Leeds Castle

Hi everyone!

Originally I planned to put my Leeds Castle trip and my London tour into one blog. However as I was writing this blog, I realized that with all the pictures I included, it would be better to separate them into two blogs.

All of these trips have been booked through the school. Leeds Castle was free and London cost 8£. 8£ is actually very reasonable considering all of the things the tours included.

Leeds Castle. January 9th

It was an overcast and chilly day when I set out to the college. We were given a free “traditional English breakfast” in the school’s canteen. It was actually really quite tasty. I was finally able to enjoy a cup of coffee. I cannot even begin to explain how amazing coffee can taste after days of not having any. I was able to sit with some of my new friends and eat breakfast. They had toast, eggs, ham, and for some reason beans. We were later told that beans are considered a part of traditional breakfast here! It was fascinating! After an hour we all pilled onto two big coach buses, one was even a double decker! During the hour or so drive to the castle I was able to meet some other international students, from other countries. Two students were from France and another from Australia. Our conversations made the trip go by in no time. When we finally arrived at Leeds Castle the sky was still threatening us with rain but it promised to hold off for a little while longer.  We were greeted by a colorful peacock by the gate, we hoped it would a good sign that the rain would stay away! We began our journey up to the castle, we walked along a path that snaked around rivers and ponds. It was really quite beautiful.

 We then headed into the castle. It was absolutely gorgeous! There were so many different styles in the rooms. It was amazing to see so much history contained within those walls.

My favorite room was the library. I am a huge book-worm; happy to spend my days curled up in a corner with a good book. That room was incredible with floor to  book shelves, filled to capacity. Honestly, it was a book-lovers dream!


 After the castle, a group of us traveled across the grounds to see the Bird’s of Prey show. Back home I work in wildlife rehabilitation, and I mostly deal with birds. It was comforting to see birds like the ones I left at home. The rain had started pouring down at that point but we were prepared and stayed relatively dry under our umbrellas.

The next thing we did, is that we went to a maze. A simple maze we thought, so easy a child could do it, we would be in and out within 5 minutes. We were so wrong, so very very wrong. That maze was so much more complicated than we had thought. We would have wondered around in there for hours if it wasn’t for the guide in the center.

We also decided to go into the maze about a half hour before we were due to leave. In other words, we were obviously not thinking clearly. Thankfully there was a guide in the center of the maze who helped us get out in record time. I recorded the guided portion of our journey and sped it up. It makes for an amusing video! After we had conquered the maze and the grotto beneath it, we were able to start rushing back to the buses. Thankfully we ran into the school officials who had accompanied us on this trip. It was a relief to know that the buses wouldn’t leave without us!

IMG_5168Another peacock came by and bid us farewell.

All in all, it was an amazing trip, full of history, fun and convoluted mazes!

My name is Marissa Heuser, I am a sophomore in the Honors Program at SUNY New Paltz. I am majoring in Anthropology and minoring in Evolutionary Studies. I will be spending my spring semester studying at Kingston University in England! I am so excited to travel and immerse myself in another culture!

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