Hadrian's wall
Hadrian's wall

Archaeological remains show that the first group of modern people to reside in the British Isles were hunter-gatherers following the end of the last Ice Age. Whilst the date is unknown, it is considered to be as early as 8000 BC, but definitely by 5000 BC. They built mesolithic wood and stone monuments, and, between 3000 and 1600 BC, Stonehenge was built.  

Britain was a changing collection of tribal areas, with no overall leader as Celtic tribes arrived from mainland Europe. Julius Caesar attempted, unsuccessfully, to invade in 55 BC. The Romans, however, successfully invaded in 43 AD.

Writing was brought to Britain by the Romans and this is when written history began in the country. Rome ruled in Britain from 44 AD to 410 AD, but they only ruled England and Wales. The Romans never conquered Scotland north of the Clyde-Forth valley, or Ireland – their northern boundary changed from time to time, and was delineated for a period at Hadrian's Wall.

Following the Romans, two waves of immigrants came to Britain. Firstly, German tribes: the Angles, Saxons and Jutes. Then, secondly, the Vikings.

For a long period, England was split into various kingdoms. It was unified by Æthelstan (Athelstan) in 945 AD. Subsequently, by force, England and Wales were unified by Edward I (Longshanks) in the 13th century. The union with Scotland took much longer. It was plagued by hundreds of years of conflicts between both parts of Britain. This union between England and Scotland in 1707 formed the United Kingdom of Great Britain, which merged Scotland and England into one country.

So, much of what gives the UK its unique appeal for visitors is the look of its heritage buildings and the age of its ancient monuments. Its majesty is a blend of archaeology, history and heritage.

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