Lyme Regis, the most westerly town in Dorset is also one of its more popular. Situated at the mouth of the little river Lyme. Lyme is first mentioned in 774 in connection with a manor and salt rights granted by the West Saxon King Cynolf to Sherborne Abbey. In the Doomsday Book Lyme was divided into three manors.
It became Lyme Regis in 1284 when it was granted a royal charter by Edward I. Lyme’s existence depended upon the Cobb, a small artificial harbour dating from the time of Edward I. It was made famous in the opening scene of “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” starring Merryl Streep.
Lyme Regis is situated in the centre of a World Heritage Site known as the Jurassic Coast. This stretch of the East Devon and Dorset coastline around Lyme is famous for a wealth of fossil remains from the Jurassic period e.g. ammonites, belemnites, bivalves, and amphibians. These have been preserved by the blue lias clay for million of years and are regularly washed onto Lyme’s beaches.
Modern fossil collecting was started in Lyme by Mary Anning (1799-1847) who discovered the first British example of a pterodactyl – a strange a frightening flying lizard. Since then the fossil rich coast has provided hosts of exciting finds to collectors and visitors alike. There are museums and visitor centres that display many of the finds, as well as organized fossil walks led by experienced palaeontologists.
Finding somewhere to stay
There is a wide range of accommodation in and around Lyme Regis given its status as a holiday venue. Hotels provide a full range of facilities, whilst the many bed and breakfast (B&B) establishments offer an inexpensive option with clean accommodation and hearty breakfast meals. This allows visitors to enjoy the many restaurants and pubs both in the town and the nearby countryside. A number of Dorset eating establishments win awards for their quality foods.
For those visitors happy to provide their own catering there are numerous cottages, caravan, and camping sites in the town and nearby.
External links to other websites
The following web links provide up-to-date information on available accommodation.