In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland (through another Act of Union) to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
After the last ice age only large mammals such as mammoths, bison and woolly rhinoceros remained.
Roughly 11,000 years ago, when the ice sheets began to recede, humans repopulated the area; genetic research suggests they came from the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula.
However, there are uplands in the north (for example, the mountainous Lake District, and the Pennines) and in the west (for example, Dartmoor and the Shropshire Hills).
The capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union.