Summer is finally here in Southampton! At the middle of September, a wonderful warm front moved into the area. We headed down to Highcliffe Castle and beach to enjoy the warm sun for once!
Highcliffe Castle was built almost 180 years ago as the home of Charles Stuart. While it was passed on to relatives for a while, it eventually was rented to Harry Gordon Selfridge. The Roman Catholic Claretian Missionary later bought the Castle. Only a few years later, two fires devastated Highcliffe Castle. At that point, one of the towers and the staircase had to be torn down, and it sat unused for 30 years.
Since then, it’s been repaired with funds for the Heritage Lottery Fund and now houses a Tea Room. While the interior is safe and partially restored, bits of it are still being repaired. We had fun walking through it and trying on a few of the costumes they had lying around.
Heading Down to the Beach
After seeing the restoration, we headed down to the beach to warm up in the sun. Julia and I brought our swimsuits along so that we could get a little bit of sun on this pale skin. It’s crazy how pale you can get when you’re living in sunny England!
We had a little picnic lunch down on the beach, and then took a well-deserved nap in the sun.
Grabbing Some Tea
After our nap, we explored the grounds a bit more and settled down for a cup of tea. While their cakes looked absolutely AMAZING, Julia and I have been trying to eat healthy to offset all of the delicious food that we’re going to be eating in the States. Unfortunately, we had to give it a miss!
I think this giant bench carved out of a single tree trunk was one of the best installments in the garden. It was probably big enough to sit 10 people on it, side by side!
It was so nice to get to end my year here in the UK in almost the same way that it started. Nearly a year ago, Zach and I went on a road trip with our friends Redders and Rob to go walk along the coast. A year later, I’m somehow dating a British woman and lounging on the beach. It’s crazy how much your life can change in a year! Here’s to the last two weeks in the UK!
Be kind to one another,