The charm of Lyme Regis in Dorset stretches right back to its Regency heyday and beyond. Tea rooms jostle for prominence in the busy high street amongst craft shops, ice cream parlours and art studios. Elegant Georgian buildings bedecked with summer bunting make a pretty picture, leading down to the harbour, known as the Cobb. Fishing and boat trips are regular activities from the Cobb if you’ve a mind to see the catch of the day or head out onto the open sea yourselves. But do be careful as you ‘walk the wall’ – this is the very same wall that Meryl Streep clung to in the film adaptation of novel The French Lieutenant’s Woman amidst stormy seas and gales. Not to be attempted in inclement weather!
An arguably more famous lady associated with the Lyme Regis coast is Mary Anning. The Dorset coast was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 2001 with rocks spanning 185 million years of Earth’s history. Mary Anning was born in Lyme Regis and has recently been hailed by the Natural History Museum as ‘the greatest fossil hunter’. Mary is credited with finding complete fossil remains of the Plesiosaurus and Dimorphodon in the 1820s which are exceedingly rare pieces even today. If you fancy hunting for fossils on your visit to Lyme head to the Lyme Regis Museum. Guided walks are available and there’s also a new interactive fossil gallery which opened earlier this year.
Should you find yourself in Lyme when the weather turns head for The Town Mill. A 10 year restoration project taken on by local volunteers has seen the Mill returned to full working order. There are plenty of activities for everyone during the summer months with kids invited to bake their wackiest breads. Great British Bake Off eat your heart out. The Mill is a real hive of activity and a base for makers of seemingly every variety. You’ll find a silversmith, a seamstress, a potter a stonemason and plenty of opportunities to pick up a unique memento from this splendid Dorset town.