Liza & Ben's Travels

Day 13: Lyme Regis

The city of Lyme is on the River Lim and added the Regis suffix after a Royal Charter was granted by King Edward I in 1284. To us, it looked and felt like a bigger city than the previous towns we saw in Devon. People were moving faster, less polite. It’s just across the border in Dorset, but I’m not sure if that’s the explanation, or if it’s just a bigger town. We walked from our hotel down the hill into the village, bought coffee beans from a friendly micro roaster, and searched side streets and alley ways for something interesting. We found a…

Day 12: Beer to Lyme Regis

After the serious hike into Beer, we had to turn around and start again first thing in the morning. Our host told us the route from Beer to Seaton, just a couple of miles along, had washed out years ago, and recommended we take the road rather than the circuitous route the detour takes. We don’t like walking on road, we’re not fans of detours, and we’re not completists, so we took a taxi to Seaton and started from there. The first mile was along the esplanade (all the towns have an esplanade or marine parade), and the second mile…

Days 7 & 8: Bath – Exmouth – Budleigh Salterton

On the train from Bath, we saw beautiful green farmland with small herds of sheep, horses, cows, alpacas, and sheep. We transferred in Exeter to a slow moving commuter train loaded with local folk that took us to Exmouth. Many with beers in their hands looked spirited, maybe a little rough, but jovial. And there were a significant number of fit, well groomed men in their young twenties. We didn’t think much about that until we pulled in to the station at the commando training camp where they all got off. We could see lots of man-sized jungle gyms, just…

Day 4: Old Houses

Yesterday we went to Castle Combe (pronounced “COOM”) and Lacock (pronounced “LAY-cuck”), which are uber picturesque Cotswold villages that have had all the movies filmed at them. Driving between them, we saw old thatch-roofed houses. They’re stuck in a time warp, with rules severely limiting what can be done to them. It’s funny, because going to visit we feel like we’re going back in time to see how it was, but there are paved roads, cars (including a Lotus!), public toilets, electricity, and modern tourists. All we’re really seeing is how people built, as long ago as 1197. And it’s…

Day 4: Old Houses

Yesterday we went to Castle Combe (pronounced “COOM”) and Lacock (pronounced “LAY-cuck”), which are uber picturesque Cotswold villages that have had all the movies filmed at them. Driving between them, we saw old thatch-roofed houses. They’re stuck in a time warp, with rules severely limiting what can be done to them. It’s funny, because going to visit we feel like we’re going back in time to see how it was, but there are paved roads, cars (including a Lotus!), public toilets, electricity, and modern tourists. All we’re really seeing is how people built, as long ago as 1197. And it’s…

Day 3: Cheddar Gorge & Cooperative Driving

The last bit of our tour through Somerset was through Cheddar Gorge. Our tour guide suggested we might not enjoy it if we’ve seen the Grand Canyon or Yosemite, but we thought it was beautiful. The town of Cheddar is where the cheese comes from. We opted not to stop for cheese and cider, because we’d all eaten at both Wells and Glastonbury. What surprised me about this part of the tour was how much cooperation is required between drivers going in opposite directions. It was worse when one of them is a wide tour bus, but there were a…

Day 3: Glastonbury (but not the Tor)

Funny story. Apparently today is May Day. We inadvertently picked May Day (or Beltane, to all you Druid/New-Age types) as the day for our tour of Wells and Glastonbury. Even our tour guide forgot that it was May Day, and that Glastonbury, the ur-New-Age town, would be overrun. And I mean overrun. They were all in New Age / Goddess / Green Man / faery / hippy wear, because it’s Beltane. Many had matted hair, swishy skirts, there was a guy in a leafy mask, and a woman with elf ears. There were literally hundreds of people marching from the…

Day 3: Wells & Wells Cathedral

Today we took a tour—turned out to be just three of us, which was a little rough on the tour guide, who has a bus big enough for 16—to Wells and Glastonbury and Cheddar Gorge. More about Glastonbury & Cheddar Gorge later. Wells is a city I’d never heard of. Wikipedia tells me it’s only a city because it’s been called a city since medieval times, largely because it has a cathedral. (I didn’t learn why the cathedral was built there in the first place.) It’s only about 3 km2, and has a population of less than 10k. It’s named…