This green and pleasant land...

Friday, March 19, 2010 at 2:25 PM


Last week, we announced several new locations added to Street View, along with existing areas updated. One area updated significantly was the United Kingdom. World renowned for its history, rolling green hills and quaint picturesque villages, the UK (although not abundant with dramatic mountainous scenery one see may elsewhere), there are nonetheless many different sights to see. As a UK citizen, I thoroughly enjoyed exploring my home country and want to share with you some places outside the usual tourist belt... and of course some quirky scenes too!

Firstly, going all the way back to the year AD 122, Hadrian's wall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site built by the Roman empire. Parts of the wall are still intact, and each year thousands of people flock to walk sections of the route. Now, you can too without having to worry about getting wet (the UK is famous for its rain for a reason, after all):


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Synonymous with many great examples of English literature, particularly poetry, the Lake District is a showcase of English countryside. Green pastures rise high to form beautifully sculptured valleys with lakes nestling in between. It's easy to see how poets such as William Wordsworth felt inspired when surrounded by scenes like this:


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One form of building construction I am particularly fond of, used in many parts of the UK, is 'thatching'. Using different grasses, primarily straw, these roofs create very attractive buildings and often form the basis of the 'picture postcard' views in areas such as in the Cotswolds. This view below from the Isle of Wight is a classic example of thatching in use to make this quaint English villages scene.


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In 2008, the city of Liverpool was joint holder of the European Capital of Culture. Well known as the birth place of the Beatles, Liverpool is currently undergoing significant regeneration. Outside China, Liverpool is home to one of the largest and oldest Chinese communities, and this image below shows the entrance to Chinatown:


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Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland has a long and fascinating history. In recent years, the city has enjoyed much growth and continues to be a popular tourist destination. If it's not up next on your own travel agenda, you can tour through Street View. I suggest visiting Belfast City Hall -- built over a century ago, the hall now stands out as an excellent example of Baroque revival architecture.


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One of the most distinguished cities in the UK and known for its very distinctive architecture, Bath was added to the list of World Heritage Sites in the late 1980s. Established as a spa town by the Romans, Bath is visited each year by millions of people eager to capture the image of rows of houses built from the aptly named Bath Stone:

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Along with these historic and picturesque settings that you'd probably expect from the UK, there are also plenty of amusing things to find through Street View. If you're a fan of long, funny words (like I happen to be), you must visit Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch in Wales, with one of the world's longest placenames. Here the image shows the place name written on a business in the town centre.

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You may not expect our Street View drivers to also serve occasionally as wildlife photographers, but that seems to be what happened with this "Bird View":

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And sometimes we stumble across things that we just can't explain:

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Now if that small selection of oddities has your brain considering what else might be lurking out there, perhaps it's time to visit Loch Ness. With Urquhart Castle in the foreground, maybe Nessie is out there somewhere. You be the judge:

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I hope you have enjoyed my guided Street View tour of the United Kingdom. I wonder what else you can find?