Hello dear readers,
If you read My Jane Austen Roadtrip Chapter IV post from last week, where I talked about my visit to Winchester, you know that two weeks ago I embarked on a most anticipated road trip across England. What I didn’t mention yet is that during this visit I discovered what would become my favourite place in the entire world, Lyme Park 🙂
Today I will tell you all about that part of my trip and share lots and lots of pictures.
I had been talking about visiting Lyme Park for ages, and even if Joana Starnes kept tempting me to go, and I would dearly love to visit it for the first time with her, I ended up visiting it with a very unexpected and international company! Because of the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death I discovered that author Lory Lilian was planning to visit the UK, one thing lead to the other and we decided to embark on a marvelous road trip together!
I landed in Manchester, and even if I dearly loved to visit Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, it wasn’t possible because of the opening hours, so I decided to leave
Milton eh..Manchester for another time and got on a train headed to Stockport. That’s where I met for the first time Lory Lilian, her editor Ellen Pickels, and author Andreea Catana 🙂
One would think we would be embarrassed by meeting new people in a foreign land, but we are all janeites, so obviously that didn’t happen 🙂 We had a nice dinner, chatted, and planned the following day that would start in Pemberley!!! (I’m sorry, but for me Lyme Park will always be Pemberley and there is no other Pemberley than Lyme Park).
So the following morning saw us getting through the gates of Lyme Park in a very hysterical state! I would post the videos that prove how excited we were to be there, but I’m not sure the other ladies would ever forgive me 😉
Mira Magdo from Obsessed with Mr. Darcy joined us at the entrance and was the most magnificent guide we could have. She lead us through the gate that Mr. Darcy ran thought to prevent Elizabeth from leaving Pemberley, and patiently waited for us to take a thousand pictures from every possible angle, explained everything she knew about the place and took us to all relevant filming locations (she is a bit of na expert in it).
Visiting Lyme Park was a dream come true to me. It was the place I most wanted to visit and it did not disappoint. It is perfect in every possible way. I was expecting it to be glorious, beautiful, magnificent, but I never expected it to be so cozy and warm, especially, I never expected to feel so well there, so at peace. I felt I had come home (jokes about being the mistress of Pemberley aside).
There really aren’t enough words to explain how much I loved this place and people say a picture is better than a thousand words, so I won’t spend much time describing how marvelous our days in the North were, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves 🙂
What I wish I could see..
As you can see, my perspective of the house, followed by what I wish I could see…Mr. Darcy riding towards me…and yes, it’s hard to tell, but that is Colin Firth 🙂
I know this is not the main view of the house, but entering the property and seeing this entrance where Elizabeth introduced the Gardiners to Mr. Darcy was the perfect first impression of the house 🙂 I stood there and looked at it for God knows how long…
But as you can imagine, the best was yet to come…Getting inside was truly a dream come true! If I stood a long time outside looking at the façade, imagine how long I stayed here trying to get the perfect picture and imagining
Colin Firth eh..Mr. Darcy coming down those stairs in pursuit of Miss Elizabeth Bennet…You don’t remember that scene? Well, here it is:
How cool is it to be in this place?? And by the way, there is no way he could have gone to the house and get dressed without her leaving the house. It would take her only 3 minutes to go from the place she saw him in his wet shirt to where the carriage was, but hey, we’re glad he did 🙂
Now, I know the interior scenes of the 1995 BBC production were filmed at Sudbury Hall (that I missed because TAP cancelled my flight without even telling me about it because they didn’t have a plain….that’ts rigth…they didn’t have a plain and made me lose 10h of my day in the airport), but still, the interiors at Lyme Park were gorgeous and I could only imagine myself living there! Take a look at those windows on the library…I would spend my days sitting there and reading…and ocasionally looking at Mr. Darcy in his desk 🙂
But the place with the biggest impact on us was Mr. Darcy’s balcony! You see, this balcony is not usually open, but this day it was, so we got a chance to step in and see the marvelous view from the house. It is stunning and so inspiring…I’m sure both Andreea and Lory will get my point, right ladies? We want more stories…
And do you see that gravel path behind me and Mira? Well…we’ll get there in due time 🙂
Before heading out, we decided to do something fun, and by fun I mean dress in regency clothes. It was our first time, so Mira who is now very used to this, helped us put the bonnets on, found us matching reticules etc, did I mention she was the best guide possible?
And when we did get out to walk in the gardens, we met Mira’s friends who were also visiting Pemberley 🙂 Now that we are acquainted I hope I can see them while attending a ball in the future 🙂
Remember I was talking about the gravel path? Well, this is me with a huge smile on my face because I was actually walking in the same place where Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy walked when they met at Pemberley!!
If I made it this far without swooning, I think I’ll be able to handle the pond, don’t you think?
