FROM sunbathing to storm watching, Lyme Regis is the perfect holiday destination all year round.
Visitors and residents can enjoy water sports, sailing, fishing and boat trips, while on-land attractions include fossil hunting, museums, an aquarium and varied cultural programme at the Marine Theatre.
The town also boasts a plethora of independent shops and wide selection of pubs and restaurants. See our Local Directory for more details.
A busy programme of festivals and special events is enjoyed every year, including Lyme Regis Lifeboat Week and Regatta & Carnival. The town also has active art and sporting communities, as well as an increasing reputation as a ‘foodie’ destination.
See below for more details on local attractions, fossil hunting on the Jurassic Coast, dog friendly Lyme Regis, green initiatives, how to get here and accommodation…
Beaches & Fossil Hunting
Lyme Regis offers a variety of both pebble and sandy beaches. The main beach along the stretch of Marine Parade is enjoyed by families throughout the year and is where you can find most of the recreational facilities. This area underwent major redevelopment, completed in 2007, as part of the Lyme Regis environmental improvement scheme, protecting the seafront from high tides and storms. The upper-level of Marine Parade is largely traffic free with a selection of restaurants and takeaways, while beach huts line the lower Cart Road.
Monmouth Beach, to the west of the Cobb, is popular for both dog walkers and fossil hunters. It’s named after the Duke of Monmouth, who landed there in 1685 during his ill-fated attempt to overthrown King James II. Monmouth Beach is also known for the ‘ammonite pavement’, a layer of limestone containing large ammonite fossils.
Church Cliff Beach and East Beach are found at the east of the town and have also both seen complete transformation in recent years during the Lyme Regis environmental improvement scheme. A new seawall along the bottom of East Cliff was completed in June 2015 and, beyond this, you can explore the rock pools or walk to Charmouth at low tide. This area is also popular for fossil hunting but is extremely prone to landslides.
Always check tide times and seek advice from Lyme Regis Tourist Information Centre or Lyme Regis Museum when planning a walk along the beach, cliffs or fossil hunting.
Attractions & Facilities
As well as the beaches and fossil hunting, there’s plenty of other attractions to keep the whole family entertained:
Lyme Regis Museum – Home to one of the finest collections of fossils on the Jurassic Coast and featuring the fascinating life story of Lyme Regis fossil hunter Mary Anning. Exhibitions also cover the town’s colourful history and literary connections, while activities include regular talks, children’s workshops and fossil walks.
Dinosaurland Fossil Museum – A traditional fossil museum with more than 12,000 specimens on permanent display. You can easily get lost in the Jurassic era as you explore this spectacular collection.
Marine Theatre – Offering a vibrant programme of entertainment throughout the year, including live music, film screenings, comedy, plays and community events.
Town Mill – A working watermill in the heart of ‘Old Lyme’, dating back 700 years. The Town Mill is a hidden gem and celebrates Lyme Regis’ art scene, with galleries, local artisans and craftspeople working in its studios, as well as a café and micro-brewery. You can also enjoy a tour of the mill itself and have a go at milling your own flour.
Marine Aquarium – Situated on the historic Cobb wall, this aquarium can offer close-up and hands-on experiences like no other. Explore the local marine life, hold a starfish, get up close to crabs and lobsters and even hand-feed the mullet.
Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre – A visitor centre housing a vast collection of fossils, including the incredible ichthyosaur that starred in the BBC documentary ‘Attenborough and the Sea Dragon’. The centre also offers advice on how to make your own discovery and runs regular guided fossil walks and other events.
Lyme Regis Amusement Arcade – A traditional seaside arcade packed with enough games to keep youngsters (and the young at heart) entertained for hours!
Langmoor & Lister Gardens – The public gardens are maintained by Lyme Regis Town Council. Having undergone major stabilisation works completed in 2007, they now provide a tranquil oasis all year round. Attractions in the gardens include mini golf, table tennis, woodland walk, a sculpture trail and coloured light displays in the evenings.
Beach huts – Beach huts along Marine Parade are available to hire from Lyme Regis Town Council.
Skatepark – The skatepark opened in 2016 and can be found in Charmouth Road car park.
Anning Road play park – Having recently undergone complete refurbishment, the Anning Road play park is a great facility for younger children with a Jurassic and pirate theme. The playing field also includes a football pitch, basketball area and BMX track.
Shopping – Lyme proudly boasts a wide variety of independent and unique shops selling clothes, toys, gifts, homeware, artwork, food and drink and, of course, fossils. You can easily spend an afternoon exploring the town’s quaint streets and picking up gifts for loved ones – or a treat for yourself!
Sporting activities – Sports fans can make use of Lyme Regis golf course, one of the finest in the South West with stunning views across Lyme Bay, or cheer on the Seasiders at Lyme Regis Football Club. Why not combine the new with a round at the nine-hole Jurassic Footgolf course, or enjoy a game at Lyme Regis Bowling Club? In neighbouring Uplyme, you can watch our local cricket team or book a slot at the tennis courts.
Coastal walks – Walkers can make use of the South West Coast Path or routes around the local countryside, including a hike up Golden Cap to the east of the town – the highest peak on the south coast – or the Undercliff National Nature Reserve to the west, one go the highlights of the Jurassic Coast. Always seek advice from Lyme Regis Tourist Information Centre before walking along the cliffs.
