BC: Christine Bellew
FC: Summer in the British Isles | 2011 | England Scotland Wales Ireland
1: The Summer of 2011 was one of the most memorable of my life. I spent 6 weeks of my summer exploring the UK and Ireland with a study abroad trip learning about the local culture and history and making friends along the way.
2: ORMSKIRK | a | The Earl of Derby and his wife, mother of King Henry VII | The Ormskirk Parish Church is the only parish church in England with a tower and a steeple on one end of the church. King Henry VII also used to worship there.
3: British friends from Ormskirk
4: Liverpool | The Beatles
5: Liverpool is where we spent a good deal of our time while staying in Ormskirk. It is the home of the Beatles and home to a church that was bombed during the blitz but never reconstructed. It is a city full of modern conveniences with reminders of rich history always around the corner. I'm happy that I was able to really get to know the city. | St. Luke's Church
6: Lake District | The Lake District was absolutely stunning! We went to Dove Cottage, the home of William Wordsworth and learned how he and his family and friends lived. | Stop here whenever you are weary and rest as in a sancuary
7: Chester | Chester is one of the best preserved "walled cities" in the United Kingdom and is home to beautiful medieval and victorian architecture.
8: YORK | York was another historic, walled city. We walked along the wall for a couple of miles and were rewarded some amazing views.
9: York Minster Cathedral is one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe and the most impressive example of Gothic architecture I have ever seen. | The Shambles
10: Wales was the land of beautiful mountains, stunning ocean views and awe inspiring castles. It was great to see the Welsh language in all of the signs and hear the drastic difference between the Welsh and English accents.
12: In Edinburgh we toured Edinburgh Castle which was the most amazing structure I have ever seen in my life, climbed King Arthur's Seat, visited Colburn Hill and of course had tea at the "Birthplace of Harry Potter", The Elephant House.
14: Haworth | Haworth is a small town located in the Yorkshire Moors, famously known as the home of the Bronte family. Walking around Haworh and watching the video about the sisters' lives in the town, it was easy to see how the novels of the Bronte sisters could be so dark. | After lunch with an amazing cup of tea and a little shopping, we decided to hike up the moors to the highest point we could find. What we found were some stunning views of a typical tranquil countryside.
16: London | London! What can I say about London except that it has always been one of my favorite cities in the world. We spent our days in London simply walking around and getting lost. It was the best way to explore the city because we were able to stumble upon some amazing sites.
17: In London we visited the Houses of Parliament, West Minster Abbey, The Tower of London, Buckingham Palace and many of the parks around the city. We had a Harry Potter tour day and found the Leaky Cauldron and Diagon Alley and we had a picnic lunch in Trafalgar Square one day.
18: Stonehenge | Not much is known about the history of the stones but they are impressive just the same. To think that a determined group of people set them up without modern machines is just mind boggling. | Caitlin, Emily and I in front of the stones
19: In Bath we had a tour of the Roman Baths which are a natural hot spring that the romans used to bathe in. The museum allows visitors to walk around the baths and see many Roman artifacts | B A T H
20: Ireland | One of my favorite stories from Ireland is the story of the colored houses. They are painted so many different colors as a show of ownership, freedom and pride.
21: We visited some interesting sites in Ireland such as Glendalough, Cashel Rock and Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney Stone and receive the gift of gab.
22: The Aran Islands
23: The Aran Islands were breathtaking and I was so happy that i was able to overcome my fear of heights to stand on the edge of the rocks!
24: Giant's Causeway is a series of basalt colums that form "stepping stones" along the ocean. They were formed by an ancient volcanic eruption.
25: Giant's Causeway
26: Derry, Northern Ireland
27: Derry was such a moving place to visit. It was the center of The Troubles and the site of Bloody Sunday where 13 unarmed civilians were shot and killed by British troops during a civil rights march. The murals around the city show the history of the events surrounding The Troubles and Bloody Sunday.
28: The stop we made in Mountbellew in County Galway was the most memorable of the trip for me. It is the town that my ancestors left to come to America and to walk in the town that my family founded was just so moving and a feeling I will never forget.
29: Mountbellew | "I've traveled around, I've been all over this world. Boys, I ain't never seen nothing like a Galway Girl"