Sunday, October 9, 2011

UK Revisited: a Twist of Lyme

I LOVE Lyme Regis. Famous for its Jurassic fossils, and for its role in "The French Lieutenant's Woman" by John Fowles, Jane Austen's "Persuasion" and Tracy Chevalier's "Remarkable Creatures," it has well and truly enough character to sustain such interest.
We found a small and beautiful town packed with history, interesting shops and really, really friendly people. Way more than most other places we went. There is a thriving creative community, including artists, craftspeople and fab food.
Looking back down the famous Cobb - a breakwater of stone that was built in the 13th C but has been enhanced and rebuilt many times, with the nice flat bit I am standing on dating back about 150 years. The top of the Cobb itself is flat but slopes at a rather drunken angle and so I left it to MrC the Mountain Goat.
Looking out to sea from the walkable part of the Cobb. The wee plaque you can see on the right says NO CLIMBING ON THE ROCKS. Like I would!
I think these are the steps from which Louisa Musgrove tries to jump into Captain Wentworth's arms in the 1996 film of Persuasion. However, these steps were built well after that date. The steps to which Austen referred were probably these ones:
Terrifying! Seeing these gave me a whole new appreciation of the accident waiting to happen!
Lyme as seen from the end of the Cobb. SO pretty! And such a nice place!
In the window of a hat shop full of fabulous things. Amazing dress. The lady who makes these creations has a studio in Lyme and the hat shop owner sent us off to find her but we couldn't. The place is a rabbit warren!
One of the nicest places is a shop called Eco-logical-you. I spent ages in this eclectic shop that is a hub of ecological, ethical and fair-trade products from dishwash liquid to felt bags. Bought a fair bit of stuff too, while chatting to the very nice and friendly owner.
The gorgeous Umbrella House, featured in a previous blog about Black and White houses, is on the hill above Lyme.
Lyme is SubLyme. Can't wait to get back :)


  1. Welcome back Mrs C - you make me want to visit Lyme Regis - almost...I am planning on seeing more of my own country first - see, I take notice of adverts too! Please try and squeeze more blogs in, I am so enjoying both, going right back so they will last me a while.......

  2. Lyme! You went to Lyme! Those steps are ridiculously terrifying. (Isn't that version of Persuasion very pretty, though? I love what they do with communicating mood through color and light.)

    Gorgeous. The Umbrella House especially.

  3. Oh yes, I think it is the best Jane Austen interpretation made to date. Love the dirt, the clothes that look like they weren't all made from the same pattern and aren't new, bad teeth, bad light of candles and lamps at night, mud,etc etc. So real, so engaging, so intimate. I love the way Capt W and Ann pass looks to one another that are so intense they communicate more than if they leapt on one another and tore their clothes off! It's brilliant. :)

  4. Dear Mrs. C.,

    Those steps look more like a giant stile than real stairs. Eek! The umbrella house had me giggling. Sure would like to know more about how straw roofs are made...

    Very best,

  5. What I know Natalie, is that apprently they never strip the roof, they just add more layers. Some of those thatched roofs are 3-4 feet deep. Amazing. And some are covered in chicken wire, I guess to keep them all intact for longer. I tried to convince my husband that when we go back there he should offer himself as an apprentice to learn the trade, so then he can become a thatcher and we'd be rolling in money! But he wasn't that keen, roofs not being a place he likes to hang out. Happy up a ladder hanging a theatre light, but not thatching a roof!

  6. I love that dress!

  7. Oooooh....I just love the original stairs! They are so cute and organic! I could skip up and down them all day!

    And that dress is sublime!

  8. Lyme... whimper, whimper...

  9. Yes dear Dreamstress, that is probably what Louisa said. They are treacherous! LOL! And as for the anonymous whimperer, I am with you on that. I would hand on heart give up chocolate for the rest of my life to be there again...