The pretty town of Lyme Regis lies on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast and offers visitors an idyllic coastal holiday destination. Here you can explore fossil-strewn beaches and rugged cliffs, wander cobblestone streets, and discover quaint shops, cosy cafes and fabulous restaurants.

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Did you know? A local’s guide to Lyme Regis holidays…

Things to do in Lyme Regis

Lyme Regis is fondly referred to as The Pearl Of Dorset and has plenty for you to see and do during your visit. Stroll along the promenade where colourful beach huts dot the shoreline. Visit historic landmarks and attractions or experience the beauty of the coast on foot or by boat. Lyme Regis holidays can be as relaxing or adventurous as you like.

Cobb Harbour

The 13th Century stone breakwater Cobb Harbour is one of Lyme Regis’ most recognisable landmarks and has often featured in literature and film, most famously the scene from John Fowles novel The French Lieutenant’s Woman. It offers panoramic views of the town and the surrounding coastline and visitors can take in the scenery, relive that famous scene from the movie, or watch fishing boats come and go.

Lyme Regis Marine Aquarium

A great day out for all the family. The Lyme Regis Marine Aquarium which sits right on the Cobb Harbour, offers a fascinating peek into the diverse marine life of the Jurassic Coast. Visitors can view displays of local sea creatures, from colourful fish to sea-dwelling crustaceans. Educational exhibits highlight the importance of marine conservation, making it an enriching experience for all ages.

Lyme Regis Museum

Set right in the heart of Lyme Regis, the Lyme Regis Museum is a treasure trove of local history and geology. It celebrates the town’s rich heritage, including its renowned fossil discoveries and connections to famous figures like Mary Anning. With interactive exhibits, artifacts, and engaging displays, the museum provides insight into the area’s geological significance and its impact on scientific understanding.

The Town Mill

Found along the picturesque River Lym, The Town Mill is a charming cultural hub in Lyme Regis. This historic watermill complex features art galleries, artisan shops, and a working waterwheel, offering visitors a glimpse into traditional craftsmanship and local creativity. With its tranquil surroundings and vibrant atmosphere, The Town Mill is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

The Mary Anning Walk

Named in honour of the renowned fossil hunter Mary Anning, the Mary Anning Walk takes visitors on a journey through Lyme Regis’s fossil-rich coastline. This scenic trail follows in the footsteps of Anning, exploring the cliffs and beaches where she made her ground-breaking discoveries. Along the way, walkers can admire stunning views of the Jurassic Coast and learn about the area’s prehistoric past.

Jurassic Coast

Possibly one of Dorset’s best-known features. Stretching along the Dorset and East Devon coastline, the Jurassic Coast is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its geological significance and natural beauty. Lyme Regis serves as a gateway to this ancient landscape, offering visitors the opportunity to explore dramatic cliffs, hidden coves, and fossil-strewn beaches. From thrilling fossil hunts to leisurely coastal walks, the Jurassic Coast captivates adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike with its rich heritage and stunning scenery.

The South West Coast Path

For outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure, the South West Coast Path offers one of the best ways to explore the rugged beauty of the Jurassic Coast. Stretching over 600 miles along the southwest coast of England, this national treasure passes through Lyme Regis, offering outstanding views of the coastline and access to hidden gems like secluded beaches and ancient landmarks. Whether hiking a short section or embarking on a multi-day trek, the South West Coast Path promises unforgettable experiences amidst some of England’s most spectacular scenery.

Eating Out in Lyme Regis

Lilac Restaurant & Wine Bar

This ultra chic spot can be found in a stunning 400 year old cellar on Broad Street, just a two minute walk from the seafront. It’s also our top recommendation for anyone who loves specialist wine and elegant food pairing.

Here the focus is on ‘quality, vegetables, seasonality, locality, reduction of waste and sustainability’. You’ll discover a concise menu with a selection of carefully curated small plates and nibbles which can be enjoyed with a range of exceptional organic wines.

The Lyme Bay Café & Bar

Fancy your fish supper to be accompanied by extravagant sea views? Well then, this is the place. Overlooking the bay and with Jurassic Coast panoramas reaching all the way to the famous Cobb Harbour, The Lyme Bay Café is the perfect spot. Enjoy family feasts either out on the sun-drenched terrace, or inside the tastefully rustic dining area with floor to ceiling glass.

