Discover Dorset: Lyme Regis & The Jurassic Coast

I previously posted about my adventures round Cerne Abbas and the rural backwaters of Dorset, but the county is inevitably known for it’s coastline, so I took a day-trip to Lyme Regis to get my own taste of the ‘Jurassic Coast’. Wandering through the backstreets, it was clear that the town had history. We passed an old mill building by the riverside ,which had clearly been converted into living quarters, but had been renovated in a tasteful manor, in-keeping with the town’s quirky décor. It struck me more as a French chateaux as opposed to a coastal retreat…

Weaving through laneways and passages, we found our way to the seafront where we split our separate ways, after all this wasn’t a jolly holiday, it was prominently to aid our creative muse. I strolled straight on to the town’s golden asset, my feet crunching over the pebbled shore. I gazed out at the merry scene before me, a pleasant summer’s day by the great old British seaside. By passing the intermitted sun-loungers and bathers, I hurried towards the harbour side, to gain a view of ‘The Cobb’.

‘The Cobb’ is essentially a winding coil of stone round the harbour, in essence a grander take on a typical sea defence. In reality, it is merely a sloped wall on which one can walk to the harbour mouth, for outstretched views of the coast that lies beyond. You can also choose to mound the alternate side of the harbour, a cobbled curve of cannons which can be reached via rocks on the shore.

There is another stretch of shingle on the opposite side, but I chose to venture along the laneways behind the promenade, which proved a treasure! Drawing myself away from a quirky tea room in a cave (yes, really, a cave) , I wandered into a cute tumbledown book shop, jammed with a miscellaneous collection of classic fiction, sci-fi, travel guide and chic-lit. On a typical excursion I would have spent out on both luxuries, but alas this trip was short and I frankly I was spent out.

I shuffled on along the promenade, past the rows of pretty pastel coastal cottages, painted watered shades of sky and candyfloss. Some even retained traditional thatched roofs, a sight I’d never witnessed out of the deepest countryside.

It was easy to see the appeal of Lyme Regis, a place I heard mentioned many times, but never seen for myself. The town itself is a pleasant hotchpotch of traditional and modern, with many independent stores amongst the scattering of chains. I’m always delighted to see towns across England retain independence with their shops and pubs, it’s an ever-increasing rareness which should be treasured and preserved at all cost.

Although I didn’t spend all that long lingering, I did find the time, in fact I made a point of making the time, for an ice cool shandy in a cosy local pub. I then retreated to another establishment for lunch and refreshments with my fellow writers to end the welcomed excursion. I really did enjoy Lyme Regis and would happily have lingered longer if time had allowed, but it is also a mere pocket of this epic coastline, to which I one day hope to return.

Have you visited Lyme Regis? What did you think? Or perhaps you have alternate recommendations of other viewpoints across the Jurassic Coast. I love learning of new places, so do drop a line!

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