"Lyme Regis and the Jurassic Coast" Top 5 Page for this destination Lyme Regis by ranger49

Lyme Regis Travel Guide: 46 reviews and 108 photos

A year-round destination

Over many years we have made several stops of the "passing through" kind in this famous seaside resort. These were mostly in the summer months when not only had the town been crowded but parking was always very difficult.
So we decided on a week in winter - the first in December 2010 - a week that turned out be one with the coldest temperatures on record. The snow did not last long but the frost remained and the sky was a brilliant blue.
There were fewer people about - though the weekend was busy. On week days it was lovely to stroll about and explore this fascinating town and the Jurassic Coast.
So much so we returned in April 2011 and again in September 2012.
On our first visit we have found a "home from home cottage" less than 2 hours drive from our home makes a perfect getaway.
On our third, most recent visit we had with us American relatives seeing Dorset for the first time and rented a larger house close to. Ltyme Regis I suspect we will be back again and again

The Cobb just before dusk

Lyme Regis has a history of attracting visitors from long before mass tourism became a factor. The Cobb, built about 1250 to create an artificial harbour made the town an important port with its own Customs House. As long as the port flourished and and brought trade, the town enjoyed a period of prosperity that continued until the early 18th C.
It was the discovery of the joys and benefits of seabathing towards the end of the century that revived the ailing fortunes of the town. Among the first visitors was Jane Austen who later immortalised the Cobb as the scene of an unfortunate accident in her book Persuasion (published 1818.
It was about this time that Mary Anning, a local resident, was beginning her great discoveries of the fossils to be found on the sea shore - bringing geologists, botanists and other scientists to the area and placing the new significance of Lyme Regis firmly on the map.
More recently the Cobb was one of the "stars " of the 1980 film "The French Lieutenant's Woman" based on the novel by John Fowles, also starring Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons.
Capitalising on its location, natural history, literary and artistic associations and beautiful scenery the town continues to attract many visitors throughout the year.

Snow on Golden Cap seen from Bell Cliff

The sun doesn't always shine!
It was very strange to look across the bay and see snow covered cliffs. This was not only an exceptionally cold day - never above - 6 degrees - but a very windy one too.
I was determined that day to walk to the end of the Cobb so we drove round - too windy and cold to walk along Marine Parade.
The wind seemed to have dropped so I set off, leaving John in the warmth of the RNLI shop.
I made it to the end and back but there were some worrying moments when a sudden gust seemed strong enough to blow me off my feet, amd how I wished I had the hooded cape of the French Lieutenenat's Woman to keep me warm!

On reflection - I would not again walk the Cobb on such a day. There was nobody else about, had I slipped or been blown off there would not have been one of Jane Austen's heroes to carry me to safety.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Natural beauty and natural history
  • Cons:Is it a con that people like to go there at all times?
  • In a nutshell:An all year round destination with something for everyone
  • Last visit to Lyme Regis: Sep 2012
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (6)

Comments (5)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Nov 18, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    This sounds like a fascinating place to visit, especially because of all the literary connections. Good that you didn't get blown off the Cobb!

  • evaanna's Profile Photo
    Feb 1, 2012 at 3:45 AM

    Looks like a lovely seaside town and with so much history! I knew the place from 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' first but it was nice to learn more from your page. Those bookshops sound really great! Doesn't John Fowles live at Lyme Regis?

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Jan 23, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    Another of your lovely pages! Excellent intro and photos. Ironically, I was just working on my Bermuda page, and remembered Sir George Somers hailed from Lyme Regis, then found this excellent page of yours to complete the circle of sorts. The book stores and scenery appeal to me greatly as well as anything connected to Jane Austen!

  • ettiewyn's Profile Photo
    Sep 30, 2011 at 5:56 AM

    I saw the picture of the books featured on your homepage and of course I needed to look at it! Wonderful small page on Lyme Regis (where I also want to visit on my trip).
    Like you I am a person who likes to read about a destination (I already bought so many books on the UK to prepare the trip!), and it is great that some people on VT do tips about literature!
    The bookshops you describe here sound wonderful, I bet I'll visit them! I can never pass by a bookshop, although it makes my luggage too heavy and does not go well with travelling on a budget either :-(

  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo
    Sep 10, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    Loved the industrial tip on Percy Carlyle Gilscrist and his contribution to steelmaking - exactly the sort of information I love to find on a travel destination, and somewhat unexpected in the context of Lyme!
    Having been slowly but effectively assimilated into the culture of my marriage, I am amused and impressed to see how thoroughly 'tribalised' you've become into all matters Welsh!


“Cherish the past. Adorn the present. Construct for the future - Clough Williams Ellis”

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