We’ve just returned from a wonderful week in Lyme Regis. This was a special research trip for my current novel – The Illustrated Darcy – the second in my series about Jane Austen addicts. We were staying in an apartment on the harbour front and had our very own view of the famous Cobb.
My novel centres around a new film production of Jane Austen’s Persuasion and it was fun to explore the settings of previous film adaptations. Here I am on the very steps that Austen’s characters would have descended as well as the lovely Rupert Penry-Jones who played Captain Wentworth in the most recent adaptation.
Lyme is rich in literary history and, if you want to find out more, book yourself on a tour with the wonderful Literary Lyme.
It was a real treat to be able to walk along the Undercliff each morning and to follow the River Lim to Uplyme. The bluebells were just beginning to open and there were primroses and violets along the paths and – everywhere – the incredible smell of wild garlic.
One of my favourite places to walk is Stonebarrow. The sheltered footpaths above the sea always remind me of a Rosamunde Pilcher novel.
Here I am at Stonebarrow with my trusty copy of Persuasion. Alas, I didn’t meet any Captain Wentworths in Dorset but I had plenty to write about my own wonderful heroes.
And I even managed to do some writing on the beach at Charmouth. It’s always great to write in situ but it was absolutely freezing. I really did suffer for my art that afternoon! Still, I got my scene.
And no trip to West Dorset would be complete without a visit to the Donkey Sanctuary where you can get up close and personal to the residents! I dropped by their wonderful shop to let them know that the sanctuary has a special place in my romantic comedy Molly’s Millions.
Here’s me with the gorgeous Little Pippa.
There was, however, one distraction with being based in Lyme and that was the proximity of some very nice shops! Book shops, boutiques and bakers were a particular weakness and one boutique I fell in love with was Frills which is definitely worth a visit if you want to find something a bit special and – if you go – look out for my books as they’re going to stock some lovely holiday reads soon!
If you’d like to see some of my hubby’s beautiful paintings from the trip, visit his blog here. I love those lasers!