The gateway to the Dorset Jurassic Coast, Lyme Regis provides a good base for visiting walkers. It's easy to reach on public transport with direct trains from London to Axminster taking around 2.5 hours from where it’s a short 20 minute bus ride on a regular service to Lyme Regis (or take a taxi which we can book or provide numbers for).
The main attraction in Lyme is the historic medieval harbour known as The Cobb, made infamous by the film of the French Lieutenants Woman. The simple and iconic structure was originally made of oak piles driven into the seabed with boulders stacked between them. With a drink from the Cobb Arms in hand this is the spot in the evening to watch the sunset over the ocean.
The town received its Royal Charter in 1248 and it was here that the Duke of Monmouth landed at the start of the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685. The town has long inspired artistic and literary visitors including Tolkien, Tennyson and Jane Austen who set the novel ‘Persuasion’ here. There are excellent facilities with plenty of restaurants, pubs and cafes as well as an interesting selection of galleries and shops to explore in the old town which dates from the 14th century.
An impressive working watermill dating from 1340 has been restored and is well worth visiting particularly as a small brewery is now on site here! Fossil fever is the obsession however, and there are several fossil shops. If you want to take a guided fossil walk this is the place to do it, starting with the ‘Ammonite Pavement’ where hundreds of them lie exposed in the flat rock.
Walkers heading onward on the Jurassic Coast may well want to spend two nights here and take advantage of the chance to walk the surreal and unique Downlands Undercliff section of the South West Coast Path, as close to a jungle walk as you will get on the coast path.
CLICK HERE to read about this 8.5 mile section which is the last days walk for those arriving in Lyme Regis from the Exmouth direction.