Then I went to my Mum's cousin's house in Hampshire. They also have 2 little girls, so I spent time playing with them. While there I went to Jane Austen's house, which was pretty cool. It's not the house she grew up in, but the house she lived in with her mum and sister later in life. However, it is where she lived when all her books were published and she did much of her writing. There was also a castle about a 10 min walk from their house, just along the canal. I think castles are the coolest things. I just love how there are just castles randomly around the place, and especially ones like this that are not ostentatious. There is no sign pointing to it and no ticket booth or anything. Yes, there were fences around it, but nothing could really stop you going up and touching it, because, well, you could step over the fences. Anyways, this castle was built by King John (you know, the bad guy in Robin Hood) in the 1200's.
Jane Austen's House
Odiham Castle - King John's Castle
Next I spent a couple days in Bath. Now, yes, I know I went there before on my Cornwall Crusader tour, but I really liked the city and felt that there was more to see than the brief couple hours I spent there previously. I just really like the atmosphere in the city. It's very pretty, and at the moment, since it's summer, there were lots of musicians out in the evening. I loved just wandering around and people watching.
The Pump Rooms - think Jane Austen books
My dad is a fellow castle lover (maybe it's genetic?), and he told me about this awesome castle that he went to when he was 16 and staying in Bath. So, I took his advice and went to Chepstow Castle. It was really cool! Much of the castle is still intact, so you really get the feel for how big and magnificent it was. And, it was sunny out, so I couldn't have asked for a better day!
After Bath, I made my way back to London. My first stop was my Dad's cousin's place on the outskirts. Luckily for me they live about 5 min from Hampton Court Palace, one of Henry VIII main palaces, and later during the Queen Anne half of it was renovated, but they ran out of money to do the whole thing.
Hampton Court Palace
Next up: some volunteering at a Cathedral and the Olympics!