Lyme Regis. Not quite Meryl Streep!

Lyme Regis

Time and tide – and inconsiderate drivers – wait for no man!

Again, absolutely ‘nothing about Dartmoor’ whatsoever, except that a yearning to be far from the madding crowd has never seemed more appealing after an impromptu visit to Lyme Regis in Dorset! Why oh why did we listen to non-driver Tom; it was his suggestion – and we couldn’t be asked at 2:30 in the afternoon to come up with an alternative suggestion! (We’d also forgotten that it was a bank holiday weekend!!!)

The journey to Lyme Regis was straightforward and uncomplicated – Archie, our chauffeur for the afternoon, drove like a dream in his ‘great white shark’ – until we edged over the border into Dorset and the nightmare began…

I hope this post serves as a warning to anyone that may be foolish enough to have the same idea to visit the iconic Cobb on a bank holiday weekend; just DON’T!

All was relatively calm for the first couple of hours – after Archie luckily snuck-in to a parking space right down on the sea front. I had suggested that we park further up and walk down to the Cobb – but Archie being a resident Bathonian was unfazed by the volume of traffic – steep, bendy hills, parked cars and jaywalking, daydreaming pedestrians; the concept ‘park and ride’ went unheeded…

Lyme Regis

With just two pound coins readily available – we paid for our ‘God-given’ parking space and strolled off in the direction of the Cobb – enjoying some very nice ice-creams along the way – mine was a Rum and Raisin. I took some snapshots to try and capture the colours and atmosphere of Lyme Regis – and did a ‘Meryl Streep’ – unaware that I had a piece of raisin between my front teeth. Or that the sea breeze had blown up my fisherman’s smock top – making me look like I was expecting my third at 52!!Not quite Meryl Streep!

After taking-in the Cobb – we gently ambled off in the direction of the church – where Tom honed-in on a fish and chip shop…he’s a fish and chip connoisseur – and always hungry!   Our two hours parking was nearly up – so I suggested that while I visited the “boring” church – they put some more parking on the car and we’d meet up outside – ready for fish and chips.  I spent an idyllic half-hour roaming around the quiet churchyard taking more photos..Lyme Regis ChurchLyme Regis ChurchLyme Regis ChurchLyme Regis Churchin the blissful ignorance that ‘the boys’ had decided to give up our premium parking space and had driven to the desired fish and chip shop – in the hope that a space would become available in the public car park of about ten spaces right outside…and so the nightmare began!!!

Luckily, I caught them on the road after they’d done a couple of laps of Lyme Regis – and I hopped into the back seat of the car. Finally, resigned to failure to get into the tiniest car park on possibly the busiest weekend of the year – Archie decided that we would go back to the original carpark…

All I can say is that as a quiet backseat driver – the atmosphere inside the car was as ‘colourful’ as Lyme Regis itself on a bank holiday weekend – only bluer!

The original carpark was now at gridlock point – and fish and chips in Lyme Regis had begun to look like the impossible dream! At 6:30 pm – lengthy queues had formed outside every fish and chip shop; everyone else was hungry too.  Just to add to the mayhem – the constant din of a public address system had been turned up a notch or two and intrusive pop music was blaring out around the cove – I doubt even the gregarious seagulls could hear themselves think! Who’s bright spark idea was that? As much as I love James Bay, Snow Patrol etc etc – what’s wrong with listening to the natural sounds of the seaside when you are at the seaside; children playing, seagulls calling, waves lapping?!!!

Anyway, after burning his clutch on a particularly steep section of road, after giving-way to an inconsiderate road-hog coming down – Archie took the decision to exit Lyme Regis altogether – in preference of a fish and chip supper in neighbouring Charmouth.  Commenting only – that he wouldn’t “Give a f**k if Lyme Regis slipped into the sea.” – in the heat of the moment of course!  (He did Geography at uni – and went on a field trip to the area to study coastal erosion!)  In Bath – where he is on home territory, it is the etiquette to give way to those coming up really steep inclines – ‘when in Rome’ and all that – but alas not in Lyme Regis especially on a bank holiday weekend when it is full of sightseeing, daydreaming visitors – in cars and on foot!!! As his mother – I only prayed that despite the tight driving conditions and unforgiving flint walls – ‘Jaws’ would emerge unscratched; fish and chips really didn’t matter!

Despite the blue air at times – I have to confess the boy done good – and the fish and chip supper at Charmouth was EXCELLENT!

(I didn’t buy my customary souvenir fridge magnet either – instead I’m going to make my own; a reminder not to go to Lyme Regis on a bank holiday weekend EVER ever again!)

Dartmoor, I can’t wait…

A couple hours in Lyme Regis - Horas non numero nisi serenas - pertinent detail on a Lyme Regis sundial. (I count only the hours that are serene.)

Horas non numero nisi serenas – pertinent detail on a Lyme Regis sundial. (I count only the hours that are serene.)

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