Cumbria’s Kirkby Lonsdale is a long way from Cornwall. But it is one of the locations for a new TV adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s story of smugglers and ghosts: Jamaica Inn.
The market town stands in for Cornwall’s Launceston, which now looks too modern for the filming of a period drama. The real Jamaica Inn is a former 18th century coaching house on Cornwall’s Bodmin Moor, reputed to the most haunted place in Great Britain.
Du Maurier lived nearby in Fowey (where an annual May festival celebrates her work). She wrote Jamaica Inn after getting lost in fog while horse riding on the moors – finding refuge in the pub where the local rector is said to have entertained her with ghost stories.
Published in 1936, the story was filmed by Alfred Hitchcock, and adapted for stage and TV. The new BBC series – starring Downton Abbey actress Jessica Brown-Findlay – will be screened in spring.
For a guided visit around Cumbria: www.cumbriatouristguides.org
For a guided visit around Cornwall: www.swtourguides.co.uk