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Britain Chapter 3: Geography

It has been claimed that the British love of compromise is the result of the country´s physical geography. True or not, the land and the climate in Britain have a notable lack of extremes. Britain has mountains, but not very high; it also has flat land and you can find hills; it has no really very big rivers, it doesn´t usually get very cold in the winter or very hot in the summer; it has no active volcanoes.

 Climate
The climate of Britain is more or less the same as that of the northwestern part of the European mainland. The popular belief that rains all the time in Britain is not true. The image of a wet land was created by the invading Romans and has perpetuated. The amount of rain that falls on a town in Britain depends on where it is. The further west you go, the more rain you get. Snow is a regular feature of the higher areas only. Occasionally, a whole winter goes by in lower-lying parts without any snow at all. The winters are in general a bit colder that they are in the west, while in the south the summer is warmer and sunnier than the north. In Britain it may not rain very much, but you can never be sure of a dry day. There can be cool or even cold days in July and some quite warms days in January. The lack of extremes is the reason why when it gets genuinely hot or freezing, the country seems to be totally unprepared for it. A bit of snow and a few days of frost and the trains stop working and the roads are blocked. These things happen so rarely that it is not worth organizing life to be ready for them.

 Land and settlement
Britain has neither towering mountains ranges nor impressively large rivers, plains or forests. But this not means that its landscape is boring. It has variety. The scenery changes noticeably over quite short distances. The south and the east of the country are comparatively low-lying, consisting of either flat plains or rolling hills. Mountainous areas are found only in the north and west, and they also have flat areas. The forests have disappeared because of human influence. Britain has a great proportion of grassland.

Large numbers of immigrants have settled here. As a result. cities in Britain have been built outwards rather than upwards. cinemas and expensive shops. It did not contain Parliament or the Royal Court.  London London is the largest city in Europe and it dominates Britain. There are many other parts of central London which have their own distinctive characters. because most people live in towns or cities rather than in villages or in the countryside. The former is known for its many theatres. Much of the land is used for human habitation. There are areas of completely countryside everywhere and some of the mountainous areas remain virtually untouched. the great increase in the use of the motor car has caused an increase in a new kind of air pollution. Water pollution was also a problem. they don´t like living in blocks of flats in city centres. In Britain. Most of the people live in London´s suburbs and they travel to the centre to work. It is home for most of the government departments. it is the centre of its transport networks and of all national newspapers. Two areas well-known of London are the West End and the East End. The original city of London was quite small. As the world´s first industrialized country. this habit of building outwards does not mean you see buildings wherever you go. Laws forbade the heating of homes with open coal fires in city areas and which stopped much of the pollution from factories. However. However. The latter is known as the poorer residential area of central London. The population in the central area has decreased. The environment and pollution It was in Britain that the word `smog’ was first used. it is the country business and banking centre.It is common in England the enclosure of fields with hedgerows. This increases the impression of variety. They support a great variety of birdlife. its cities were the first to suffer this atmospheric condition. . This has caused poor air quality and it is bad enough for asthma suffers to do exercises outdoors.

The south-west peninsula with its rocky coast. It is also the favourite city to do business. Basically.  Northern England The Pennine Mountains run up the middle of northern England like a spine. On the western side. but farming is more widespread than it is in most other regions. The Downs. numerous small bays and wild moorlands is the most popular holiday area in Britain.  The north-south divide There are many aspects of life in Britain which illustrate the so called north-south divide. because of its variety in culture and race. to the north-east of London. On either side. The Norfolk Broads is a popular area for boating holidays as it has no towns. the large deposits of coal and iron ore enabled these areas to lead the industrial revolution. a series of hills are used for sheep farming. Many retired people live along this coast. In recent years it has been claimed that London is in decline. . Nevertheless. An area known as the Fens has been reclaimed form the sea. It is the most densely populated area in the UK. its popularity as a tourist destination is still growing. There are large expanses of uniformly flat land. East Anglia. It is losing its place as one of the world´s biggest financial centres and it looks rather dirty and neglected. The southern side of the Downs reaches the sea.London is a cosmopolitan city. There is some industry and one large city. Some parts of the West Country are well-known for their dairy produce. There are like 137 different languages spoken in the homes of just one district. because of the many kinds of fruits and vegetables grown there. Ω Southern England The area surrounding the outer suburbs of London has the reputation of being `commuter land’. is also rural. on the eastern side. the south has almost always been more prosperous than the north with lower rates of unemployment and more expensive houses. The region known as the `west country´ has an attractive image of rural beauty. towns such Bradford and Leeds became producers of woolen goods. We can find the county of Kent which is known as the garden of England. This with the dry climate has made it the main area for the growing of wheat and other arable crops. the Manchester area became the world´s leading producer of cotton goods.

It is considered the European city of culture. whose economy depends to a large extent on sheep farming. Tourism is important in the local economy. Scotland´s two major cities have very different reputations. It is associated with heavy industry and some of the worst housing conditions in Britain. It is in south Wales where it is located the coal mine industry.Many other towns sprang up on both sides of the Pennines at this time as a result of the growth of auxiliary industries and of coal mining. It is classified as a National Park. There is the plain and finally there are the highlands consisting of mountains and deep valleys and including numerous small islands off the west coast. The towns on either side of the Pennines are unsuitable for agricultural purposes. an area of small towns. It is also reflected in it the divisions in the community. . the law and administration.  Scotland Scotland has three regions. and so is the production of whisky. Edinburgh has a middle-class image. dirty factory that symbolizes the industrial revolution is found in the industrial north. The decline of heavy industry in Europe has hit the industrial north of England hard. In the minds of British people. The north of England is sparsely populated. It is the capital of Scotland and is associated with scholarship.  Wales Most people in Wales live in one small part of it. The Lake District is where the romantic poets lived and wrote about its beauty. quite far apart from each other. It is the favourite destination of people who enjoy walking holidays. It also has a strong artistic heritage. the Catholics and the protestants. the prototype of the noisy. It is the south-east of the country very populated. The achievements of these new industrial towns have induced a feeling of civic pride in their inhabitants. There are the Southern uplands. Glasgow is the third largest city in Britain. This reputation together with its many fine historic buildings and also perhaps its topography has led top its being called `the Athens of the north’. This area of spectacular beauty occupies the same land area as the southern England but not many people live there. Most of the Scottish people live in the central plain and the east coast.

Communication between south and north is very difficult because of this. It has several areas of spectacular natural beauty.  Northern Island The region is like the rest of Ireland. . It is the only part of Britain with a high proportion of industrial villages.Despite of its industry. largely agricultural. no large cities have grown up in this area. Coal mining in south Wales has ceased and the transition to other forms of employment has been slow and painful. Most of the rest of Wales in mountainous.