Places to visit in the British Isles

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PhD passed

I am still quite tired from my United States, Netherlands, Wales and England trip. My sleep apnea makes it worse. I am working on getting materials for revisions and should have more energy soon.

I will try (no promises) and produce four articles between thekingpin68 and satire and theology each month and so half of what I produce now. I will be quite busy with revisions, and then finding work and then working full-time from now on.

While on the trip my good friend Mr. X suggested that since I was teasing him about not taking his wife to many places, while he was playing the Wii, that I should write an article concerning romantic places in the United Kingdom to visit. Well, let us make it the British Isles so I can include Dublin.

Please note Mr. X is a very smart and diligent worker outside of Wii!

Mr. X and his wife LX reason I am romantic. That is difficult for me to know as I have basically been married to theses for ten years and degrees for eighteen. After these PhD revisions are done and the degree is on my wall I will seek a divorce.

I suppose I do have some female admirers on and off-line, but a few of them are under 5 years old and see me as Russ the big dumb teddy bear/big dumb monsta.

But I do love those little critters.

I have visited the British Isles nine times and lived in the United Kingdom for two years. Here is my take.


For a break from all the 'luvvy', gushy stuff, take your sweetheart to a football match in Manchester (United, United, United, United, or City), Liverpool (Liverpool or Everton), Birmingham (Aston Villa, and no this is not in Alabama!), Leeds (Leeds FC has tanked and now dropped down from the Premier League and so tickets will be cheaper).


London, England:

Go and see Arsenal of course.;)



'Visit the Big Ben.
Photograph the Thames River.
Take a river cruise on the Thames.
Visit the Prime Meridian at the Royal Observatory and the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. You can take a river cruise to get there!
Ride on the London Eye, the largest ferris wheel in the world.
Stop by Grosvenor Square.
Immerse yourself in culture at the British Museum.
Watch a Broadway show.
Buy gifts for friends and family at the over 300 shops located on Oxford Street.
Stroll down The Mall, a road that leads to the Buckingham Palace.
Visit the Buckingham Palace.
Experience the changing of the guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
Hike up the geometric staircase at a St. Paul's Cathedral tour.
Take a bus through one of London's largest transportation hubs: Victoria Station.
Pub much? Be sure to visit one of the J.D Wetherspoon chain pubs.
Take the London Underground: These trains have cushioned seats and there's a nice LED display overhead that gives riders the estimated time for the next train.
Make sure to "mind the gap."
Go on the Circle Line ... in a circle. (I did this in college.)
Witness the fountains in Trafalgar Square, or photograph the great Christmas tree that is erected during the winter months.
Tour the Tower of London, where you can see the very precious Crown Jewels. '

Durham, England

I visited here in 1997 and almost signed with Durham for the PhD program following. A very impressive area esthetically.



'Durham Cathedral is a wonderful reminder of the age of the Prince Bishops. The cathedral was founded in 995 by monks from Lindisfarne who had fled their island home when the Danish Vikings came calling. The monks needed a home for the relics of St. Cuthbert, and they built a superb church on a rise above a bend of the River Wear. The church built by Cuthbert's followers was pulled down by the second bishop of Durham when the present building was begun in 1093.

The nave is astonishing; the relatively slender composite piers alternate with massive drum columns. In this building the three main innovations of the revolutionary Gothic style come together; pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses (hidden above the aisle vaults). Durham is one of the high points of cathedral architecture in this or any other land. For a final tribute to Saint Cuthbert, see the items discovered in his coffin, now on display in the upper library.

Not to be outdone by the cathedral is Durham Castle, begun in 1073 to house the Prince Bishops in style. Essentially a motte and bailey design, the castle has been much altered over the years. The Norman Chapel within the castle, with its sandstone arches and carved capitals, is a superb example of Romanesque architecture. In 1837 the last Count Palatine (Prince Bishop) granted the castle to Durham University, and it now serves as a residence for students. During summer university holidays visitors may stay in the castle.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Some of the local bus drivers may provide you with a wee bit of a wild ride, especially if you are standing up.

I almost signed up with Edinburgh for my PhD program, but the man I was willing to work with left.



'Welcome to Edinburgh and the Lothians, where the buzz of Scotland's capital city sits in perfect contrast to the peaceful tranquility of the surrounding Lothians region.

Edinburgh has one of the most beautiful cityscapes in the world, making it the ideal city break destination. With Scotland's most famous castle dominating the city skyline, there is plenty to see and do with the perfect balance between all things traditional and contemporary.

