The Lyme Maze Game

Daedalus escapes the maze


Universal Workshop



The lane twistily climbs a kind of knife-edge, so that at first you have views down over the valley to your right. Then through a window in the hedge on the left, or through much of the hedge in winter, you hear the roar of the highway you just came along, and see it down there, carving past the bottom of what seems an almost vertical green field.

The lane emerges on a level top, which is called Lyme Hill. Indeed the downward glimpses, which are now again to the right, are of the head of the valley descending to the outskirts of Lyme town.

Imagine this narrow lane—running quietly along between banks starred with celandine and chickweed—once plied by carts and carriages and walking tradesmen. Or if this were the autumn of 1805, you might have met a messenger riding post-haste from Falmouth to London with the news of the victory of Trafalgar. For the road is none other than the old east-west artery along the south of England. This part of it has been sidelined by the wide highway in the cutting.

Beside this old lane must have stood that milestone you may have noticed ("8 to Bridport 4 to Axminster"), now removed to stand neglected down by the modern road.

A winter glimpse, through the right-hand hedge, of a dazzling piece of sea (past the profile of the wood on Dragon's Hill)—

As so often, the sky opens over this bit of coast.

After half a mile, you come to a spot that, as the badge at the top of the signpost tells you, is called Penn Cross.

A cloverleaf junction it isn't, but for a meeting of such small lanes it is rather elaborate, with two islands. You can go left, straight on, or right.