From the staff to the food, the restaurant centres around ‘local’. Expect a warm welcome, as well as fresh, seasonal ingredients used in all the dishes ranging from Lyme Bay Fish & Chips, to Smash Burgers and Massaman Curry.

Town Mill Bakery

Arguably one of the hippest places in town to grab coffee as well as a fabulous brekkies, brunch or lunch! There’s very much a down to earth atmosphere here with a convivial set up of shared benches and tables, and you can choose to eat either inside or out.

The coffee is out of this world and is made using the single origin Cast Iron Espresso from Bristol artisan coffee makers Extract Coffee Roasters. The food is freshly prepared using locally sourced produce and beautiful ingredients.

We crave the Baker’s Breakfast with sausage, bacon, poached egg, roasted cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and house mixed beans on their award-winning sourdough toast. Oh, and about that sourdough – you can order freshly baked loaves to take back to your Lyme Regis holiday home too!

Baboo Gelato

No seaside holiday would be complete without indulging in an ice-cream (every day!) and thankfully Lyme Regis has one of the best spots to grab one of these sweet treats. Award-winning Baboo Gelato makes its artisanal small-batch gelato using fresh milk from Holy Cow in Somerset, and adds only natural and seasonal ingredients to infuse their fabulous flavours.

We love Blackcurrant Ripple, Maple & Walnut, and Chocolate Orange. For those who prefer to steer clear of dairy, there are delicious sorbets on offer too, including refreshing Pear, Pineapple, and Sicilian Blood Orange.

Poco Pizza

Adding a touch of the Med to your English seaside holiday. This small, friendly restaurant overlooking the Lyme Regis Beach is our go-to for thoroughly authentic Italian pizza. Their ethos of delivering uncompromisingly good quality means the Poco team keeps the menu small, so that each Roman style pizza is handmade on a thin crispy base with beautifully charred edges and authentic toppings.

Our favourite is the Zucca with pumpkin sauce, basil, mozzarella, sun-dried tomato, rocket and parmesan. Order takeaway or eat in and enjoy wonderful views over the beach and sea from the upstairs terrace.

 

Beaches in Lyme Regis

Lyme Regis is renowned for its stunning coastline and beautiful beaches. This is a place that embraces all the best things about being by the sea, which means you’ll have the very best of the southwest’s coast at your fingertips.

Lyme Regis Town Beach

First up is the main town beach. Located near the historic Cobb Harbour, it offers clear waters, and wonderful views of the famous Jurassic Coastline. Front Beach is partly sandy, partly shingle with a gentle slope into the sea.

This is the perfect spot for family days out too with fub activities like Banana Boat and Ringo rides available through Lyme Bay Water Sports. Of course the water is also excellent for paddle boarding, swimming and kayaking with SUP lessons available through Boylo’s Watersports and kayak hire available through Lyme Kayak Hire (both located on Marine Parade)

Monmouth Beach

A quieter option for your beach-based excursions, the mile long Monmouth Beach (which happens to be dog-friendly all year round), is largely pebbles and rocks and is an excellent spot for fossil hunting too. Characterised by its row of beach huts, it’s the perfect place to beachcomb, paddle and sit to admire the sunset over Lyme Bay.

Its abundance of fossils makes it a hot spot for fossil collectors and when the tide goes out, if you walk to the far end of the beach, you’ll witness the famous ammonite pavement, a layer of limestone featuring numerous large fossils.

Tours and walks of the beach and its amazing fossils are offered through the museum so if you’re looking to make a full day of all things prehistoric, this is the place.

Church Cliff Beach

A bit of a hidden gem, this small, secluded beach is part sand, part shingle and is tucked away beneath the cliffs of Lyme Regis. Accessed via steps down from Church Cliff Walk, it’s only exposed at low tide, completely submerging when the water is high.

If you want to escape the crowds, this quieter alternative offers a peaceful spot for sunbathing and sandcastle-building. Dogs are permitted off their leads, all year round.

East Cliff Beach

Located to the east of Lyme Regis, this pebble beach is the furthest beach to the east towards Charmouth and offers stunning views of the coastline and the town. It’s a great spot for a peaceful stroll with your dogs who are welcome here off the lead all year round, and of course fossil-hunting.

The area is however well known for landslides, so visitors are cautioned to stay away from the cliffs. It’s also advised that you check the tide times before going, as the beach is cut off at high tide. There are guided trips to learn how to find fossils safely, especially after storms when new fossils are exposed.

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