During our travels in Britain in 2014 we visited Lyme Regis on Dorset’s “Jurassic Coast”, which is famous, among other things, for being the a long time place of residence for John Fowles and where he wrote The French Lieutenant’s Woman. It also furnished one of the most memorable locations for the film of the book, the Cobb that creates its harbour, which also features in Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Much more important though was its economic value to the town as the cobb enabled it to become an important harbour and shipbuilding centre. We remembered this as we encountered a number of small coastal towns and villages on our recent jaunt around Devon and Cornwall and were surprised and delighted by the variety of harbours, sea-defences, cobbs and sea-gates.
We have just spent a week on the road in Devon and Cornwall as we use our remaining time in Britain to do what travelling we can. As with many parts of the country, even though I “knew” of it, in the sense of knowing many of the place names, I had either not actually been to them or had visited many years ago. In this case I knew that I had spent some holidays down in Devon and Cornwall as a child and stayed in rented caravans although I had a clear memory of us having taken the Heron sailing dinghy on one holiday and sailed it in a bay that had an island in it that could be reached at low tide by a causeway. My memory was that we had sailed in winds that were really much too strong. The boat had even “capsized” on the beach before we could even get it launched into the water the wind was so strong. Despite that we still managed to sail for a while before retreating to the safety of the shore. One of the features of our current travels were the same strong and very chilly winds that we encountered whenever we were near the coast – which was a lot of the time.