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Best of Britain

143030 Views 506 Replies 115 Participants Last post by  ajaaronjoe
Inspired by that...'Wonders of Greece' Thread!

Not just beautiful buildings....but beautiful sights and pictures that sum up Britain in all its glory!

Feel free to add your own pics...I will be adding many more!

Houses of Parliment

St Ives Beach

Fourth Rail Bridge

Hadrians wall...75 miles Long...East Coast to West Coast

London Eye...New Years

Brgh Island

Tresco Scilly Isles

Eden Project Cornwall

Piccadilly Circus

Royal Pavillion Brighton
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21 - 40 of 507 Posts

Rockall....the most remote Island in the world...300 miles from mainland GB!
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Its there because of its amazing history! LONG BUT FUNNY!

The complete history of Rockall
You couldn't make this stuff up
by Kieren McCarthy
It may be just 83 feet across, 65 foot high, 100 foot wide and the most isolated island in the world but never has a rock has such a deep and fascinating history. Well, not a rock that no man has ever lived on anyway.

It has been invaded by the SAS, caused the death of hundreds of people, provoked international disputes over ownership, put an Act through Parliament and become one of the richest pieces of land in the Northern Hemisphere.

According to legend, Rockall is the last remnant of Brazil (the Western Land of Eternal Youth), although the Irish reckon it came from a pebble thrown from some no-doubt inebriated compatriot called Finn McCool.

Clearly that's all bollocks. Rockall is, and always will be, a ruddy big lump of rock sticking out the sea about 300 miles from Scotland. Actually, it's the tip of an old volcano made of three-material granite quartz rock that erupted round about 50 million years ago.

It has no soil. Which has put off those that have ever seen it from living there. So no one ever has. Limpets have never been keen on soil anyway so they often hang around playing in the surf, while sea birds occasionally go there for a holiday (usually the depressive types, like gannets).

The first person that decided while it was there he'd get on top of it was back in 1810. He wasn't very impressed so he left. Someone else tried fifty-two years later but he couldn't get up the side of the rock and left in a foul temper. Then an old sea dog, bored with sailing up and down all day, sweating and hauling huge amounts of heavy fish only to go home to his nagging wife in Grimsby (who wasn't half as attractive as she was when he married her – and she was no looker then either) thought he'd liven up his day a bit and he climbed on top. In 1888.

"More people have landed on the moon than have landed on Rockall," Mr William Ross, MP for Kilmarnock, 1971. He was right at the time too.
It was only in the 1900s that Rockall really took off – with eight landings in a whole century. The limpets formed a union to complain – though sadly by that time Margaret Thatcher has brought in new anti-union legislation and it was dismantled before the first meeting was held.

So what has made Rockall such a problem and why do the UK, Ireland, Iceland and Denmark and a mad old Scottish bastard from the Mackay clan all reckon they own it?

Well, the fact that it just sort of pops up unexpected like has been one main problem. A huge number of ships have forgotten about it only to be reminded that volcanoes are not renowned for their rubber-like characteristics. In 1824, the Helen of Dundee hit it by mistake but very hard. The crew managed to survive but the passengers weren't so lucky. Not learning from this lesson, the Norge hit it in 1904 and 600 people, most of whom could swim, drowned.

"There can be no place more desolate, despairing and awful," Lord Kennet, 1971. Silly old bugger, what does he know?
The Queen claimed it for the UK on 18 September 1955. Liz Two formally annexed it "to eliminate the possibility of embarrassing counter-claims once the Hebridean guided missiles project was underway". She always has been a very considerate monarch like that.

The HMS Vidal landed on Rockall, cemented in a brass plaque, hoisted up the Union Jack and Lt Commander Desmond Scott (from Whitstable) claimed it for the UK. He then got back on the boat and fired a 21-gun salute at it. [This was when the limpets decided enough was enough and called for a meeting of the molluscs.]

But when J Abrach Mackay of the Mackay clan heard about it, he went mental and insisted the Admiralty hand it back to him because his father had claimed it in 1846. They wisely ignored him and he shut up.

Then, 15 years later, word got out that Rockall may in fact be sitting on top of billions of pounds worth of natural gas. And would you believe it but suddenly everyone seemed to have a claim on it. The Danish and Icelandics weren't interested in the gas of course, they just wanted fishing rights. You see, a lot of fish hang around Rockall too in the hope that a ship will crash and they'll get the chance to smugly blow bubbles in fishermen's drowning faces (fish are vindictive like that). Oh, and there's some oil as well.

