Thursday, September 23, 2010

At Lyme

I think the day we spent in Lyme Regis was the hottest we'd had all week.  It looked positively Mediterranean  as we sat sipping early  morning coffee on the terrace at the back of  a small store next to the museum.  We were last here about 15 years ago;  our first ever visit was about 30 years ago - our first holiday together almost a year after our wedding.

We had a rather traumatic start to our recent visit!  As we were walking down the hill from the car park an elderly man came running past us down to the road where the path to the town lies against the stream.  He'd left a lady, presumably his wife, in a wheelchair by the entrance to the path and was in a hurry to get back to her.  Unfortunately, in his haste, he didn't notice the step down onto the path and as he pushed the chair forward the poor lady hurtled out of it, onto her face and nearly rolled into the stream.  We rushed to help - Paul managed to move the wheel chair and set it upright whilst I and another passer-by helped the distraught man pick the frail lady up and sit her back in the chair.  She'd grazed her face and hands but otherwise seemed unhurt just shaken.  The local lady gave them directions to a chemist shop.  She stopped for a word or two and when we said we hadn't been there for about 15 years she smiled and said 'It hasn't changed' - she was right!

Well,  actually some things had changed - there was an extension to the museum with a new entrance and shop but inside the main building it seemed unchanged.  We spent ages wandering around, Paul looking at the geology displays and me absorbed in the displays about Mary Anning, Jane Austen and John Fowles.

The town was just as I remembered it!  The first time we visited the town looked different because it had been artificially 'aged' with old shop and inn signs, with plastic cobbles down the main street and half a huge sailing ship near the Cobb - filming of John Fowles's novel 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' had just been completed and some of the film-set alterations were still in place.

The little bow windowed houses along the front looked smarter than they used to.

The beach, harbour and harbour wall known as The Cobb still looked as wonderful as I remembered them.

We walked along the Cobb right to the end -  up on the wall for a while but then came down the stone steps to the lower walkway.

When we first visited we stayed in a small hotel called The Old Monmouth and we found it,  still opposite the church but no longer a hotel - just a private house.

Over the road, in the churchyard, we found the grave of Mary Anning, whom I wrote about in this post, and her brother Joseph.

In the church we found the window dedicated to Mary Anning paid for by members of the Geological Society in 1850, three years after her death.

Of course, we visited lots of the fossil shops as well!  I loved the shop bottom left, it had Alice's homemade bears and bear kits (as seen on Kirstie's Homemade Christmas) at street level and fossils below. 

Above, a few more scenes at Lyme - next Charmouth, Bridport and West Bay.


  1. That was a traumatic start to your visit!!! My Nan and Grandad used to have their holidays at Lyme Regis but I have never been. I bet I would love all those fossil shops!

  2. It's a lovely place. I only went last year for the first time but would love to return.

  3. I've never been, but yet again, you've made me want to add to my ever growing 'list'. I read the book about Mary Anning after you blogged about it ... what a fascinating story!
    Love Kathy xxx

  4. Oh dear - what a welcome! My kids were only babies when we went to Lyme - and we spent most of the morning in a shelter as it rained non stop. The young man would love it as he is very into Geology. Great photos Rosie, you certainly picked a great day for it. xxxx

  5. Somewhere I've never been but I did watch the movie when it came out and enjoyed that.

    Thanks for showing us your lovely photos.

    I'd better not go near the fossil shops otherwise they may think I am new stock - lol!!!

  6. Whenever I see photos from Lyme Regis there's always a blue sky. Yours are no exception. On the two occasions we've visited recently it's been just the same. It must have been fascinating to see the town set up for the filming of a major film. We always park in that car-park! x

  7. Another accident at Lyme! At least it wasn't as traumatic as poor Louisa Musgrove's fall from the Cobb. ;)

    I'm glad you had such a sonderful time. Lyme is high on my list of places to visit.

  8. Lyme is a lovely place, we are thinking of visiting in October, fingers crossed.

  9. What a lovely place to visit Rosie. I believe that I went years ago, but don't really remember much about it, though of course, films have made it famous.

    I love those bow-fronted cottages. How I long to breathe salt air again and walk by the sea!

    Enjoy your weekend.

    Marie x

  10. Simone - you must follow in their footsteps one day and visit I'm sure you would love it:)

    Rosie - it is one of those places you want to return to time after time:)

    Kathy - hope you visit one day - glad you enjoyed the book, too:)

    Diane - hope it stays sunny when you make a return visit:)

    jordiegirl - lol - I felt a bit like that, too - would love to return comments on your blog but can't seem to find a link - thanks for popping in too read:)

    Louise - it was very interesting - we took photos at the time - must hunt them out. You know where I mean then in relation to the car park:)

    Sara - poor Louisa Musgrove - I was thinking about the fall when I was walking on the Cobb and wandering which set of steps it was supposed to be:)

    Sue - hope you get to visit in October - that's nearly here!:)

    Marie - I love those cottages too - it was lovely to smell the sea air:)

  11. gosh a drama to begin with. I find it upsets me when people fall over (unless it is slapstick like Laurel and Hardy). We love Lyme. What about the Alexandra hotel at the top of the high street its stunning and a must. Helen x

  12. Helen - what a super hotel the Alexandra looks - I'd love to be able to afford to stay there - perhaps one day! We were in a B&B at Charmouth which was very nice a huge comfy room with ensuite and a balcony we could sit on overlooking a lovely garden.