UK Facts, Activities and Printable Map for Kids!

UK Facts, Activities and Printable Map for Kids!

By Babysits
11 min read

Grab yourself a cup of tea (and ach sure, treat yourself to a scone too!) - we’re heading to the United Kingdom for some British fun! Keep reading for maps, fun facts, and colouring pages.

Great Britain vs United Kingdom

First things first - what is the difference between Great Britain and the United Kingdom? We often hear people use these terms interchangeably, however, they don’t actually refer to the same thing. So what exactly is Great Britain? Great Britain is both a geographic and political term. It refers to the island which consists of England, Scotland, and Wales. However, politically it also includes the smaller offshore islands, such as the Isle of Wight and the island groups of Orkney and Shetland.

Note: Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are not part of Great Britain!

So then, what makes up the United Kingdom? The UK is made up of Great Britain and the region of Northern Ireland. It’s a sovereign state and purely a political term. Even though the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are also widely referred to as countries - they’re countries within a country!

Note: The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are also not part of the United Kingdom. They are self-governing British Crown Dependencies.

UK vs great britain map for kids

United Kingdom Map for Kids

The UK is made up of four nations - England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. London is the capital city of the UK as a whole and also of England, however, the other nations also have their own capital cities as well, namely, Edinburgh (Scotland), Cardiff- (Wales), and Belfast (Northern Ireland). Take a look at this printable map of UK to see some of its animals, landmarks, & regions.

United Kingdom Kids Map

Want to test your geography knowledge? Print out our free UK kids map and try to label the nations of the UK and their capital cities!

United Kingdom Map for Kids fill in the cities

United Kingdom Facts for Kids

There are plenty of fun facts to learn about the UK. For example, did you know that the Queen sends people a congratulatory message on their 100th birthday? How cool is that? Read on for more!

Size of UK

How big is the UK?

The total land area covering the United Kingdom measures 242,495 million km². How does this compare to other countries? It’s the 80th biggest country in the world - you can fit about 70 UKs in Russia (the biggest country in the world)!

UK Flag

What does the UK flag represent?

The national flag of the UK (also known as the Union Jack) is actually a combination of three older national flags. It’s made up of the English flag (St George’s Cross), the Scottish flag (the white saltire of St Andrew), and the red saltire of St Patrick to represent Ireland (note: the Republic of Ireland is no longer part of the UK).

Print out our UK flag and see if you can colour the flag in its correct colours!

UK Flag

Does the UK have a national day?

There is no national day for the whole of the UK, however, each region celebrates its own saint. St George's Day in England (23rd April), St Andrew's Day in Scotland (30th November), St David's Day in Wales (1st March) and St Patrick's Day in Northern Ireland (17th March).

Fun facts about England

  • London’s “Big Ben” isn’t a clock...the name actually refers to the bell inside the clock!
  • Did you know that the Queen owns all of the swans on the river Thames? This law was created in the 12th century because swans were eaten as a prized food at banquets and feasts, so only a select few were allowed to eat them! Of course nowadays, swans are no longer eaten and are a protected species.
  • Every year in England there’s a cheese rolling competition (yup, you heard that right!). Participants race down a 200-yard-long hill after a round of Double Gloucester cheese is sent rolling down it.
  • Stonehenge is older than the pyramids! Stonehenge, one of England’s biggest tourist attractions, was believed to be created in around 3000 BC, while the pyramids were first being built around 2780 BC.
  • England's three biggest counties (according to population) are as follows, Greater London, West Midlands and Greater Manchester.

Colouring Page: English Flag

Print out our English Flag and see if you can colour the flag in its correct colours!

English flag

National Animal of England

Did you know that the lion is the national animal of England? Even though the lion is not a native animal of England, it’s believed that some old monarchs included it in their coat of arms to represent bravery. However, it wasn’t until King Richard I’s reign (whose nickname was “The Lionheart”), that the three lions were introduced to the heraldry of English monarchs, and thus becoming a national symbol.

Print out and colour in the cute lion below!

England national animal lion

Fun facts about Scotland

  • Scotland is home to the oldest tree in Europe. It is a twisted yew, and is about 3,000 years old!
  • The raincoat was invented by a Scottish chemist called Charles Macintosh. (And if you’re ever visiting Scotland we advise you to bring one with you!)
  • Did you know that hundreds of millions of years ago Scotland was once completely separate from England and Wales? It was actually joined to America and Greenland!
  • The Scottish Highlands are the biggest area in Scotland. This region is primarily dominated by the huge peaks of different mountain ranges.

Colouring Page: Scottish Flag

Print out our Scottish Flag and see if you can colour the flag in its correct colours!

Scottish flag

National Animal of Scotland

Did you know that the unicorn is the national animal of Scotland? Yes, the unicorn! But why did the Scots choose this mythical creature? In Celtic mythology, unicorns symbolise unity, purity, courage, and strength. On top of that, unicorns are believed to be the natural enemy of...the lion!

Print out and colour in the magical unicorn below!

Scotland national animal unicorn

Fun facts about Wales

  • Did you know that Wales has the most castles per square mile than any other country in the world! Caerphilly is the largest castle in Wales and the second largest in Europe.
  • Welsh towns are known for having some pretty long names, with Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch being the second longest place name in the world. The name means “St Mary’s Church in the Hollow of the White Hazel near a Rapid Whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio near the Red Cave.”
  • The population of Wales is 3.1 million people...but they have about 3 times as many sheep at nearly 10 million! This is why the Welsh are commonly associated with these wooly creatures.
  • Wales has three National Parks which actually cover 20% of the country's total land mass.

Colouring Page: Welsh Flag

Print out our Welsh Flag and see if you can colour the flag in its correct colours!

Welsh flag

National Animal of Wales

The mighty red dragon is the national animal of Wales! Commonly referred to as the Welsh Dragon, it has been a symbol of Wales for centuries. The first written mention of this symbolism is from the Historia Brittonum written in the 9th century, which tells a story of King Vortigern who unintentionally frees two dragons.

Print out and colour in the majestic dragon below!

Wales national animal red dragon

Fun facts about Northern Ireland

  • Lough Neagh is the biggest lake in the British Isles and every county except Fermanagh touches the shores of the lake.
  • At its closest point, Northern Ireland is only 13 miles away from the Scottish coast. On a clear day you can even look across the water and see Scotland for yourself!
  • Did you know that the Titanic ship was made in Belfast? At the time it launched, it was the largest man-made moving object on Earth!
  • Did you know what the Titanic was built in Belfast?

How many counties are there in Northern Ireland?

Northern Ireland has 6 counties - Fermanagh, Antrim, Tyrone, Derry/Londonderry, Armagh, and Down. You can use the mnemonic “FAT DAD” or “FAT LAD” to help you remember them!

Flag of Northern Ireland

Did you know that since 1973 there has been no official Northern Irish flag? However, the Ulster Banner is often used to represent Northern Ireland in some international sporting competitions.

You can print out the flag below and see if you can colour it in its correct colours!

Northern Ireland flag Ulster banner

National Flowers of Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland may not have a national animal, but it has two national flowers! Firstly, the shamrock, which is also the national flower of the Republic of Ireland. Legend has it that Saint Patrick used the shamrock as a symbol to explain the Holy Trinity. And secondly, the flax flower. This flower was chosen due to its association with the Ulster linen industry.

Print out and colour in the national flowers below! Or if you’re feeling crafty, try making this DIY shamrock.

Northern Ireland national flowers

Did you enjoy our facts about the UK for kids? Take a look at our other facts about Australia, Canada, Ireland, and Singapore!

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