Would you like to know more about places in the UK and how to spell them? Do these activities and improve your spelling.


Task 1 - counties

In the previous activity, you practised spelling towns and cities in the UK. They are all county towns, in other words the main town or city in their county.

For example:

- Derby is the main city in the county called Derbyshire (central England).

- York is the main city in the county called Yorkshire (northern England).

Task 2 - places ending in, ‘brough’, ‘burgh’, ‘borough’ and ‘bury’

Task 3 - check your spelling

Task 4 - place names connected with 'water'

Task 5 - check your spelling


Some spellings of UK place names come from old English words. It’s interesting to learn how these names originated. A lot of the names come from Old English or Middle English. Old English was used between the 5th century and the mid-12th century. Middle English was used between the late 12th and the late 15th century.

The following examples will help you to understand how some places in the UK are named.

For example, ‘mouth’, spelt m o u t h,  as in ‘Exmouth’ comes from the Middle English word ‘mouth’ or ‘mouth’ which means ‘the mouth of a river’.

Places that have a river nearby or running through them are also from the Middle English era and are named by the ‘place’ first, then ‘upon’, spelt ‘u  p  o  n ‘,   and then the ‘name of the river’. For example, Richmond-upon-Thames.

The suffix, ‘mere’, spelt ‘m  e  r  e  ‘ ,  is from Old English and means ‘a lake’ or ‘a pool’. An example of this place name is: Haslemere.


  • What do you think? Do you have any ideas you could share on how to remember to spell UK places?