After some fun-filled 2 weeks with the amazing girls from Australia, I and my fellow kiwi friend, Francesca, headed to England to visit my relatives. It was nice to be able to end our Europe trip in somewhat a relaxing way with family.
We stayed with my Auntie and her family in Marlow, England. Marlow is located about 30 minutes out of London proper. It was nice to be able to spend some time in the outskirts of London and be able to see what it’s like out of the city. I would definitely recommend visiting the little towns as it gives you a different experience of England itself.
We visited Windsor castle and Hampton Court palace. It was so nice to be able to get inside a real castle that was being used still or was previously used by the royalties. You go in there with that feeling of what it might have been like back in the day and how they went about their daily tasks in the castle. It made me want to go back in time! I loved how grand they were with so many rooms for different purposes. They had big, beautiful gardens which would be so perfect to go for an afternoon stroll or when you’re needing to de-stress! One room that fascinated me the most, was the room where they would go for their ‘afternoon walk’. It’s pretty much this long room with the view of the garden. I wonder how that all played out to be, just walking back and forth indoors.
Aside from those palaces, we were able to visit Cotswolds. A little town that was made with the same bricks and colour type too! All I can say, is that it is a cute, little, typical British old town! There, we stopped at a tea house they call it, where we had some nice warm tea, scones and lemon cake. Just your typical British afternoon tea.
We also managed to go to Stratford upon Avon, and see Shakespeare’s home! We didn’t go inside but managed to take a picture of it! Oxford University was one that we made sure to see as this was known to be where some Harry Potter scenes were shot! It really did have that Harry Potter feel. Even just the surroundings and the buildings everywhere. We didn’t get to enter the ever so famous dining hall as it was closed at the time but we can definitely say that we saw the outside of the building where it was located! What I liked about the University, was that it was like a little town itself with little shops and cafes around and just the different department buildings at walking distances from each other. Wouldn’t have minded to go to University there!
Although seeing the little towns of England was already something to us, we couldn’t miss seeing London city itself. There, we pretty much toured ourselves around with the help of a map and walking to the places we wanted to see. We managed to see the Big Ben, rode the London Eye, saw the outside of Westminister Abbey, saw Kensington Palace and The Banqueting house. We also managed to watch Les Miserables the musical in one of their theatres there too! The city is beautiful and would definitely recommend just walking around to get more out of it. It is very much a tourist ground and therefore very busy but it just adds to the experience as well.
We were also able to see the outside of Buckingham Palace, got to go inside the Tower of London and managed to get a good view of the London Tower Bridge. What was nice to see at the Tower of London were the crown jewels that are actually still being used by the royals up to this day. Very fancy pieces! With the palace tours, we didn’t go on one of those massive tours with other people, rather, we had an audible tour in which we can go about the different areas in the palace in any order we wanted to and by just clicking on the right number of the room on the remotes we would get a good description of it. It was very informative and just brought more interest to the palace.
I am ever so thankful to my auntie and her family for having us for a whole week and for touring us around! England was a different experience from the past two weeks and definitely enjoyed a bit of a relaxing end to the trip. It was definitely what I had expected it to be, most especially the houses they have there! I would say, England would be a place I wouldn’t mind living in at all.
Overall, my Europe trip was just amazing. I had the time of my life seeing places I never thought I would ever see. Europe is one big continent and only saw bits of 4 countries and therefore provides an excuse to be back someday soon! Thank you for having us Europe. You treated us very well! We gained so much experience and definitely some historic knowledge too!
Till next time!