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You won’t see many spray tans or hair extensions here…

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The National Trust is celebrating 200 years of Pride and Prejudice with ‘The Only Way is Pemberley’ exhibition. Based at Lyme Hall on the edge of the Peak District, it is a must for Jane Austen fans wanting to relive their favourite moments from the 1995 BBC adaptation and get up close and personal with that shirt (yes, ladies, you can actually touch it!)

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As you can see, costumes from the programme are on display, not behind glass but actually within reach – we were even encouraged to touch them; something we didn’t need to be told twice! The effort and detail that went into these costumes could easily be missed on the screen but seeing them close up gave me a chance to appreciate their intricacies, like the pattern on Elizabeth’s day dress and the layers of her wedding dress (although my camera might not have picked these up so well):

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There are also biographies of the actors who appeared in the¬†adaptation, a family tree of the characters and a big surprise awaiting in the lake….

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If, like me, you want the full Regency experience, you can dress up in traditional clothing complete with bonnet and coin purse and taste Regency delicacies – we had white soup for lunch!

Remember Mr Darcy running through the courtyard to catch Elizabeth before she leaves? And the first glimpse Elizabeth has of Pemberley? You can see the places where these were filmed and/or take a guided tour of the locations so you don’t miss any of them – a snapshot below:

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For me the day is summed up perfectly:

IMG_1523The exhibition runs on selected dates until the 16th February so there is still plenty of time to enjoy all the diversions on offer.¬†If you want to learn more, a full programme of activities is available on the National Trust’s website.