The unique and captivating charms of Lyme Regis have been attracting visitors for hundreds of years. The River Lym, from which the town takes its name, winds lazily through the maze of narrow streets and shops and as you wander through the town you will find traditional pubs and tea rooms, modern restaurants, galleries and historic buildings, all leading to the harbour and its famous Cobb.
Lyme’s beautiful, sheltered, south-facing beaches have recently benefited from a coastal protection scheme. Completed in 2007 the scheme has provided easier access and a larger beach area. An award winning environmental scheme has ensured Lyme has safe and clean bathing waters.
Along the seafront, newly landscaped gardens provide the ideal spot to laze away the day, relaxing and enjoying the stunning views.
Today Lyme Regis is a hub of activity with year round locally organised events including the famous Jazz Festival, Carnival & Regatta Week and Lifeboat Week. This bustling seaside resort offers a wide choice of all year round holiday activities for everyone; beach days, watersports, coastal walks, fishing trips, cycling or fossil hunting. The choice is yours.
THINGS TO DO & PLACES TO VISIT ...
Lyme Regis – Shops, galleries, the Town Mill, museum and the Aquarium
A day enjoying all that the attractive seaside town of Lyme Regis has to offer is a must for any visitor to the area. As well as the historic Cobb harbour wall, beautiful seafront gardens and lovely beaches there are plenty of attractions catering for all age groups and many special events organised throughout the year. Why not just while away an afternoon exploring the variety of independent shops and galleries, then enjoy a glorious cream tea at one of the seafront cafes. If you are staying near Lyme Regis you can take full advantage of the lively seafront theatre, small cinema and the large number of restaurants, bars and cafes serving this delightful seaside town. Attractions well worth visiting include the Town Mill, the museum and the aquarium on The Cobb.
Axminster is a pleasant, unspoilt Devon market town with charm and character. Hugh Fearnley - Whittingstall of ‘River Cottage’ TV fame has a local produce shop in Axminster which sells a wide selection of food items. The shop is annexed by the Canteen which serves meals during the day and is open for dinner Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Axminster is linked in history to the carpet that bears its name. The carpet industry was started in 1755 by Thomas Whitty whose factory produced the highest quality, custom made carpets for the country`s stately homes and mansion houses.
Bridport is a busy and thriving market town. The town has three weekly markets, including a farmer’s market. There are a wide variety of shops, restaurants and pubs. The Arts Centre and Electric Palace play host to the talents of local and national artists and musicians. Bridport Arts centre has a 200-seat theatre, three exhibition spaces and a café and bar.
Dorchester – museums, galleries, exhibitions
Spend a day discovering the county town of Dorchester packed with history and excellent family attractions as well as contemporary cafes and shops. Many thousands of years of history can be discovered here – from the Dinosaur Museum to the Iron Age hill fort at Maiden Castle to the County Museum or the Keep Military Museum - there is plenty to keep the family entertained whatever the weather. This is Casterbridge to fans of Thomas Hardy and there are many interesting links to his life to be found in the town and surrounding countryside.
Abbotsbury Swannery, Subtropical Gardens and Childrens’ Farm Having been voted the Best Family Attraction in Dorset you can be sure that the Swannery offers a great day out. The hatching season from May to early July gives the opportunity to walk among the many nests of hatching signets but there is plenty to see and do year round including a wander through the Grade One listed Subtropical Gardens with visit to the coffee house or let the kids cuddle and feed the animals in the Childrens’ Farm and let off some steam in the play area.
Chesil Beach – Portland Castle & Lighthouse
Every school geography teacher talks at some point about the amazing natural phenomena that is Chesil Beach and the Fleet tidal lagoon, but it is still breathtaking when viewed from the lookout on the Isle of Portland. Portland Castle, one of Henry VIII’s strategic stongholds is now managed by English Heritage and hosts a series of events throughout the year. The picturesque red and white lighthouse on Portland Bill offers guided tours in the summer months.
The Broadwindsor Craft and Design Centre
The Broadwindsor Craft and Design Centre is situated in the heart of West Dorset`s beautiful rolling countryside. Redundant farm buildings on the edge of the village were the starting point in 1986 for this unique venture. Today, The Craft Centre is renowned for its excellence and quality. The Centre underwent a major transformation in 2002 when an extension was built from locally quarried stone. This allowed the addition of two dedicated rooms:- The Toy Room and The Garden Gift room. The Gallery was also opened at this time displaying framed prints and a range of woodburning / multifuel, oil and electric stoves, together with iron fire grates, fireside tools, fire guards and products from Lyme Bay Forge (traditional blacksmiths). Meals and refreshments are served in the relaxed atmosphere of the Restaurant and Conservatory
The Heritage Coast Centre Charmouth
This part of the South Coast is known as The Jurassic Coastline and its wonders can best be discovered at the Heritage Coast Centre on Charmouth beach. As the cliffs erode the shoreline reveals fossils that were formed 200 million years ago. Fossil hunting can be enjoyed by those of any age and guided walks from the Heritage Coast Centre are led by knowledgeable wardens who can offer advice on where to look and what you might find.
South West Coast Path – Golden Cap and The Undercliff
Although the South West Coast Path stretches for over 600 miles the 100 miles or so that run along the West Dorset and East Devon coast World Heritage site are some of the most glorious. There are the stunning views at the top of Golden Cap (the highest point on the South Coast) to the shady jungle-like flora of the Undercliff walk between Lyme Regis and Axmouth, and so much more. This magnificent section of coast path can be enjoyed all year round.
Seaton Tramway, Seaton
Seaton Tramway operates narrow gauge heritage electric trams between the seaside town of Seaton, and the delightful small town of Colyton in East Devon`s glorious Axe Valley. This is a fun journey for young and not so young alike. Travelling alongside the River Axe estuary through two nature reserves the tram rides also offer wonderful views of the beautiful countryside and varied wading bird life.
Forde Abbey and Gardens
This former Cistercian monastery has been a private home since 1649. The impressive house and beautiful gardens have been formally open to the public since the 1950s. The gardens are now open daily throughout the year with the house open five afternoons a week during the warmer months. Forde Abbey has been named as a Silver Award Winner in the Small Visitor Attraction category of the Enjoy England Award for Excellence.
Pecorama (EX12 3NA)
Perched on the hillside above the pretty fishing village of Beer in East Devon, Pecorama offers a family day out that everyone will enjoy. The site includes beautiful landscaped gardens, Beer Heights light railway, a permanent model railway exhibition, children’s play areas, crazy golf and family entertainment during the summer season. There are stunning views across Lyme Bay and a restaurant for refreshment.
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