On the next day we had quite a nice little thing planned for ourselves; a trip to Lyme Regis!! I think a lot of you know that it has long been a wish of mine to go there, and indeed, I’m sure there are many others who Janeites who also have that wish. So you can understand that I was pretty excited about it! 😀
We had rented a car for the day, we were 7 of us going and thought that was a good solution. The drive was about 2 hours, through a very pretty countryside! The excitement in the car was high when we finally reached the little town of Lyme, situated by a deep blue sea…!
Karen had arranged for us to do a guided tour once we arrived there. A guided tour focusing on the various places important to all Janites who visit Lyme. So there we were all 7 of us taking pictures of and admiring things like this hole in the wall which apparently is Englands oldest mailbox, and one which Jane Austen posted some letters in…
I wonder what people thought of us all taking pictures of this..??
Or this; a house (rather ugly house) which was once a hotel and where the Austen’s stayed when in Lyme one time (at least I think that’s what this building was…)
This house where they also stayed!
All of us posing outside Pyne House
Or why not this house? Where this house stood (not the house itself, as the old one burnt down I think and this one is much newer) was probably where the inn was where the party from Uppercross stayed in Persuasion. They guess this because of the discriptions in the book, where it says something like Mr Eliot’s carriage comes across the corner and they can see it go all the way up Broad Street. So they guess it must have been this place.
The Inn, in the corner of the street
A bit further on, right by the beach, we came to these little pink houses. These were not there in Jane Austen’s time, so the bear no significance to her or the book in that way, but they are called “Harville Cottage” and “Benwick Cottage”! Fun!
Still further on we came to this sign! 🙂
The “garden” wasn’t really that much of a garden, there was a bench and this plaque on the wall.
Me in the Jane Austen “garden”
Right by that garden was another house, a house that didn’t look very interesting but which they think is the house where Captain Harville lives in the book. Once again they guess this because of the references in the book as to how it’s located. Cool! 🙂
And close by is this place, which you might recognize as the houses they used for the Harville’s place in the 1995 adaptation.
And then we came to the place we all had been most desirous to see; the Cobb!
Being something which has such an important part in the story of Persuasion it almost felt like walking on holy ground as we stepped out onto it (ok, ok, I am exaggerating…)! We were walking where Jane and her characters have walked!
We were shown the steps which they used for the 1995 version of the film; Granny’s Teeth I think these steps were called.
Recognize these steps??
And the ones which were probably the ones she refered to in the book! *Excitement extreme!*
We were not allowed to climb up the steps until our guide had made it off the cobb, because that way if any of us fell and hurt ourselve we couldn’t sue the tour company… Great. 😛 So we impatiently awaited her departure (don’t get me wrong, she was a lovely guide!) before scrambling up the stairs! I know, we should have taken warning by Louisa’s example and walked very carefully, but the excitement was too much! Luckily we none of us ended up injured like her.
They had these warning signs too, I couldn’t help thinking that if those had been there in Jane’s time, maybe the story in Persuasion had not taken quite the same turn…?
Of course we had to take pictures. All of us. It wasn’t easy though. Not only was the sun very non-cooperative, there were also lots of tourists who insisted on actually using those steps to get up and down. Annoying tourist! 😉
We got some pictures in the end however. I had to do one jumping picture:
And one “after the jump” picture:
See how non-cooperative the sun was! Oh well…
After spending a long time out there taking pictures and just enjoying the glorious weather and the lovely sea air (it was wonderful to be by the sea again! It’s been forever since the last time I was by the sea!) we were all of us quite ravenous, and decided to make our way back into the town to find somewhere to have tea. We found a lovely little place and had a most delicious meal!
On the Cobb, enjoying the weather
After we finished that we had about one hour left which we could spend however we wanted before we had to head back to Bath. I, together with a few of the others, first chose to go to this small museum they had there (the Museum of Lyme Regis or something like that). They had mostly fossil things, since that is what Lyme is most famous for to “normal” people. ;P But they also had this little section on Jane Austen, and that is what we went to see. It wasn’t that exciting however, they had some things there that might have belonged to the Austen’s, and a few things that they knew had. But it wasn’t very much.
In the museum
So we went out and had a look in some shops instead (we none of us were that interested in fossiles…). They had some really wonderful little shops there! Sadly we only had this one hour though. And just before we were heading back to the car Diewertje and I found this amazing secondhand book store! I could have spent hours there, and we only had minutes! Next time then…!
It was a wonderful little trip! It was amazing to get to see all those places for real, and I just loved Lyme as a town too! A very pretty place! I can certainly understand why Jane liked it there so much!
7 happy Janeites standing on a wall!