Such was the fuss that the UK government thought it ought to make its ownership claim formal and passed the Rockall Act in 1971, pushed through by Lord Campbell of Croy. The official explanation was that the British Navy used it for target practice. The Queen gave it Royal Assent on 10 February 1972 and it became part of Invernesshire (top left of Scotland).

"How many British ministers have visited Rockall in each of the last 10 years?" Mr Corbyn. "None," Mr Fatchett. Hansard, 1 December 1997.
In 1974, the UK decided that no one else was allowed within 50 miles of Rockall and the shit really hit the fan. Brilliantly, the navy installed a temporary sentry box and flag and stuck two Royal Marines in full ceremonial dress next to it to guard it. The picture was only released 10 years later as part of another celebration of the rock's Britishness.

Also, the UK pointed out, quite reasonably, that since Rockall was part of the same land mass as Scotland, all these arguments were academic. Had that been true, it would have been right. On the 10 December, Denmark got diplomatic. The UK ignored it.

Until one year and eight days later when the UK started making noises about just how much it owned Rockall. The Danes became suspicious and, sure enough, very soon after the UK issued petrol drilling licences around the area. The Danes came steaming back claiming 300,000 square kilometres on one side of Rockall – which of course, the UK and Ireland had already put claim to.

Iceland, not to be beaten, started drawing maps of which bits it owned – which, of course, the UK and Ireland already had put claim to. The wind of change was flying against Britain. The Economist magazine – which can sometimes be so right and other times so wrong – said Britain "hoped it had got away with a claim to a swathe of the Atlantic waters by incorporating the far-flung inhabitable island of Rockall into the Scottish county of Invernesshire". It did make up for the blunder though by saying Ireland's claim was "as scientifically unimaginative as it is legally impeccable". The Irish had simply drawn a line 200 miles from its coast and said everything between it belonged to it. They didn't want Rockall though, so sod em.

Denmark began a new argument that Rockall wasn't even an island and so all claims were off. And then, with a stroke of genius, the UK put an end to it all.

They asked former SAS man, survival expert, lone Atlantic sailor and all-round good guy Tom Mclean to go live on the rock. So he did – from 26 May to 4 July. In a shed. Since Tom had lived there for over a month, it was clearly an island. And not only that but one owned by the UK. That shut the Danes up. Ireland also gave up whingeing and came to some kind of agreement. [But that didn't stop a couple of modern-day Finn McCools trying to get on Rockall in 1992 and again in 1994 though. Both attempts failed miserably.]

All the UK had to do now was ignore the international legislation the Law of the Sea – forever – and it was home sailing. It has yet to do it. And long may that treaty remain unsigned.

But just when Liz Two and the Royal Navy thought it was all over, in came the environmentalists. Greenpeace to be exact. What Greenpeace doesn't realise (and it would be hurt if it knew) is that marine life and sea birds as a whole can't stand it. They find the whole organisation rather patronising and would rather be left to sort out their own arguments – but Greenpeace will insist on getting involved.

Anyway, interfering for the umpteenth time, three Greenies landed on Rockall from a helicopter (wimps) on 10 June 1997 and stayed in a capsule for 42 days. But since this was longer than Tom Mclean, they reckoned they now owned Rockall. One of the meddlers said: "By seizing Rockall we claim her seas for the planet and all its peoples. No one has the right to unleash this oil into our threatened climate." Of course, we only have it on their word that they said this.

The transcript of still-classified tape from a bug planted into Rockall several years earlier recorded no such event, merely lots of griping about how cold it was and could you please look away when I'm going to the toilet. Christ, how much longer do I have to sit in a capsule with you? And please put on some deodorant, you smell worse than the gannets.

Anyway, far from sending the Navy in to arrest and detain the Greenies, bods from the Foreign Office had a meeting a few days later when "People sitting on Rockall" came up as item number fourteen to be discussed. A junior minister explained that while having a cigar and brandy in the club last night, he'd come up with rather a funny idea. He told the assembled meeting, they roared with laughter, put a statement out to the press and Greenpeace was suitably chastised.