I could stay in that place the entire day just looking at the house. It really is magnificent and peaceful, but the pond awaited me and I think that at this point Mira and Andreea were getting tired of me taking so many pictures…I hope you’re not tired of seeing them because I still have a few others to show you 🙂
On our way to the pond we found a place where I believe Elizabeth Bennet would stop to get some rest and read, so I couldn’t resist taking a picture 🙂
The truth is that it is not only the house that is beautiful, peaceful and that made me feel good, the entire property had that effect in me, and I wanted to show you a little of the grounds as well 🙂 Don’t you think the landscape is perfect? Anyway, we made it to the famous pond, and OMG…
Colin Firth didn’t really dive in it, but this was an iconic place and I would not have found it without Mira, so thank you again my friend!!! Oh…and if you look at my picture and the one where Mr. Darcy is taking his jacket off, you can see the trees are the same (huge grin on my face right now).
Too much wet shirt pics? Well… I couldn’t resist 🙂
Finally after all the excitement of seeing all these, and many other places, for the first time, me and Mira met author Amanda Grange who was the second JAFF author I ever read back in 2011. I took my copies of Mr. Darcy’s Diary, Captain Wentworth’s Diary and Mr. Knightley’s Diary all the way from Portugal for her to sign and came back with those, plus another signed copy of Mr. Darcy’s Diary to giveaway to one of my readers 🙂 After all, I couldn’t have so much fun without sharing a little with you 🙂 It was a true pleasure meeting Amanda Grange as she wrote some of my favourite JAFF books and I was only sorry that our day at Pemberley was coming to an end, and that I didn’t have a copy of Colonel Brandon’s Diary.
But the fact that we had to leave Lyme Park didn’t mean that our day was about to end, by the contrary. At Stockport we got a chance to meet and have dinner with the lovely Glynis!!! I have to say this was definitely one of the highlights of the day 🙂 It was so, so, so nice meeting Glynis with whom I had only talked online 🙂 I met her in my blog and when I saw her face to face I felt we were already long time friends 🙂
She is a such a kind and nice lady! I am only sorry we only had a few hours together, but I know I will be seeing her the next time I visit Lyme Park, she is a neighbour after all 🙂 Lucky girl…
The following day we could not resist and returned to Lyme Park to visit the grounds once more, and enjoy the views without all the excitement of the first day. It was amazing, for sure, but our emotions were a train wreck and we wanted to re-visit all those wonderful places in Lyme Park for the pleasure of walking in those beautiful places and not because of Pride & Prejudice.
We saw some places we missed in the first day and went a little further on our walks (we were on Elizabeth Benet mode).
It was really nice to walk with Andreea in the grounds on that glorious sunny day and discuss her upcoming P&P variation Meant to Be.
I did mention we were on Elizabeth Bennet mode, didn’t I? Of course we had to walk exactly in the same places she walked, and obviously we were thinking exactly the same thing she was…Of all this I could have been mistress…
And so our visit ended with no Mr. Darcy to stop us from leaving… But Lyme Park came in my heart all the way back to Portugal. It really is a wonderful place with which I connected immediately. I usually only feel this good in Paris. I don’t really know why, but I always feel well and at peace in Paris, and in Lyme Park I felt exactly the same. I know I will go back one day because it really became my favourite place on earth. I feel I am supposed to be there.
We started our journey back south, but first we made a stop in Derbyshire to visit Chatsworth House. After all, it was Pemberley day!
I am clearly a 95 adaptation girl, and Lyme park will always be Pemberley to me, but I confess that when we were arriving at Chatsworth I could hear Jane Austen’s words in my mind “the eye was instantly caught by Pemberley House, situated on the opposite side of a valley , into which the road with some abruptness wound. It was a large, handsome stone building, standing well on rising ground, and backed by a ridge of high woody hills; and in front, a stream of some natural importance was swelled into greater, but without any artificial appearance. Its banks were neither formal nor falsely adorned” and just like Elizabeth I “had never seen a place for which nature had done more, or where natural beauty had been so little counteracted by an awkward taste”.
The grounds were also incredibly beautiful but not as peaceful and cozy as in Lyme Park, and even if I did like visiting this place, I didn’t feel so good in it. It was just another beautiful place to me, but I guess I am partial to Lyme Park.
However, the entire place was impressive, even the stables were huge!! We had some lunch in the old stables and drove to Winchester leaving Derbyshire and both Pemberley’s behind us…
And this was the end of Chapter V. I hope you liked seeing all these photos and to have a Chapter VI to share with you soon, until then, it is giveaway time!
I had so much fun during those 3 days that I felt I had to share some of my joy with my readers, so today I am offering 3 paperbacks to 3 different readers :
The giveaway is international and will end on the 10th of August. I will randomly select two readers from the comments left on this post and one from my list of followers, so if you want to double your chances of winning, and you are not yet following From Pemberley to Milton, just click on the follow button on the bottom of the home page.
Good luck everyone!