A central spot on the UNESCO-listed Jurassic Coast, Lyme Regis is a fossil-lover’s dream destination with its ancient rocks, prehistoric fossils, undercliffs and modern palaeontology museums. There are also plenty of sandy beaches, microbreweries, art galleries and trendy cafes.
Things to do
Lyme Regis Museum celebrates the life and work of local resident Mary Anning who unearthed the world’s first complete ichthyosaur skeleton in 1814 and later became a renowned fossilist. You can browse an impressive collection of fossils and prehistoric artefacts housed in her former home.
Travelling with the family? Children love exploring Dinosaurland Fossil Museum, which houses fossilised remnants, including a plesiosaurus, an exhibition of belemnites and a local ichthyosaur. You can also see life-size dinosaur models, tyrannosaur eggs and dinosaur faeces.
Spend the afternoon at Monmouth Beach, a sandy strip along the Jurassic Coast known as a place for stumbling upon ammonites, plant fossils and belemnites. The beach leads to the famous 13th-century Cobb sea defences and the 200-million-year-old Ware Cliffs that are featured in Jane Austen novels and in “The French Lieutenant's Woman” movie.
Town Mill, located within a watermill from the 1300s, offers art galleries, microbreweries and jewellery shops. Join locals for garlic fritters and Lyme Bay seafood at Courtyard Cafe or indulge in the chef’s preparation of meats from Chesil Smokery. Drive five minutes to Charmouth village for lunch or tea, then join a fossil-hunting walk at Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre.
Lyme-Regis is pedestrian-friendly and offers bike rentals in town or along the coast. Buses and taxis are available or you can rent a car at Exeter International Airport, about 45 kilometres away.