Of course, that civil servant hadn't thought of it – his rather more witty friend in the Treasury had, but it did his career no end of good. And it was this: "Rockall is British territory. It is part of Scotland and anyone is free to go there and can stay as long as they please."

And so, armed with a couple or blankets, thick woolly coats, a small camping stove and some computer equipment, we took the UK government up on its offer and started an online newspaper to best represent the view of all Rockall's residents (us).

It had to be done over the Internet because the publishers said the paper would get too soggy otherwise.
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How about this then.....a Chapel built by Italian soldiers during WWII....On the Orkney Islands!

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British Tate Gallery!
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Nice to see people out of the UK enjoying this thread!

A sculpture on a UK street depicting our 3 main sports...Football, Cricket and Rugby!

Crazy Dali Sculpture

Britains world famous old ladies check out a seaside sculpture!

Robin Hood Statue...Nottingham

Thatched roof house street!
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I know I of these pics are of Ireland....but still, close enough!

slieve league....the highest sea cliffs in europe! famous for its surfing culture!

Stonehenge....5000+ years old ill have you know :D
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Albert Bridge London

Lonely red phone box....rare these days...many are Grade II listed buildings!

Trafalgar Square Christmas Time

Devils Punchbowl

Hunstanton Beach Cliffs

Canterbury Cathedral Entance Archway

Port Isaac Cornwall

Unicyclist Canary Wharf Fountain London

St johns Head

The Lowry Manchester

Imperial War Museum of the North
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Sounds like you live up north, you should move down south where its nice and warm :D

Is here....sunny most of the time....pretty much every day this month its been 15'C+

Nice Thames view!
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Great stuff.....Well I just spent about 1hour putting pics on here and when I clicked post relply the site couldnt be found so ive had to do it again :( really should visit southers England....1000's of Plam Trees and beatiful plants....warm....amazing beaches with crystal clear water!

St Marys, Scilly Isles

Old Town Church graveyard, St. Mary's

Morrab Park Penzance, Cornwall

Harbour Devon somewhere!
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Boscastle Gift Shop

Mermaid Street, Rye

Herstmonceux Castle, West Sussex
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That church is great....never seen anything like it!

As you can see ive gone a bit cornish lately....I just htink this place doesnt get the attention it deserves...Forigners...if you want a holiday to a traditional sea town...look no further than any of the towns in Cornwall!

Mousehole Harbour

Coverack Village

Some of the Scilly isles from the air

St Ives

St Just church on the Roseland Peninsula

Kynance Cove

Hermits Chapel Ruins

Abandoned engine house/tin mine...100's in cornwall
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Big Ben as some call it....Has to bee looked closely to see how great it many little carvings!
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Back to London...

The Westend

Selfridges, Oxford Street

British Museum

Westminster Cathedral

Victoria Memorial

Bunch of nutters....but tourists love them!

Buddhist Peace Pagoda

To be continued...
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The Prime Meridian line that divides the East from the West (longitude 0° 0' 0'').

I forgot

Great Fire of London Memorial on Pudding lane, where the fire started...The Fire wiped put most of London yet its thought no more than 10 people died!

The Globe Theatre....Shakespeare worked there you know!?
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Back to Cornwall & the Scilly Isles...


Coastpath between Boscastle and Tintagel

St. Mary's, Isles of Scilly

St. Mary's, Isles of Scilly

St.Michael's Mount near Penzance, Cornwall
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Ah yes the Cerne Abbas Giant....For forigners get ready for a history lesson....
Unknown when it was made many believe it to be Greek God Hercules and thus many believe it to be carved in early AD around 1900 years ago!

There are dozens of hill carvings in the UK modern and ancient!

Britain is apparently the most haunted country in the I guess

Many wonderful things that can be found on these isles!

This is my fave of all hill may remember it from page 1 of this thread

The uffington horse...2000+ years old!
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Jonesy55 said:
Hmm, the USA is great too, its natural and man-made beauty is unique and spectacular, i'm not sure why you would compare the two?They're totally different in almost all repects other than language.
Indeed its all to taste....and I would want any americans to see that comment or else we could see this thread filled with pics of the USA!

Our football culture....had its problems in the past but now some regard the english as the best fans in the world!

More english fans in Japan and Korea than any other country....same with EURO 2004
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I found this pic and imediately thought of this thread...

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21 - 40 of 507 Posts
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