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.