Lyme Regis, Dorset travel guide and Lyme Regis information

Photo of Lyme Regis in Jurassic Coast (Dorset region)

Visit Lyme Regis

Lyme Regis is a popular seaside town and resort on the coast of south-west England, to the south-west of the county of Dorset. It is at the western border of the Dorset area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The original town developed around (and because of) what is now called the 'Cobb' - the harbour wall that creates a protected harbour and dates back at least to the 13th century. This allowed the port to be one of the most important in England for several hundred years. The Cobb is also now home to the Lyme Regis Marine Aquarium, a chance to see some of the sealife that inhabits the waters off the coast.

Explore Lyme Regis

Lyme Regis is a traditional English town, very attractive with the centre standing below the Church of Saint Michael, and streets with a mix of whitewashed and brick built houses helping it retain its historical feel. It is largley unspoiled by the passage of time and one of the highlights of a visit to this part of Dorset.

The attractions of the town and its coastal position have long attracted artists and there are various art galleries to visit in the town, along with a sprinkling of cafes and teashops - not surprisingly locally caught fish is the recommended dish to try when you visit!

Lyme Regis museum

There is also a very popular sandy beach in Lyme Regis as well as a longer rocky beach.

One other small highlight in Lyme Regis is the medieval flour mill, retained much as it was 600 years ago. A pleasant river walk leads to the mill and you can visit the working mill that has been restored by volunteers. The upper floor has information about the mill's history and other flours have shops and even a micro-brewery. Admission is free though a small donation is welcome.

Not surprisingly given the town's association with Mary Anning, the 19th century fossil hunter who discovered many important fossils in the cliffs near Lyme Regis, there are two small fossil museums - the Lyme Regis Museum, also with many items explaining the history of the town; and the Dinosaurland Fossil Museum, plus a couple of opportunities to buy fossils in 'fossil shops' if you can't find any on the beach yourself...

If you want to look for fossils sign up to do the fossil walk. The guides are very interesting and will show you where to look. Entrance to the Lyme Regis Museum is included in the price of the fossil walk.

Lyme Regis Walks

Outside Lyme Regis itself it is the impressive scenery (and fossil hunters paradise) of the cliffs of the Jurassic coast, a listed world heritage site that stretches a great distance along the Dorset and East Devon Coast, that is the big attraction. One of the best ways to appreciate this is to follow part of the Dorset Coast Path (part of the South-West Coast Path) which continues east from Lyme Regis all the way to Poole.

Many other marked trails are available both inland and on the coast - one popular walk that takes about an hour is to follow the beach from Lyme regis to Charmouth, although care is needed because of both tides and possible rock falls.

The Undercliff is just a short distance out of town and is one of the first of Britain's National Nature Reserves. A steep and winding path leads from Lyme Regis to Seaton.

Lyme Regis beach

Lyme Regis in literature

Book lovers will also know of Lyme Regis as the home of fictional character Sarah Woodruff, the main character in John Fowles' book called 'The French Lieutenants Woman' who passes her time staring out to sea from the Cobb, while Jane Austen's novel Persuasion is also partly set in the town. The 'Cobb' was used in the filming of both 'The French Lieutenants Woman' and 'Persuasion'.

Lyme Regis events

There are a number of popular events in Lyme Regis. At the end of May there is the Lyme Regis Jazz and Blues festival which takes place over 4 days. Earlier in May over a weekend is the Lyme Regis Fossil festival with lots of specialist talks and interactive events. At the end of July there is the Lyme Regis and Charmouth Lifeboat Week and in August there is the Lyme Regis Regatta and Carnival week.

Places to visit nearby

The lovely little villages of Beer and Branscombe are both nearby and well worth a visit.

See also:

Photos of Lyme Regis

Click any picture to start the gallery

  • beach-houses
  • beach-huts
  • beach
  • clock
  • coast
  • cottages
  • hills
  • museum-shop
  • museum
  • old-houses
  • pebble-beach
  • tourist-information

Map of Lyme Regis and places to visit

Lyme Regis places to visit

See more places nearby in the Dorset guide