Read about some of the British Cities

The centre of everything in Great Britain is the city of London. It’s situated at the centre of a vast national and international network of communication. London consists of four main districts, which differ from each other. These are the City, Westminster, the West End and the East End.

The other towns, situated to the north of the Thames are Oxford and Cambridge.

Oxford was first mentioned in recorded history in the tenth century and later became an important trade centre in medieval times, then it developed into leading educational centre.

Cambridge is also best known for its ancient university. Its industries are mostly concerned with electronics which has an international reputation.

Bristol dominates South-west England, both as the region’s largest seaport and as its largest city. It is a major centre of metallurgy, aircraft and chemical industries.

Of the towns situated in the south of England, the largest ones are Southampton, Portsmouth and Brighton. Southampton is primarily a sea port, the most important on the south coast. Brighton is one of the most popular seaside resorts of Britain. It has mild climate, warm sea and wonderful beaches.

Word List

vast – величезний
network – мережа
mention – згадувати
medieval times – середньовічні часи
leading educational centre – провідний освітній центр
are mostly concerned with electronics – в основному займаються електронікою
dominate – домінувати
aircraft industry – авіаційна промисловість
primarily – насамперед
seaside resort – морський курорт

Leeds in West Yorkshire is one of the biggest cities in the UK, a great commercial city, and the economic capital of Yorkshire. Its people are very proud of it. Leeds lies along the River Aire about 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Manchester.  Leeds has a long and vibrant history. The city of Leeds grew from an Anglo-Saxon market town. The city is home to a number of historic buildings.

Leeds has a rich industrial history and once produced much of the world’s cloth as well as other materials. Leeds’ wealth was built on wool and textiles, and during the Industrial Revolution it was overrun with mills. Kirkgate Market in Leeds is where Michael Marks first opened his Penny Bazaar (1884) which was to lead, ultimately, to the foundation of Marks & Spencer, in 1890.

Leeds is one of Britain’s major cultural centres.

Norwich is one of the oldest cities in England. It was one of the chief provincial cities of medieval England. When its walls were constructed (1197 – 1223), they enclosed almost a square mile, an area as big as that of the City of London. By that time it had become the capital of East Anglia. Its majectic cathedral and the narrow winding streets around it still remind the visitor of those ancient times.

Norwich is a popular destination for a city break. Attractions include Norwich Cathedral, the cobbled streets and museums of old Norwich, Norwich Castle, Cow Tower, Dragon Hall and The Forum. Norwich is one of the UK’s top ten shopping destinations, with a mix of chain retailers and independent stores, and Norwich Market as one of the largest outdoor markets in England.

Durham is a historic city. The city lies on the River Wear. No one can forget the sight of its cathedral and castle rising together on a steep hill. The cathedral and the 11th-century castle were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986. The castle has been the home of  Durham University since 1832. Durham cathedral is one of the great medieval buildings of Europe.

Durham’s geographical position has always given it an important place in the defence of England against the Scots. The city played an important part in the defence of the north, and Durham Castle is the only Norman castle which has never suffered a breach.

Windsor, the historic town to the west of London, offers plenty of fun things to do for tourists. In addition to its lovely Thames-side setting and the many medieval buildings along its old cobblestone laneways, it’s also home to spectacular Windsor Castle, the most famous of the UK’s royal castles.

This grand old castle has served as the summer residence of British royalty for more than a millennium. It was started by William the Conqueror in 1078, and is the world’s largest inhabited castle. Highlights include the splendid State Apartments containing the Queen’s Gallery and dining hall, each with magnificently painted ceilings and woodcarvings, and St. George’s Chapel, famous as the home of the Knights and Ladies of the ancient Order of the Garter. Be sure to spend time exploring the castle’s large and beautiful grounds, almost 10 kilometers long. Other area attractions worth visiting include Legoland Windsor, a fun family resort set on 150 acres of parkland and just a short bus ride from the town center. Also worth seeing is Royal Ascot, the UK’s most famous horse-racing venue.

