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“Why is it that we turn into foolhardy, live-for-the-moment and ‘to hell with everyone else’ children the very moment we fall in love?”– Melanie Hudson
“And now, here we all were, together again at the Central Flying Training School, RAF Upavon.” (pg 143)
The Central Flying School at RAF Upavon is where Juliet, Anna, and Marie went to flying school for the ATA. This is the location where they learned to fly the Spitfire. As Juliet says “today – 21 March 1941 – was one of the best and most important days of my life, because today was the day I would fly the Supermarine Spitfire for the first time.” (pg 144)
Today, you can head to the Upavon Airfield in Wiltshire, UK for a trial flying lesson! Head to the skies, just like Juliet, in an ASK21 aircraft, for about £65. This is something I would be terrified to do, but if anyone tries let me know how it goes!
“I at once gave up the house in Oxfordshire and took out a lease on a pretty cottage by the river in Hamble, inviting Anna to lodge with me.” (pg 148)
Juliet leased this cottage in Hamble with Anna, while they were working with the ATA. She found this cottage convenient because it was near where the Spitfires were built. Although she had to deal with being close to the Luftwaffe bombing campaign nearby in Southampton, she loved the cottage and the Hamble River it was by.
Today, you can head to Hamble to Warsash and take a ride across the River Hamble in a little pink ferry for only £2. Before you head to the ferry take some time to explore the village of Hamble Le Rice and take a look at all the boats and yachts while eating some tasty local food. Eat and drink the at the Bugle Hamble where Juliet had reconnected with Edward (see below).
The Bugle Pub
“I will stay at the Bugle pub in Hamble until Friday and eat there each evening in the hope that you may might join me.” – Edward (pg 201)
After the bombing at the Empire bar where Edward and Juliet had spotted each other, Edward sent a letter to Juliet to meet her at the Bugle pub. Edward mentioned he would stay at the bar that week, every night, waiting for Juliet to come and have dinner with him. At first Juliet sent Anna to meet him, but then Juliet decided to go herself. Unfortunately, Edward was heading out at the same time so they only had a few moments to talk to each other.
Today you can go to the Bugle pub on the waterside in Hamble le Rice. Sit on their terrace to look out over the River Hamble, and if you dine there on a Sunday you can enjoy their Sunday Roast menu. P.S. dogs are welcome! Book a table here.
Men an Tol
“One is a circle of stones, like Stonehenge but smaller and without the horizontal capstones, and the other is, well, I’m not sure what it is – was – but it’s called Men an Tol and it’s basically a circular stone that sits on it side.” – Juliet (pg 211)
When Katherine takes Juliet out of Lanyon for their day trip to search for Juliet’s ammunition boxes, Men an Tol was one of their first stops. Juliet told Katherine that if you crawled through the circle of stones here you can make a wish. However, to make a wish you need to leave an offering to the Gods as an exchange.
“The next stop was the Minack Theatre for lunch, which meant heading back over the moor to the south coast.” (pg 215)
Juliet and Katherine went to the Minack Theatre after Katherine had found Juliet’s ammunition box at the Men an Tol. Juliet told Katherine about how her and Sam used to come here, and one day Sam got on the stage and sang “We’ll Meet Again” just for fun. Then Juliet made Katherine sing the song on stage which ended in a few other folk joining and having a great time.
Head to the Minack Theatre today for all kinds of shows in this beautiful open air theatre perched on the cliffs above the Atlantic ocean. Even if there is no show going on you can visit and explore. Maybe you’ll even head on stage and sing “We’ll Meet Again”.