Twenty years ago, the BBC produced a film version of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that has gone down in the history books as not only being incredibly faithful to the original novel, but also for showcasing Colin Firth in a wet shirt. It also has perhaps the smarmiest Mr. Collins to have graced the screen, a truly formidable Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and Alison Steadman at her comedic finest, whose various inflections of “Oh, Mr. Bennet!” never fail to raise a smile.
As you may have guessed, this is a film I know well, with viewings well into the double figures by now. The infatuation started my junior year of high school, and I still find it astounding that I now live just a 10-minute drive from one of the main filming locations: the National Trust village of Lacock, which serves as a stand in for Austen’s Meryton.
However, we rarely take advantage of our proximity to Lacock; instead, our visits are usually done as part of the “tourist trail”, one of those places where we take visitors to show off merry olde England. Yet since returning from Wales getting out into nature has become a priority, and this was how I found myself clutching a paper with a guided walk that took us through the village and out into the countryside beyond.
It was a short walk, only two miles, but a great way to stretch our legs and take in the views that are practically on our doorstep. There is something to see around every corner, from the higgledy-piggledy buildings of Lacock itself to the rolling hills of Wiltshire and the majestic sight of Lacock Abbey, the birthplace of photography – it was here that William Henry Fox Talbot created the first photographic negative in 1835. From the vantage point of 2016, Lacock is still incredibly photogenic and still well worth a visit.
Not exactly a close encounter with wildlife, but I couldn’t resist snapping this very happy looking dog who was also enjoying a romp in the countryside.