The United Kingdom, also called the U.K., consists of a group of islands off the northwest coast of Europe. It is a unique country made up of four nations: England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. England, Wales, and Scotland also make up Great Britain.
Much of the north and west of the U.K. is covered in high ground, knife-edged mountain ridges separated by deep valleys. This terrain was shaped in the last Ice Age, when thick glaciers covered the land.
In the south of England, the countryside is mostly rolling hills. In northwest England and the Scottish Highlands are dozens of lakes, called lochs. These were left behind when the Ice Age glaciers melted. They tend to be long and narrow, and some are very deep. Legends say that a giant monster called Nessie lives in Loch Ness in Scotland.