Visit Lyme Regis and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Lyme Regis, Dorset. A busy medieval port and cloth town with a part in several of history's dramas, it became, in the mid-18th century, one of the first seaside resorts in the South-West, beloved of Jane Austen and the society of Bath. And it remains a small resort, exceptionally beautifully situated, sloping to its wide, hill-cliffed bay, the beaches.
There were three outstanding moments in its history: in 1588 when the first skirmish between Drake's fleet (including five local ships) and the Armada took place in its bay; in 1644 when, strongly supporting Parliament, it withstood a two-month-long Royalist siege; and 1685 when the Duke of Monmouth and his followers landed on its beach before raising the rebellion. Another of a different sort was in 1811, when the 12-year-old Mary Anning found the famous fossilized ichthyosaurus in the rocks at Black Ven, 1 mile East along the shore.
Perhaps its most attractive place is the old harbour called the Cobb, a little West of the town centre, first built c. 1300 for fishermen, now thick with pleasure boats. Monmouth landed a few yards to the West and subsequently 12 of his local supporters were hanged there. You can walk to it along the sea-front or drive from beside the A3052 car park up the hill.
In the town, the mainly l5th-century church, said to be sliding gradually down the hill, is interesting and quite handsome. It is built on three levels, its west porch being the nave of a Norman church on the site. It has a good l7th-century pulpit and gallery and, on the north wall, a probably 16th-century tapestry which may depict Henry VIII's marriage. The nearby Town Hall (1887-8) contains a museum of local history including good fossils. The River Lym, which drove the town's medieval cloth mills, still surges powerfully through it, and the narrow Coombe Street (best walked) leads pleasantly to an area of converted mills, in Pound Street, the way out to the West, the Peek Memorial Chapel, made from a stable in 1844, is colourfully Victorian.
All around Lyme Bay bits of the sandstone-topped blue has cliffs periodically flake away, and occasionally there are mighty landslips. The greatest of these was on Christmas Day 1839 when, about 3 miles West of the town, some 40 acres collapsed opening a chasm a mile long and up to 400 ft wide. At various times since, virtually the whole coast to the mouth of the River Axe has drastically changed face. Most of “the landslip” is now a National Nature Reserve. A path from the A3052 car park leads to it. The walk is rewarding but often muddy and overgrown and definitely not for the weak-hearted. Keep well clear of cliff edges.
Nearby towns: Axminster, Bridport, Charmouth, Colyton, Crewkerne, Honiton, Sidmouth
Nearby villages: Axmouth, Beer, Blackdown, Broadwindsor, Burstock, Chardstock, Chideock, Churchill, Colyford, Colyton, Combpyne, Dalwood, Ham, Hawkchurch, Kilmington, Lyme Regis, Marshwood, Membury, Morecombelake, Musbury, Pilsdon, Rousdon, Seaton, Shute, Stoke Abbott, Thorncombe, Uplyme, Whitchurch Canonicor, Wootton Fitzpaine, Wyke
Have you decided to visit Lyme Regis or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Lyme Regis bed and breakfast (a Lyme Regis B&B or Lyme Regis b and b)
- a Lyme Regis guesthouse
- a Lyme Regis hotel (or motel)
- a Lyme Regis self-catering establishment, or
- other Lyme Regis accommodation