|Subject: Re: Bath and Southwestern England|
Hi Caroline and other Ziners,
We visited Southwestern England in September a few years ago, and the weather was wonderful. You're right - take lots of layers. It hardly rained at all.
Bath is marvellous. As Jane Austen put it - "I believe I shall always be talking of Bath." There's so much to see and do. The Roman Baths themselves are beautiful, and it's lovely to just walk around the town. Close to Bath is Avebury, the largest stone circle in Europe. It's not quite as impressive as Stonehenge (which is also close by), but is more accessible and it is charming to walk amongst the stones, along with the sheep.
We stayed in Lyme Regis, where The French Lieutenant's Woman was filmed, as well as Jane Austen's Persuasion. We loved walking along The Cobb, just like Meryl Streep did. Remember that backward glance? We stayed at Clappentail House, a very nice B and B. In Persuasion, Jane Austen says of Lyme Regis "the remarkable situation of the town, the principal street almost hurrying into the water, the walk The Cobb skirting round the pleasant little bay....The Cobb itself, the very beautiful line of cliffs stretching out to the east of the town, are what the stranger's eye will seek."
Seeing as you are interested in English literature, you might also visit, as we did, the birthplace of Thomas Hardy, in Higher Bockhampton. It's wonderful to see his home.
You can also visit East Coker, and go to the church where T.S. Eliot's ashed are buried - "In my beginning is my end, in my end is my beginning."
If you have enough time, and you are interested in stately homes, gardens, museums, historic castles, ruins, etc., you can really economize with a pass from The National Trust called The Great British Heritage Pass, which will give you access to countless properties.
There's so much to see and do in Dorset, Devon, and Cornwall. We loved King Arthur's Tintagel, the village of Clovelly, the charming seaside villages of Polperro, St. Ives and St. Michael's Mount. Make absolutely sure that you have at least one "cream tea", which is scones, Devonshire clotted cream, strawberry jam, and a pot of tea. Also, don't miss a Ploughman's Lunch of good bread, English cheese, chutney, an apple and a pint of beer.
We stayed at a number of good B and Bs and small inns, but the best one was Bickleigh Cottage Country Hotel, a perfect small inn, complete with thatched roof, close by a fast- moving river, near Tiverton, in Devon. http://www.smoothhound.co.uk/hotels/bickleig.html
Margaret and Les in Toronto