Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Love Stories from Harlaxton Manor

Harlaxton not only brings together students for a semester filled with adventure, but it’s also known to bring together couples destined for love. Over the past 45 years, young men and women have started their lives together on the grounds of the 19th century country home. So this Valentine’s Day Harlaxton College wants to celebrate some of the love stories that started and blossomed during their time at the Manor. From sitting next to each other in classes to competing against one another in House competitions, you never know if you’re going to meet your future spouse at Harlaxton.

Hayden and Abby, Spring 2014

“Our story begins in the hotel lobby on the first day of our London trip: several of our mutual friends from Western Kentucky University were gathered in a group as we waited to set out on our excursion to the Tower of London. This is where we were first introduced.
As the weeks at Harlaxton College flew by, we began to see more of each other—in the refectory, on group outings into Grantham, and movie nights in the Pearson room. Eventually, we found ourselves talking into the early hours of many mornings, getting to know each other very quickly. As time passed, we became nearly inseparable: celebrating our birthdays together, spending our weekends exploring the Manor, and creating the best memories with our fellow students. We went on our first date at the Barcelona Zoo, a trip we will never forget.
           When we returned to the U.S., we spent all summer traveling to see each other. We knew our Harlaxton romance was special and on June 25, 2015 we got engaged. We spent a year planning for the wedding and our future as the Hickeys. On June 4th, 2016, we got married surrounded by many of our Harlaxton friends. As this time of year comes around, we frequently reminisce about our time on the English countryside and thank Gregory Gregory for the beautiful Manor, built perfectly to give us the opportunity to fall in love.” — Abby 

Sean and Cheyanne, Fall 2012

“Cheyanne and I met the night of the Ceilidh dance, one of the first events of the Fall 2012 semester. We were both from different schools but as fate would have it, my parents live in the same town as her university. Thus proving again how travel makes the world seem a bit smaller for us global citizens. On our first date, Zyggy drove us to town in the shuttle for a romantic ASDA trip. The magic of the Manor was strong and after a trip to Paris and many more dates at that finest of Grantham establishments, The Goose, we knew we had found something special. We're both so thankful for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of falling in love in a Manor house in the English countryside. It must have been all the Shakespeare and Austen we absolutely had time to read. We will soon be celebrating 3 happy years of marriage at our home in China. Harlaxton gave us a love for traveling together. So much so we are typing this blog post from our Airbnb in Tokyo! The journey never ends! Pegasus House for life.” — Sean  

Tyler and Lorissa, Spring 2014

“Our path to one another was based on a lot of slim chances going our way; if one thing had changed, we would have never met. From both of us choosing to go to one of the few schools that sends people to Harlaxton (I’m from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Tyler from Wabash College) to Tyler having classes with professors on the study abroad committee and getting an informal offer to make the trip abroad, and from me changing my plans to study in Limerick, Ireland to Harlaxton, England. We look back now and realize how truly lucky we were to end up in the United Kingdom.
It was an even happier coincidence that we managed to find ourselves seated next to one another in Dr. Bujak’s World War II class. I had a crush on Tyler from the minute I laid eyes on his beard (just kidding...kind of) but was way too chicken to approach him. Tyler had no idea in the slightest that I had a crush on him. Tyler introduced himself eventually by talking trash about my beloved Green Bay Packers (he’s a Chicago Bears fan), a tactic that only worked because I’m such a big football fan in the first place.
After that we became friends, he even got to meet my family in another chance encounter, until eventually things came to a head at an incredibly classy establishment called Faces. After Tyler danced with my good friend, Sonja (he still didn’t know I had a crush on him), our mutual friend Chrissy finally revealed that I really liked him. Even though Tyler tried to be as dashing as he could by asking me to dance, I rejected the offer. After trying a couple more times, I eventually gave him a shot. It’s truly amazing to think that that night has led to us being officially together for three years this April and working towards moving in together in the very near future.” — Lorissa  

