Welcome to the South West coast of Dorset, and the resort/fishing port of Lyme Regis. This part of the county is steeped in history and has gained the nickname of the ‘Jurassic Coast’. Evidence of this is found on the shorelines, as crumbling cliffs reveal ancient fossils. Because of the geology of the area, and unspoilt nature of the town, it now comes under ‘World Heritage Status’ protection.
Along with the fossilised remains along the shore, Lyme Regis is also famed for its Cobb, or curving harbour wall. This wall used to shelter seafarers, and has some historic buildings at its end, one of which houses the Lyme Regis Marine Aquarium, which is open to the public. Visitors can view species of fish, lobster, and starfish, and learn about the marine heritage of the town.
Lyme Regis is also proud of its literary connections, having been the location where Jane Austen wrote Persuasion, and the setting for local author John Fowle’s book, The French Lieutenant’s Woman. One of the iconic scenes from the film version of this book, which featured Meryl Streep was also shot on the Cobb in Lyme Regis. The town also has some arty connections, thanks to Beatrix Potter, whose illustrations in Little Pig Robinson, were based on views in Lyme Regis. The town continues to be an inspiration for local painters, potters, and sculptors, and visitors can find a lot of their work in local galleries
Other shopping options include all the usual chain stores, independent shops selling jewellery, fossils, and souvenirs, along with traditional tearooms and local food outlets. Shopping areas include Broad Street, Church Street, Silver Street and Marine Parade.
Away from the shops, visitors can take part in guided fossil walks, diving and deep sea fishing trips, and guided rock pooling adventures, or join in with an event, such as Lyme Regis Jazz Festival, or Lyme Regis Lifeboat week.
If you’re looking for a peaceful unspoilt patch of coastline, that offers a range of bed and breakfasts, country house hotels, and student accommodation to visitors who want to use it as a base, then Lyme Regis is the spot for you. There are road routes mapped out from the North, East and West, a choice of 3 accessible airports, good railway links, and Jurassic Coast bus services, as well, so there’s no reason not to visit this part of Dorset!