Tourist information guide to Lyme Regis, a famous historic resort with cobb harbour, history, geology and activities.
Dorset, South West (the West Country), UK
Explore this guide and see what this beautiful resort and ancient fishing port has to offer the visitor, children and holiday maker. There are a great many interesting pastimes, activities and recreational facilities. You will find this site is ideal for holidays, vacations and short breaks.
Where Dorset meets Devon and the rolling countryside tumbles down to the sea nestles the fascinating town of Lyme Regis. For centuries sea travellers have sought the protection of its ancient Cobb Harbour.
Visitors have enjoyed its dramatic location (look at the maps), congenial weather, timeless charm and the hospitality of its townsfolk. Today the welcome is as warm as ever. From the crest of Timber Hill a magnificent view of the bay lies before you with the blue sea above the ragged rooftops of the town, embracing and beckoning. The delightful maze of steep, narrow streets with their interesting architecture, shops and cafes just begs to be explored.
Deservedly designated a area of outstanding natural beauty, the coastline; is also famous for its fossil finds – but more of that later.
Whether you come to the resort for its history, its geology, for its walks, nature trails, its sporting facilities or just to relax on the beaches and soak up the sun and atmosphere of this unique and favoured town, what is certain is that once experienced, the resort will soon weave its spell and you’ll keep coming back for more. The West Country is ideal for walking vacations.
A WEALTH OF HISTORY
It is an ancient town – its roots stretch back to the 18th century when monks distilled salt from the seaside water.
The sea has, of course, been central to the community’s development; the famous Cobb breakwater, first constructed in the 13th century from massive oak beams and boulders, provided essential harbour protection for the development of a thriving trading port.
And that unique spirit, which still characterises the town, thrust this small corner of the West Country into the centre of the nation’s affairs when, supporting Parliament, Lyme-Regis was caught up in the Civil War. In 1644 Royalist troops attacked the town and the Siege of Lyme, still remembered today, lasted two months and claimed many lives.
It was here in 1685 that the Duke of Monmouth landed in pursuit of the Royal Crown; his subsequent capture at the Battle of Sedgemoor also sent twelve local men, numbered among his supporters, to their deaths.
Today you will find frequent reminders of Lyme’s multi-faceted past: cannons survive as reminders of past battles; fossils on show in the Museum and under foot on the beaches, hark back to pre-history; the changing strata of the cliffs tangible evidence of the landslips past and present. And there’s much more – do visit the splendid newly refurbished Philpot Museum (next to the Guildhall), the fascinating fossil shops and, of course, St. Michael’s Parish Church where in the quiet churchyard, Lyme Regis’s own palaeontologist, Mary Anning, lies at rest.
Since the 18th century visitors have sought the tranquillity of Lyme’s shores as a welcome haven for refreshment and recreation. Tourism is now the town’s main industry but despite the numbers who return here year after year, the determination to preserve the town’s heritage has protected against that creeping commercialisation which so often besets resorts today. So do come and enjoy the delights of our town. There south facing beaches sheltered from the weather and safe bathing with sea water quality now of the highest standard; the sunny sandbar overlooking the harbour and traffic free promenade create an environment where children can play safely.
Explore the old town; trace the route of the old River Lym through medieval back streets; browse unhurriedly among a wealth of interesting shops – antique, books, studios, cafes and pubs.
There are walks through attractive Langmoor Gardens with their spectacular sea views and entertain the family with a game of mini golf or table tennis; or stroll down to the nearby harbour for fishing or boat trips.
In short – whatever your taste – there’s something here for everyone!
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