York is one of northern England’s most popular tourist destinations. The city of York boasts one of the country’s most magnificent cathedrals. The country’s largest medieval church, York Minster can trace its roots back to the spread of Christianity in the 3rd century, although the splendid present Gothic structure was built almost 1,000 years later. Highlights of a tour include the opportunity to view its 14th-century stained glass windows, plus the richly decorated interiors. Also worth a visit is the crypt, which contains parts of the original 11th-century church the cathedral now stands on.

Other landmarks worth exploring are the ancient City Walls, which stretch almost five kilometers around the old medieval city center. Along the way, you’ll enjoy excellent views over The Shambles, a narrow 14th-century roadway, famous for its fine old timber-framed buildings, many of which hang over the street below. It’s also an area known for its many restaurants and tearooms, as well as its many boutique shops and galleries.

York also boasts a number of major museums, the most popular being the National Railway Museum. Highlights of this museum’s vast collection include many fine old steam engines dating as far back as 1820, plus a unique collection of Royal Trains.

Canterbury in Kent has been a draw for pilgrims for more than 1,500 years. The city’s most famous attraction is Canterbury Cathedral, home of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Now it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other Canterbury must-sees include the Canterbury Tales, a fascinating look at the life and times of famous English poet Geoffrey Chaucer, called the “Father of English Literature.” Be sure to include the excellent Canterbury Roman Museum on your itinerary. It was built around the remains of an original Roman townhouse and its unique mosaic.

Bath is in the top five tourist attractions in the UK. If you visit England you must go there and see its great architecture. It is simply one of the world’s best cities. Bath grew up as an important place when the Romans were in Britain. They liked the natural hot water that comes out of the ground, called springs, and built a lot of buildings that you can still see today. In the 18th century Bath was again an important place because people became more interested in a healthy lifestyle. It became a fashionable place for the rich and the famous. Some of the most beautiful houses, for example those on the Royal Crescent, date from this time.

With its university, wonderful shops and plenty of things to do, Bath has a lot to offer the present day visitor.

Cambridge is the second oldest university city in Great Britain after Oxford. Cambridge is situated on the river Cam and takes its name from this river. There are twenty-nine colleges in Cambridge. Large parts of the population of the city are teachers and students. All students have to live in Cambridge while they study there. In the streets of Cambridge you can see many young men wearing dark blue or black clothes and black square caps. The tradition goes back to the old times when the students had to wear dark clothes. They could not play games or sing songs and dance in those days, they couldn’t fish either. Many great men have studied at Cambridge: Cromwell, Newton, Byron,   Darwin and others. Cambridge is known all over the world.

British Cities Quiz

What is the name of the city/town?

  1. The city, in which according to a legend,  Lady Godiva rode through naked.
  2. The city where you would find a collection of narrow lanes called The Lanes, which are famous for their small shops.
  3.  A city in the south-east of England, made famous by Chaucer’s tales of medieval pilgrims.
  4. The second largest city of Ireland and, since 1921, the capital of Northern Ireland.
  5. About 80 kilometres west of London, this town is the home of country’s oldest university.
  6. A busy little town in North Wales where for the first time in 1301 an English king’s son was proclaimed the Prince of Wales.
  7. England’s second largest city in the Midlands.
  8. The city where Marks & Spencer was founded.
  9. The city in the south west of England which is the world’s biggest manufacturer of hot air balloons.
  10. A large suburban town near London famous for its public school where the game of squash was invented.
  11. The town where William Shakespeare was born.
  12. A seaside resort on the English Channel where you can see the Royal Pavillion, a masterpiece of eccentric English architecture.
  13. This city is the oil centre of Scotland.
  14. The city where the Beatles started.
  15. The city which was known for its wool and cotton industries and is famous for its football team.
  16. A a market town in Warwickshire, England, famous for one of the oldest independent schools in Britian, where the game of rugby was invented.
  17. The city which is one of the oldest in England where you can visit the Cow Tower and the Dragon Hall.
  18. The city in the north of England where you can explore the ancient City Walls which stretch for almost five kilometres.
  19. The beautiful city in Britain where you can bathe in natural thermal hot springs.
  20. It is a university city on the River Cam.