Ramping up for another busy summer in Lyme Regis

Lyme Regis beach
Photo by Richard Austin

THE more observant of our readers may have noticed that this column was missing from the last issue of the LymeOnline newspaper, as I was enjoying a much-needed holiday in Turkey – my first trip abroad in over two years and the first deadline day I had missed in three.

It was great to take a breather and have some time to relax, but it was straight back to work on my return as Lyme’s busy season of events and festivals is now in full swing.

The Fossil Festival kicked things off over the May Bank Holiday with budding scientists excitedly exploring the stalls and activities as the festival returned in person for the first time since pre-pandemic days.

It was quickly followed last weekend by the eat:Lyme Regis food festival, which enjoyed scorching weather and bumper crowds.

I also managed to sneak in some extra street food on the Friday evening, over at the Seaton Eats Boutique market. This was the first time I had attended the event, which had a really nice relaxed vibe, and it will be repeated once a month throughout the summer so look out for future dates.

Now I think there’s something to look forward to practically every weekend through to August.

The annual May Fete – a traditional favourite for Lyme Regis families – will be held this Sunday (May 15) and then it’s back to all things fossils as the town celebrates its most famous daughter with the long-awaited unveiling of the Mary Anning statue on Saturday, May 21, followed by the lifeboat crew’s Blessing of the Boats on Sunday, May 22.

Things really ramp up in June, with a bumper Bank Holiday of celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, doubled up in Lyme Regis with the annual Jazz Jurassica festival.

I’ve been checking my diary and I’m not quite sure how we’re going to get round to all the events in Lyme, Axminster, Seaton and surrounding villages but we’ll give it our best shot and promise to bring you extensive coverage.

Other events in June will include Uplyme Village Fete on June 11 and Andy Rattenbury’s new community play, ‘Lyme at the Sea’, to be staged at the Marine Theatre between June 15 and 18. I was given a sneak preview during rehearsals this week and it’s looking great – I haven’t been able to get the songs out of my head since!

July kicks off with Uplyme’s Summer Flower & Produce Fair on July 9, followed by Lyme Regis Sausage & Cider Festival and Lyme Day of Morris, both on July 16.

And then we’re into the big ones, with Lifeboat Week kicking off on July 23 and Regatta & Carnival Week following on August 6.

The spectacular Candles on the Cobb is also set to make a return on August 28.

Lyme Folk Weekend will round off the season from September 2 to 4, although there is also mention of a new oyster festival to be hosted by local chef and restaurateur Mark Hix in September.

So get the dates in your diary – it’s set to be another bumper summer in Lyme Regis!

Our local countryside is coming alive with the joys of spring

Bluebells at The Spittles by Jane Croft

MANY of you have sent in photos over the past two weeks of the glorious sea of bluebells at The Spittles – the above sent by Jane Croft.

Our local countryside really comes alive in the spring and it’s my absolute favourite time of year to get out, explore and enjoy long walks in the fields and woodlands surrounding Lyme.

I recently shared one of my favourite walking routes in the latest edition of the Lyme Life Magazine.

The 12k circular starts on the seafront before climbing to the outskirts of Lyme and taking in The Spittles, Hole Common and Harcombe, and then looping back into town.

If you haven’t yet picked up your free copy of the Lyme Life Magazine, you can also flick through the pages on screen with our digital edition.

Unfortunately, this spring, I haven’t been able to get out and enjoy the walk myself due to an ongoing hip condition.

But today I have swapped the sunbeds of Turkey for the hospital beds of Dorchester and am writing this as I await my third steroid injection that will hopefully have me up and about again, pain-free, just in time for the last of the bluebells – and to cover another busy summer in Lyme Regis, of course!

Another person who will be walking a lot this month is Ryan Eddowes (pictured left). Born with clubfeet, he will be undertaking a painful 95-mile hike of the Jurassic Coast, stopping in Lyme Regis, to raise funds for Steps Charity Worldwide.

This is a charity I feel passionately about as it carries out research and offers support to children with lower limb conditions, including clubfoot and Perthes disease, which is the condition that caused my hip disability.

You can sponsor Ryan at https://sponsorme.charitiestrust.org/event/4ad6a932-db07-45d0-9d6c-8882dcc02268

The charity’s slogan is ‘We don’t take walking for granted’ – something I always have in my mind when I am able to get out and enjoy the amazing walking routes we have in and around Lyme Regis. Don’t ever take them for granted.

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