Discover world-class museums and galleries, take a tour on an open-top bus or even visit the city's own zoo. From the world famous Festivals to top-class restaurants and bars, not to mention fabulous shopping, you'll be spoilt for choice.'

Dublin, Ireland

I really enjoyed the bus tour here. It is very classy historical city in my opinion. I did not enjoy having the lady run in front me of while trying to jump into the River Liffy and perhaps killing herself. I managed to talk her out of it until the police came. Her baby was in a carriage across the street.

I overlooked studying here, but will not overlook the possibility of working here.



'The city of Dublin can trace its origins back over 1000 years when the city was founded by Vikings.

The Vikings refered to the settlement as Dyflin, from the Irish Duiblinn or "Black Pool"

In Irish Dublin is known as "Baile Átha Cliath" which means "the town of the ford of the hurdles"

In 1649 Dublin was taken over by Oliver Cromwell following the English Civil Wars. At that time it was a small medieval town with about 9000 people living there. By the early 1700s Dublins population grew rapidly and became a very wealthy city. It soon became the second city of the British Empire.

Dublin became Ireland's capital city following Ireland's independence in 1922.'

Bristol, England

I could have signed with the University of Bristol for a PhD program, twice. I liked the town but there were drunk students walking around.



'Although the old town center suffered heavily from bomb damage during the Second World War, Bristol (only 6mi/10km from the Bristol Channel) retains its charm as a historic port. It also has some fine residential suburbs, balanced, it should be said, by some poorer ones. Bristol is noted for music and film industries, the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, and the Watershed Media Centre. Having for many years been the home of two of Britain's biggest aeronautical companies, Rolls Royce and British Aerospace, both with large engineering plants in the north of the city (and involved in Concorde and the Airbus project), Bristol has turned increasingly for its prosperity to the insurance and service sector (Sun Alliance, Sun Life, Lloyds) and the electronics industry (marked by the arrival in the 1980s of firms such as Hewlett Packard and IBM). Food manufacture, tobacco processing, printing and chemicals are also important to the economy. When, because of deeper draught, ships could no longer navigate the narrow River Avon up to Bristol, a new port with modern docks, oil refineries and industrial estates sprang up in the Avonmouth/Royal Portbury area.'

York, England

If you every have a chance to go to York Cathedral...go.



'York is the former center of the largest county in Great Britain (Yorkshire). Although Yorkshire was divided into four individual counties in 1974, York continues to be the capital city of the north of England, the counterpart of London. York is also the ecclesiastical capital of the Church of England, the archbishop of York being second only to the archbishop of Canterbury in the Anglican Church. The Lord Mayor of this both medieval and modern town also has a special status, sharing only with the Lord Mayor of London the honorific prefix of "Right Honorable". The title of the Duke of York is traditionally awarded to the second eldest son of the Sovereign.

York's fame rests on its amazing sights. York Minster is the largest medieval church in England and beyond question one of the most beautiful. Its large amount of medieval stained glass is unique. The townscape is characterized by magnificent half-timbered constructions, three medieval guildhalls, numerous churches and public buildings, and romantic streets. York also has the longest circuit of medieval town walls, approximately 3mi/8km long. The walls offer a pleasant walk with marvelous views of the city. Several excellent museums enrich the cultural life of the city.'

Cambridge, England

I almost signed with Cambridge University. My contact from the University took me out for tea and biscuits...all class.



'Home of the famous University, carols in King's College Chapel and punting on the river Cam. Cambridge is a compact cosmopolitan city with outstanding architecture old and new. The beauty of its ancient centre is preserved with its walkable medieval streets, college courts, gardens and bridges.

Cambridge is a delight to visit in any season: relax in its many pubs, restaurants and cafes whilst exploring the independent shops around the historic market place. There are brand new shopping areas too, with all the high street favourites that you would expect.

Be inspired by the museums and art galleries; spot the stars of the future at a student theatrical production, or see a show at the Arts Theatre. Film, live music of all kinds, poetry readings, public lectures - enter into the intellectual life of the students while you are here.

Cambridge is easy to get to by road, rail or air – just 50 minutes from central London and 20 minutes from London Stansted Airport.

There is too much to see in a day. Stay a few nights and explore the market towns and country houses around Cambridge.'

There are other places to visit which I may mention in comments.


Conwy, Wales photos by Russ Murray

By all means visit Wales as well.


I am pretty stressed from PhD revisions and related.

Here is some humour.

I have near mint copies of both comics that went from their original wrap to being bagged and boarded.

I owned copies of these when I was six-seven years old.

For the Captain America audio just scroll down slightly once you get to the site.

The Captain America one is especially funny.

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