Saturday was a travel day. We leaped from St. Ives on the Atlantic coast, inland and cross country to Lyme Regis, on the Channel side. where we could pick up the SWCP along the Jurrasic Coast, a World Heritage site.
First thing in the morning, we made a hurried tour of the little harbor in St. Ives. Actually I walked, while Jennifer had a latte. The light house in St. Ives holds nothing to the one we saw in Godfrey Point yesterday. No way was Virginia Woolfe inspired by this squat little fire plug. We took a few pictures and headed for the train station.
At 9:30 we caught the local train inland to St.Erth, supposedly one of the most beautiful and shortest railroad routes in England. Then on to Exeter, and from there to Axminster. In Axminster, we found the Jurrasic Coaster bus, whose motto is “One bus, millions of years of history.” We came to know this bus well.
At about 3:30 we arrived in Lyme Regis, an historic resort town, on the English Channel. The charter dates back to 1284, so we’re talking hundreds and hundreds of years. Subject to constant erosion the Jurrasic Coast is famous for the fossils that turn up constantly as the cliffs slide into the sea. The erosion is a serious problem here, threatening the beaches.
We lugged our suitcases down a steep hill through narrow streets filled with tourists, much more crowded here than on the Atlantic side. We got to the beach, the strand as its called, and looked for our Hotel. I knew it was right on the water, at the far west side of the harbor. Sure enough right near the Cobb, the curved retaining wall that has sheltered and protected the harbor for centuries, we found the Cobbs Arms Hotel, practically on the water.
The Cobb, nobody seems to know why it is called that, was featured in Jane Austen’s Persuasion, when Louisa Musgrove jumped off the steps and came to near disaster. Lyme Regis was also the setting for the French Lieutenant’s Woman. Who can forget the first scene in the book, when Charles and his fiance, Ernastine, come upon a solitary woman wrapped in a dark cape standing far out on a deserted jetty, The Cobb, looking out to sea.