I've just watched Bill Bryson's TV documentary about the UK, named "Notes From A Small Island" after his book.
One of the points he makes, which applies to most of Northern Europe as well, is that there is precious little dangerous nature here, unlike most of the world including the US. For example we don't get weather like this. (Interestingly, minus 40 degrees is the same in Fahrenheit and Celsius, I don't know how that happened.) And we don't get really hot summers either. I love it.
A thing I noticed during the multi-hour show was that everything interesting or impressive he had to tell about Great Britain happened centuries or decades in the past. Almost everything he mentioned, he then ended up by saying: "but in the past few decades, this has been disappearing" or words to that effect. I don't think amongst all of the many places he visited there was a single growth area. How can such a great nation with traditionally a disproportionate number of great minds in science and arts just taper off like this? It's odd.
Maybe an exception was central London, though that was mentioned for sort of negative reasons: people who grew up there can't afford to live there now. For some areas, apparently even people who earn a quarter million pounds ($0.4M) per year can't afford to live there, because the house prices are driven up by people earning millions per year. (In my native Denmark nobody is poor, but virtually nobody earns more than a quarter million pounds per year, I think.) This kind of situation must be artificial, it seems so weird. There's no way a modest-sized house can be worth ten million pounds, or an executive can be worth a bonus of such a sum.