Towns

Look at this description of Cork, one of Ireland’s main towns. Underline any words or phrases that might be useful for describing your own or any other town.

Cork city is the major metropolis of the south; indeed with a population of about 135,000 it is the second largest city in the Republic. The main business and shopping centre of the town lies on the island created by two channels of the River Lee, with most places within walking distance of the centre. (The buses tend to be overcrowded and the one-way traffic system is fiendishly complicated.) In the hilly area of the city is the famous Shandon Steeple, the bell-tower of St Anne’s Church, built on the site of a church destroyed when the city was besieged by the Duke of Marlborough. Back across the River Lee lies the city’s cathedral, an imposing 19th century building in the French Gothic style. Cork has two markets. Neither caters specifically for tourists but those who enjoy the atmosphere of a real working market will appreciate their charm. The Crawford Art Gallery is well worth a visit. It regularly mounts adventurous exhibitions by contemporary artists. The fashionable residential districts of Cork city overlook the harbour. There are other residential areas on the outskirts.

Towns can be convenient places to live in because they have many facilities. Check with a teacher or a dictionary if you are not sure what anything means.

Sports: swimming pool sports centre golf course tennis courts football pitch skating rink
Cultural: theatre opera house concert hall radio station art gallery
Educational: school college university library evening classes museum
Catering and night-life: restaurant cafe nightclub take-away hotel B and B (bed and breakfast) youth hostel dance-hall disco
Transport: bus service taxi rank car hire agency car park parking meters
Other: health centre law courts registry office citizens’ advice bureau job centre bottle bank department store chemist’s estate agent garden centre police station Town or City Hall suburbs housing estate industrial estate pedestrian precinct

Towns also have their own special problems. Here are some to be found in London now.

Traffic jams: every day, particularly in the rush-hour, the streets get so packed with traffic that travel is very slow or even comes to a standstill. This is particularly stressful for commuters, people who travel to work in the town
Slums: certain parts of the city which are poor and in a very bad condition
Vandalism: pointless destruction of other people’s property
Overcrowding: too many people live in too small a place Pollution: the air and the water are no longer as pure as they were Crime:

Here are some useful adjectives for describing towns.

picturesque historic spacious elegant magnificent atmospheric quaint lively hectic deserted (e.g. at night) bustling crowded packed filthy run-down shabby