A conurbation is an urban area which encompasses a number of cities or towns. There are numerous examples of conurbations throughout the United Kingdom due to urban sprawl. In particular, in the South East of Great Britain, the area around Greater London can be thought of as one gigantic conurbation and/ or a metropolis.
A metropolis can encompass one or more cities but also includes peripheral zones such as suburban districts, towns and villages which are not necessarily urban in nature, yet which are dependent on the city or cities, for example commuter belts. Often an urban area is a conurbation and a metropolis, as the larger it becomes, the more cities become encompased and amalgamate.
When new towns are built, usually they are strategically placed in proximity to existing cities and towns. As new towns evolve and their suburbs become increasingly developed, the peripheries of these new towns often merge with the peripheries of the existing towns and cities. Transport links further entrench the connections between the towns, which in turn makes the land near to the transport routes more desirable and prone to development, thereby intensifying the sprawl.
Here are some of the largest conurbations and metropolitan areas in the UK, each listed with local website for your convenience: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Liverpool/ Merseyside, Leicester, Edinburgh and Glasgow.