Reader Report: P&P Tours’ P&P95 Locations Tour

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We asked Gentle Reader Reeba to send a report of her tour with P&P Tours to locations from the filming of P&P95. A report also was included in the latest issue of Jane Austen’s Regency World; Reeba was on the tour described in the article.

Way back on the 6th of March, Mags had informed us about a Pride and Prejudice location tour. Many prefer to do it themselves, but I don’t own a car nor do I know how to drive. So this tour was made just for me!! LOL!!

I was addicted, as most were, to P&P95. Saw it in 2000, and nearly 9 years later finally got the opportunity to do this. I went for the 6th July – 9th July trip.

There were 18 of us; 5 Australians (including one gentleman, with his newly wedded wife), 3 Canadians, 3 Dutch, 2 British gentlemen, 2 from the US, 1 Irish and 2 from Switzerland. So we were a small cosy group.

Helen and Maddy were super guides. We did pretty much everything, except the sets in the studio. Every little walk, and path was covered.

We met at the JA Centre in Bath, had Tea, introduced ourselves, and soon we were on our way to Meryton.

The best part of the trip was that we got to stay at the locations. Some of us (Lady Catherines) stayed at The Red Lion. My room overlooked *the street.*

We visited Bromley inn as well as Wickham’s Cambridge. The door leading to his ‘den of vice’ was locked. So one by one we stood in front of it and took photographs!!! Ha Ha!

The bridge (leading to Meryton) was a few minutes walk from here and of course we all paid a visit, and posed on it. The highlight was the dinner at Longbourne! In the same room, too! Some dressed in Regency style, but we all turned up nicely dressed! 🙂 It was such fun recognizing the different spots, first outside and then inside.

There was the “Read on”/swing tree, the “pretty little wilderness,” the drive, the church where the wedding takes place, Lizzy’s path to Longbourne, The Bennets’ walk from church to Longbourne, just everything. We went inside the church and Maddy played the P&P95 signature tune on the organ for us. Delightful!! Very atmospheric!

Of course the rooms don’t look the same, but it wasn’t difficult to picture them as they were. After dinner Hazel Jones gave an interesting and very informative talk. It was quiet and peaceful as we chatted, while I gazed out of the window at the church – the window in front of which Mr Bennet sat at the dining table. The grand daughter of the lady who was then the owner was a gracious hostess. We thanked her for her hospitality and left for Meryton.

Back in my room I sat at the window for a while and gazed down *the street* before going to bed.

Finding Hunsford was an adventure. It is so out of the way and quite isolated. We all had tea outside, just under the window of the parlour where Lizzy and Charlotte stood talking.

6 of us (Lady Catherines) stayed here for the night. We had dinner in the room which was the hall. The parlour still had the wallpaper. This room with its fireplace was the most familiar one which we could easily relate to the one from the film. In the evening we sat there after dinner with a cup of tea, and looked at the DVD on a portable player and checked out the nooks and corners of the room, comparing it with that in the film. What fun!! 😀

The lady who owns Hunsford told us a couple of stories about the shooting, and was very friendly.

Lucky me! I got to sleep in Lizzy’s room!! 🙂 At night, lying in bed, it suddenly struck me that this was the room where the odious Mr Collins stood showing Lizzy and the rest the shelves! I pictured them standing all around this very room. Could it get more surreal? With such happy thoughts of the shelves and all, I finally dozed off!

Of course the trip included the National Trust buildings which were used as Pemberley and Rosings. At Pemberley we walked to *the pond*, posed around in a ready-to-dive pose. 🙂

We also visited Netherfield Park and stood in front of the gates (the private owner is tooooo private!). Lambton village was another delight, as well as the rocks where Lizzy stood gazing out, making poor Aunt Gardiner so nervous.

It was such a wonderful trip. We were kept entertained on the coach with quiz etc. (a very comfortable coach too!) A ride in the various carriages used for the adaptation has been added to the forthcoming trips. How very delightful. The dinner at Longbourne is also a recent addition. We were the first ones.

Guess what! Many of us are returning for another trip starting May 14th next year. This will be a combined trip of Persuasion (Amanda Root) and Sense and Sensibility (Emma Thompson) locations for 6 days. We will meet at Plymouth, stay in Lyme Regis for a night (I believe our rooms have a view of the Cobb!!), recall JA in Lyme Regis, and travel to other locations. The tour ends in Bath.

At present I’m enjoying the pleasure of anticipation and I may reasonably hope to have all my expectations of pleasure realized.