South America and South Atlantic Islands

Antarctica Flag of British Antarctic Territory

Last updated: 18 September 2007

Country information

Map of British Antarctic Territory


Country Facts

Status: United Kingdom Overseas Territory
Area: 1,709,400 sq km (666,000 sq miles)
Population: No indigenous population. The United Kingdom’s presence in the Territory is provided by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), which maintains 2 permanently manned scientific stations (at Halley and Rothera) and two summer-only stations (at Fossil Bluff on Alexander Island and Signy in the South Orkney Islands).
Currency: Sterling
Acting Commissioner: Ms Jane Rumble


Nationals of the United Kingdom and of the other Antarctic Treaty States require authorisation to visit Antarctica.

See Guidance for Visitors to Antarctica

The UK Government supports the self-regulatory framework established by International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and works with the organisation to promote safe and environmentally responsible tourism in Antarctica. In light of the high standards the industry has set itself, the Government restricts access to UK Historic Sites and scientific bases operated by the British Antarctic Survey to IAATO operators. The FCO encourages all visitors to Antarctica to travel with IAATO affiliated companies.


The BAT has a number of historical sites and monuments and sites of special scientific interest. More than half of the sites designated as Protected Areas in Antarctica are located within the Territory – around the main landmass, on and around Anvers Island and in the South Shetland Islands.

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