Water sports – Nestled in the heart of the sheltered Lyme Bay, Lyme Regis also offers great sporting and leisure opportunities on the water, including the following:
- Lyme Regis Sailing Club
- Lyme Regis Power Boat Club
- Lyme Regis Gig Club
- Lyme Kayak Hire
- Boylos Stand-Up Paddle Boarding
- Lyme Rib Rides
- Lyme Bay Water Sports
- Fishing Trips & Boat Rides – see signs at the Cobb for daily trips during summer
Events & Festivals
Lyme Regis hosts a busy calendar of major events and festivals all through the year. Covering everything from food to music to science, there’s something to suit the whole family!
Annual events include the Easter Bonnet Parade, Fossil Festival, May Fete, Jazz Jurassica, Guitars On The Beach, Busking Festival, Sausage & Cider Festival, Lifeboat Week, Regatta & Carnival Week, Lyme Folk Weekend, Food Rocks, Bonfire & Firework Night, Remembrance Sunday Parade, Christmas Lights Switch-On, Charmouth Christmas Day Swim and the Lyme Lunge.
Venues such as the Marine Theatre offer a varied programme of entertainment throughout the year, and Lyme’s pubs and bars regularly host live music and DJ sets.
For full details of all upcoming events, visit our What’s On page.
Eating Out & Self-Catering
In recent years Lyme Regis has built up its reputation as a ‘foodie’ destination. There’s no shortage of restaurants, cafés, bars and takeaways to choose from so you’re bound to find something to suit all tastes – from traditional fish and chips to fine dining!
If you prefer self-catering, there are also plenty of independent shops offering the finest local produce, as well as two small supermarkets in the town and larger outlets within a seven-mile drive.
Dog Friendly Lyme Regis
Lyme Regis is dog friendly with many restaurants, pubs and businesses allowing dogs inside, as well as a selection of dog-friendly accommodation. Take a look at our Local Directory for more information.
Under current regulations enforced by Dorset Council, dogs are allowed off-lead on the main sandy beach and Cobb Gate shingle beach from October 1st to April 30th, and all year round on Monmouth Beach, East Cliff Beach and on the pebble beach at Cobb Gate.
In Charmouth, dogs are allowed on west beach from October 1st to April 30th (from May 1st to September 30th dogs are allowed on leads from the bridge at the end of the prom westwards towards Lyme Regis). On Charmouth east beach, dogs are permitted from September 1st to June 30th (no dogs in July and August between 10am and 6pm.
For more details on Dog Friendly Lyme Regis, you can join the Facebook page facebook.com/groups/dogfriendlylymeregis
Green Lyme Regis
Lyme Regis is proud to have been awarded Plastic Free Community status by national charity Surfers Against Sewage in 2018. It was the first town in Dorset to receive the award and 23rd in the country, putting Lyme at the forefront of environmental issues.
In 2019, Lyme Regis Town Council declared a climate and ecological emergency and the town is now working to become carbon neutral by 2030. There are now many green initiatives running in the town, supported by many of our independent local traders, and we ask that our visitors help to look after our environment.
LymeOnline recognises climate change and environmental concerns as one of the most important current issues faced by our local community and across the globe – you can read more about this in our own Environmental Policy.
Lyme Regis accommodation
Planning to stay? There’s a wide selection of accommodation available in Lyme Regis. The main Lyme Regis hotels are The Alexandra Hotel, The Royal Lion Hotel and The Mariners Hotel, but there’s also plenty of B&Bs, guest houses and self-catering accommodation, plus camping and caravan sites nearby.
- Churches in Lyme Regis include Church of England, Baptist and Roman Catholic
- Please note, there are no banks in Lyme Regis. There are two free ATMs in the town centre and some personal banking can be carried out at the Post Office
- The town’s library can be found in Silver Street
- The Tourist Information Centre can be found in Bridge Street and you can call on 01297 442138
Travelling by car: Routes from the north – M5, A37, A3066, A30, A358, A35, & B3165; routes from the east – A30, A354, A338, A303, A31 & A35; routes from the west – A30, A35, & A3052.
Travelling by train: The nearest train station to Lyme Regis is Axminster, which is served by the London Waterloo to Exeter line. Axminster is just seven miles away and regular buses stop outside the train station.
Travelling by bus: Lyme Regis is served by the First X53, which runs between Exeter and Poole, and the First X51, which runs between Dorchester and Axminster, as well as Stagecoach 9A, which runs between Exeter and Lyme Regis.
See our Local Directory for taxi services.
Lyme Regis Map
The main car parks in Lyme Regis are Holmbush Car Park (DT7 3LD) and Charmouth Road Car Park (DT7 3DW), which are both located on the outskirts of the town offering long-stay parking and space for coaches. Monmouth Beach/Cabanya Car Park (DT& 3JJ) serves the seafront and Cobb area, and Woodmead Halls Car Park (DT7 3HN) is close to the town centre. Smaller car parks in the town centre include Cobb Gate Car Park (DT7 3QD), Broad Street (Van Allens) Car Park (DT7 3QD), and the NCP Car Park on Broad Street (DT7 3QH).
Lyme Regis Town Council operates a park and ride facility from Charmouth Road during the main summer season and at other peak times.
It is advised to leave plenty of time for travel/parking when visiting for special events/festivals, as it can get very busy.