Lyme Regis is popularly known for The Cobb, its imposing harbour wall built from Portland stone. The Cobb features in novels by Jane Austen, who herself spent time in Lyme Regis, and in the film 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' with Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons, based on a book of the same name by local author John Fowles.
Lyme Regis is situated at the mouth of the small river Lym, which meanders its way through the heart of the town. You can visit the fully restored working watermill in the centre of Lyme Regis where regular demonstrations of milling are held. The streets are narrow and steep, rising up from the sea, and the Georgian architecture of the shops and houses reflects the town's prosperity in the 18th century when sea bathing became fashionable and helped to reverse the town's decline.
Lyme Regis marks the western end of Dorset's Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and this beautiful stretch of coastline is world famous for its fossils. The oldest fossils that have been found in Lyme Regis are 195 million years old and several of the local museums, attractions and gift shops are linked to the town's geological heritage. Lyme Regis was also home to Mary Anning, the 'greatest fossilist the world ever knew', and it was here that she found the first Ichthyosaur in 1819 and, several years later, a complete Plesiosaur and the well-preserved remains of a flying reptile.
Lyme Bay is a popular holiday destination for all types of watersports, including surfing, diving, sea angling, windsurfing and sailing. Many holidaymakers also enjoy going on mackerel fishing trips and children love beachcombing and investigating the contents of the rock pools. Other local activities include horse riding, golf and mini-golf, bowls and fly-fishing.
Although the landscape around Lyme Regis is rather hilly, the area is also an excellent location for walking and rambling holidays. To the west of Lyme Regis is the Undercliff National Nature Reserve, a truly spectacular nature reserve that spans seven miles of some of the most unspoilt coastline in England. The reserve is only accessible to walkers and the walk is quite physically demanding but if you persevere you will be rewarded by dramatic views from the cliff-top paths and an abundance of rare flora and fauna.
The accommodation in and around Lyme Regis offers something for everyone, with numerous hotels, bed and breakfasts, self-catering holiday cottages and caravan parks to choose from. So, with its wealth of activities, history, geology and beautiful scenery, visitors of all ages will enjoy their holidays, short breaks or day trips to Lyme Regis. It really is a destination for all seasons.
Lyme Regis Tourist Information Centre
Guildhall Cottage, Church Street, Lyme Regis, Dorset DT7 3BS
Tel: 01297 442138
How to reach Lyme Regis by public transport
Main train services from London Waterloo to Exeter stop at Axminster for Lyme Regis. The X31 bus is timetabled to depart shortly after trains arrive, and it is about a 15 or 20 minute journey to Lyme Regis.