South East England is the most populous of the nine official regions of England at the first level of NUTS for statistical purposes. It consists of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey and West Sussex. As with the other regions of England, apart from Greater London, the south east has no elected government.
It is the third largest region of England, with an area of 19,096 km2 (7,373 sq mi), and is also the most populous with a total population of over eight and a half million (2011). The headquarters of the region's governmental bodies are in Guildford, and the region contains seven cities: Brighton and Hove, Canterbury, Chichester, Oxford, Portsmouth, Southampton and Winchester, though other major settlements include Reading and Milton Keynes. Its proximity to London and connections to several national motorways have led to South East England becoming an economic hub, with the largest economy in the country outside the capital. It is the location of Gatwick Airport, the UK's second-busiest airport, and its coastline along the English Channel provides numerous ferry crossings to mainland Europe.
The region is known for its countryside, which includes the North Downs and the Chiltern Hills as well as two national parks: the New Forest and the South Downs. The River Thames flows through the region and its basin is known as the Thames Valley. It is also the location of a number of internationally known places of interest, such as HMS Victory in Portsmouth, Cliveden in Buckinghamshire, Thorpe Park and RHS Wisley in Surrey, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, Windsor Castle in Berkshire, Leeds Castle, the White Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury Cathedral in Kent, Brighton Pier and Hammerwood Park in East Sussex, and Wakehurst Place in West Sussex. The region has many universities; the University of Oxford is ranked among the best in the world.
South East England is host to various sporting events, including the annual Henley Royal Regatta, Royal Ascot and The Derby, and sporting venues include Wentworth Golf Club and Brands Hatch. Some of the events of the 2012 Summer Olympics were held in the south east, including the rowing at Eton Dorney and part of the cycling road race in the Surrey Hills.
Paddington Bear is a fictional character in children's literature, written by Michael Bond and illustrated by Peggy Fortnum. He first appeared on 13 October 1958 in the children's book A Bear Called Paddington and has been featured in more than twenty books written by British author Michael Bond and illustrated by Peggy Fortnum and other artists. The friendly bear from Peru—with his old hat, battered suitcase (complete with a secret compartment, enabling it to hold more items than it would appear to), duffle coat and love of marmalade—has become a classic character from English children's literature. Paddington books have been translated into 30 languages across 70 titles and sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. A much loved fictional character in British culture, a Paddington Bear soft toy was chosen by British tunnellers as the first item to pass through to their French counterparts when the two sides of the Channel Tunnel were linked in 1994.
Paddington is an anthropomorphised bear. He is always polite – addressing people as "Mr", "Mrs" and "Miss", rarely by first names – and kindhearted, though he inflicts hard stares on those who incur his disapproval. He has an endless capacity for innocently getting into trouble, but he is known to "try so hard to get things right." He was discovered in Paddington Station, London, by the (human) Brown family who adopted him, and thus he gives his full name as "Paddington Brown". As of June 2016, the Paddington Bear franchise is now owned by Vivendi's StudioCanal. Bond, however, continued to own the publishing rights to his series (until his death on 27 June 2017), which were licensed to HarperCollins in April 2017 for the next six years. Read more...
Credit: Adam MillerThe Swale
refers to the strip of water separating North Kent from the Isle of Sheppey.
A 1959 view of South Street in Dorking, Surrey.
Aerial view of Oxford city centre
Godric (died c.1066 ) was the Anglo Saxon sheriff of Berkshire and possibly Buckinghamshire in the 11th century prior to the Norman Conquest.
As a sheriff, he had the powers of arrest, he could raise armies, collect taxes and levies, and he presided over courts, dealt with traitors and generally supervised on the King’s behalf everything that went on in the area of the Kingdom under his jurisdiction. It was recorded that Godric was "a colourful old scoundrel".
Godric had at least one daughter, who was taught gold embriodery by a maid called Aelfgyth in Oakley, Buckinghamshire before the Norman Conquest. Henry de Ferrers had acquired lands at Stanford in the Vale, Berkshire (now Oxfordshire) belonging to Godric the Sheriff, probably between 1055 and 1067. Finally, there is a mention of "Godric the Sheriff, of Fyfield (Berkshire, now Oxfordshire)" as being a member of King Harold Godwinson's forces at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Read more...