a length of around 230 km
  • Wye, which is a natural border between England and Wales, with a length of around 215 km.


Lake Windermere
The largest lake in England is Lake Windermere with an area of ​​around 16 km².

Ullswater, Bassenthwaite Lake, Derwentwater
Furthermore, the lakes Ullswater (8.9 km²), Bassenthwaite Lake (5.3 km²) and Derwentwater (5.3 km²) are located in England

The following larger reservoirs in England are: Rutland Water (12.6 km²) km²), Kielder Water (11.0 km²), Pitsford Water (7.4 km²), Grafham Water (7.4 km²) and Chew Valley (4.9 km²).

Lough Neagh
The United Kingdom – Great Britain including Northern Ireland – comprises numerous smaller and larger lakes. The largest lake is Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland with an area of ​​approximately 147.39 km².

Lough Neagh

Other major lakes in the UK are:

  • the Lower Lough Erne in Northern Ireland with an area of 40.57 km2
  • of Loch Lomond in Scotland with an area of 27.46 km2
  • and Loch Ness in Scotland with an area of ​​around 21.87 km2


The term “British Isles” refers to the entire archipelago of Great Britain, from Scilly in the south to the Shetland Isles in the north, and from the western Blasket Isles to eastern East Anglia. The United Kingdom means Great Britain with Northern Ireland. The entire area includes over 6,000 islands.

Here are some of the most important islands or archipelagos in Great Britain.

  • The Isles of Skye with a total area of ​​1,735 square kilometers
  • The Shetland Islands with a number of 100 islands and a total area of ​​1,466 square kilometers
  • The Isle of Man with an area of ​​572 square kilometers
  • The Isle of Wight with an area of ​​381 square kilometers
  • The Isles of Scilly with a total of 50 different islands on an area of ​​16 square km.


About the author