Austin and Makayla, Fall 2013

“Our story began while studying at Harlaxton during the Fall 2013 semester. He was a student at the University of Evansville and I was a student at Baker University. The first time we met was the day the house cup teams were selected. We were both placed in Pegasus, and from then on, we couldn’t get enough time together. Neither of us were looking for a relationship, but we never expected to grow so close in just three short months. We started traveling together on the weekends and towards the end of the semester we knew we didn’t want it to end. When we got back to the states, he went home to Indiana and I went back to Kansas. I made the seven hour trip to Indiana less than two weeks after we returned. We made the long distance work for our first semester back, it only took 10,000 miles on the road in four months. After that semester, I made the big decision to transfer to a school in Evansville. I made the big move in May of 2014, and from that point on, it has been nothing but great adventures together!
Our adventures together have taken us to nine countries, parasailing on the Gulf Coast, rappelling down waterfalls in Costa Rica, and zip lining over the rain forest in Central America. Harlaxton was the greatest adventure either of us had ever experienced, but because of that one semester abroad, we are about to start our next great adventure. We are getting married in September!” — Makayla

Jordan and Chelsea, Fall 2012

“Chelsea and I met for the first time at the High Table dinner when we first got to the Manor. We went to different colleges, so we had never even seen each other before. It was a rather brief introduction, and honestly neither of us really thought much of it. A couple of months went by and some people at the Manor decided to order pizza and have a Lord of the Rings marathon. The Pearson Lounge was occupied, so we all crammed into one of the little rooms down in the Bistro. Well, once there, this girl, who I though was rather cute, offered to teach me how to play Hearts on my computer. She did, and then proceeded to take her seat on the other side of the room. We watched the first movie, and then learned the Pearson Lounge was free. We moved our group upstairs and I strategically seated myself on the couch next to this quiet, charming girl whose name was Chelsea. After that, we travelled together on a lot trips throughout the semester. We explored Caernarfon Castle, saw Stonehenge and explored the Louvre together, which we consider our first official date, which was the last time we saw each other while in Europe. She studied abroad another semester in the spring, this time in Costa Rica. We dated for about a year and a half before getting married June 6, 2015. And here we are, married for a year and a half and always planning our next adventure.” — Jordan

Michael and Sarah, Spring 2015
“Sarah and I met each other for the first time early in Harlaxton, but we didn't really start talking to each other until one day when I spotted her in the DVD room. I started talking to her about my writing, and soon we grew into friends. I would hang out with her and her friend group every Monday, and then more often. Sarah and I were friends for a while until I went to Gibraltar, where I realized she had feelings for me. We talked, cuddled and I asked her out. We had our first kiss, but for a while we wanted to keep it away from the friend group so as to not create drama. We had an amazing time traveling together to Bath and Stonehenge that we decided to tell our friends after returning to the Manor.  Then I was hanging out with her every day. We grew in our relationship, and after I got back from France we told each other "I love you". The month of April was hard for us because we knew that we would have to say goodbye soon, but we wanted to continue long distance. We even had a talk about it in the Gold Room on how we were going to make it. Leaving her at Heathrow was the hardest thing I have ever done. Despite the fact that I spent the next two weeks with my family in Europe, I missed her so much. When I got back home, we planned a flight to see each other. I flew down to Austin Texas to see her. Three times that summer we saw each other, and each time was special. Sarah and I made a promise to see each other in person every month, and so far we have kept it. I have flown and driven the full 18 hours to see her numerous times. This winter was my 6th trip to Texas by car.” — Michael


  1. How sweet! My husband, Donovan Kidd (UE), and I (William Jewell) met at Harlaxton in Spring 2008. We just welcomed our first baby boy, Oliver, into the world this past October. Harlaxton is a beautiful, magical place!

    Alison Kidd

  2. If it wasn't for Harlaxton, I wouldn't now live in England. In the fall 2008 semester, I met my now sister-in-law. She introduced me to my English husband, and I moved here five years later. Harlaxton was the most amazing experience, and I can only say that it definitely made my life better!