town and civil parish in Dorset, England

Lyme Regis is a seaside town in south-west Dorset in the West Country of England.

Excerpt from Persuasion by Jane Austen

The Cobb at Lyme Regis
They were come too late in the year for any amusement or variety which Lyme, as a public place, might offer. The rooms were shut up, the lodgers almost all gone, scarcely any family but of the residents left; and, as there is nothing to admire in the buildings themselves, the remarkable situation of the town, the principal street almost hurrying into the water, the walk to the Cobb, skirting round the pleasant little bay, which, in the season, is animated with bathing machines and company; the Cobb itself, its old wonders and new improvements, with the very beautiful line of cliffs stretching out to the east of the town, are what the stranger’s eye will seek; and a very strange stranger it must be, who does not see charms in the immediate environs of Lyme, to make him wish to know it better.

Understand edit

Lyme Regis is a historic unspoiled seaside resort and fishing port on the world-famous Cobb Harbour. Surrounded by beautiful coastlines and countryside, the area has now been awarded World Heritage Site Status; famous for its geology and fossil finds.

The town is famous for "The Cobb", a large harbour wall, that has been featured in novels by Jane Austen (who was a frequent visitor to Lyme Regis). It was used as a location in Persuasion, a film of Jane Austen's novel, and in the film The French Lieutenant's Woman, starring Meryl Streep, based on the book of the same name by local writer John Fowles.

Lyme Regis was the location for the film Ammonite, based on the life of local 19th-century pioneer fossil-hunter Mary Anning, starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan.

The town's name was just "Lyme" until it was granted a Royal Charter in 1284 by King Edward I. This charter is so old that the original Latin word "Regis" is used instead of the usual "Royal" prefix as with Leamington Spa, Tunbridge Wells and Wootton Bassett.

Visitor information edit

Get in edit

By rail edit

South Western Railway has two off-peak services:

Lyme Regis is on bus service routes X51, Axminster-Dorchester, and X53, Axminster-Weymouth, both of which run from Axminster station.

By bus edit

In addition to the X51 and X53, services include the 9A Seaton to Lyme Regis

Parking edit

  • Charmouth Road Long Stay Car Park, Charmouth Road, DT7 3DR. has Toilets, Motorhome spaces and steps down to the seafront.
  • Holmbush Car Park, Charmouth Road, DT7 3DR. Has no height barriers.
  • Monmouth Beach Car Park, DT7 3JN. Has no height barriers but tends to be unsuitable for large vehicles.[dead link]

Get around edit

One very good way to get around is to walk. Lyme Regis is on the South West Coast path and there are many circular routes from and around Lyme Regis - the area is very steep in places.

Damory Coaches[dead link] operate a town bus service.

See edit

Library Cottage
  • 1 The Cobb. A large harbour wall, that has featured in novels by Jane Austen (who lived for a time in Lyme Regis) and in the film The French Lieutenant's Woman, based on the book of the same name by local writer John Fowles.
  • 2 The Town Mill, Mill Lane, DT7 3PU, +44 1297 444042. Daily 11AM-4PM, subject to volunteer availability; galleries daily 10:30AM-4:30PM. A fully working watermill, restored and re-opened in 2001; tours available. The site is also occupied by galleries, craft workshops, cafe and micro-brewery. Email via contact form on the website.
  • 3 Lyme Regis Museum, Bridge Street, DT7 3QA, +44 1297 443370, . Built on the site of Mary Anning’s home. Includes collections of fossils, maritime and domestic objects, paintings, prints and photographs. The town’s literary connections, from Jane Austen to John Fowles and Tracy Chevalier, are illustrated in the Writers’ Gallery.    
  • 4 Dinosaurland Fossil Museum, Coombe Street, DT7 3PY, +44 1297 443541, . Daily 10AM-5PM from February half term to end of October half term. Winter opening hours vary - please check before visiting.. A traditional museum, with more than 12,000 specimens on permanent display. £5 adults; £4 children 5 to 16; under 5s free; family ticket (2 adults + 2 children) £16.

Do edit

  • Fossil hunting. In front of the cliffs by the beach. There are lots of fossilised ammonites in the sediment layers in the cliffs, and as weathering occurs, the cliffs are eroded and the fossils are left on the beach. The best time to go hunting is in Spring, when the winter's storms have exposed many fossils. Most are small, some are the size of your palm, and one or two are surprisingly large — up to a metre in diameter!
  • Crazy Golf (in Langmoor Gardens overlooking the Promenade.).
  • Relax on the Beach. Where you get fantastic views of England's first natural World Heritage Site – the Jurassic Coast.
  • 1 Marine Theatre, Church St, DT7 3QA, +44 1297 442138, . Varied programme of theatre, music, comedy, films and other events. For booking information, check the website.

Events edit

  • Jazz Jurassica: . Community-based music festival in early June featuring "cool jazz, gritty blues and sassy soul". (date needs fixing)
  • Lyme Regis Lifeboat Week: . Events and activities throughout late July for everyone. (date needs fixing)
  • Lyme Regis Regatta and Carnival Week: . Over 60 events throughout early August for the whole family raising money for local good causes. (date needs fixing)
  • Lyme Folk Weekend: . A folk music festival in early September. (date needs fixing)
  • Lyme Lunge: , . A fancy dress dip for charity on New Year's Day in the balmy waters of Lyme Bay off the Sandy Beach, Lyme Regis. Join 400-plus swimmers and start the year with a whole lot of fun. (date needs fixing)

Buy edit

Fish on the Cobb.

Crab fishing equipment for fishing off the Cobb.

Eat edit

Local seafood specialities include Lyme Bay crab, which is available at any fishmonger in the wider region, and is on the menu at several local restaurants as a starter or the centrepiece of a crab salad.

  • 1 Tierra Kitchen, 1a Coombe Street, DT7 3PY, +44 1297 445189, . Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM. Fresh, 100% homemade vegetarian and vegan food to eat in or take away, with a strong Mediterranean influence using the best local, seasonal and organic produce in West Dorset and East Devon. Deli also stocks organic vegetables, a large range of vegetarian wholefoods and hard-to-find ingredients.
  • 2 Town Mill Bakery, Coombe Street, DT7 3PY, +44 1297 444754, . Th - M 9:00AM-2:00PM. Artisan bakery cafe. Open for breakfast, brunch and lunch.
  • 3 Italia, 14-15 Monmouth Street, DT7 3PX, +44 1297 442123. Daily 5:00-9:00PM. Family-friendly Italian restaurant. Takeaways also available.
  • There are also a few fish and chip shops, and a wide choice of pubs serving food.
  • Tom's, Marine Parade DT7 3JQ, +44 1297 816018. Th 5PM-8:30PM, F-M 9:30AM-8:30PM. Informal seafood restaurant on the beachfront.
  • Oyster & Fish House, Cobb Rd DT7 3JP, +44 1297 446910. Tu 5:30PM-9PM, W-Sa noon-9PM, Su noon-3PM. Chic seafood restaurant above the harbour.
  • Robin Wylde, Silver Street DT7 3HR, +44 7308 079427. Th-Sa 6PM-10PM. Fine dining part-sourced from wild food.

Drink edit

Pubs edit

The Pilot Boat Inn
The Rock Point Inn

Sleep edit

Connect edit

As of May 2022, Lyme Regis has 4G from all UK carriers, though the signal is patchy with Vodafone. 5G has not reached this area.

Go next edit

This city travel guide to Lyme Regis is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.