I started reading Terry Pratchet’s Discworld series of books when I was 17, which was a very, very long time ago indeed. And you can say I am something of a fan of his work, so, when I discovered the existence of the Discworld Emporium, I knew I had to make a small journey, you may even almost call it a pilgrimage, to the town of Wincanton in southern Somerset in England.
Wincanton is a little bit of a challenge to get to using only public transport, but not completely impossible, and well worth the effort too. You can take the train through to Templecombe from London Waterloo, and then from there hope to strike it lucky and find a cab to take you the rest of the way, which is between £12 and £15.
Of course, once we got there, I fell in love with the small town charm and the English country side. And did I mention the Discworld Emporium?
The Discworld books, and the other Pterry works, have formed a large part of my life for a very, very long time, and much of how I see the world is either influenced by the books or reflected in the books. So, going to the town of Wincanton and the Discworld emporium was, for me, a little bit like going to holy ground, a sacred space of sorts.
Despite having been a little bit of a Discworld fan for the better part of 30 years, I haven’t really done the typical fan thing and reached out to other fans, either on the internet or the outernet, nor have I been to conventions or meetups or the like. So meeting the lovely folk at the DE was both overwhelmingly intimidating and a little bit like meeting old friends for the first time. If you are lucky, like I was, to visit on a quiet day, you can spend hours chatting and laughing, mostly laughing. If you are a fan, be sure to take LOTS and LOTS of money, because you will want everything. I spent a good three hours absolutely mesmerised by every nook and cranny of the store, while my patient husband photographed everything – because I was simply too spellbound to take a single photograph.
And I got a very special shopping bag. You may say it is one of a kind, really.
If you’re a fan, there is no way you can visit the UK without visiting Wincanton.
After our extensive visit to the Discworld Emporium, we walked around the Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul. Yes, we do have a thing for churches and the like, don’t we?
We just walked around the outside, really not wanting to intrude, but found some of the old gravestones really interesting.
The date on this one reads 1826.
And on this one, it looks like 1865.
And, of course, no visit to anywhere beautiful would be complete without the obligatory picture of a doorway. I am particularly fond of this doorway.
It all sounds so wonderful, you've made me both want to read the books and visit the town now!
Thank you. And if one more person can appreciate the wonderful world of Pterry, then I am a happy person :)
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