Lyme Regis

Lyme Regis lies in a sheltered position, protected from the prevailing southwesterlies by massive multi-hued cliffs, at the western end of Lyme Bay, which sweep round in an uninterrupted arc from Chesil, Portland.

It has been a harbour since at least 1284, when Edward I granted a royal charter (hence ‘Regis’), although there was a monastic settlement here in 774. The harbour is no longer used commercially, but has a busy fishing fleet and is heavily used by private craft. The huge curving breakwater known as the Cobb has been around since the time of Edward, being rebuilt in 1825 after it was smashed to pieces by a storm.

In 1588, Drake first engaged the Armada in Lyme Bay. The ubiquitous game of bowls was indicative of the fact that the winds and tides were such that the Spaniards could not make Plymouth, being swept past, and Drake simply chased them in his faster ships, starting his harrying in the Bay and following them up the channel.

Fame returned again in 1811, when 12-year-old Mary Anning, looking for fossils at Black Ven, found the complete fossil of an Ichthyosaurus, now in the Natural History Museum.

The Harbour Inn on Marine Parade is situated in a superb location, right on the beach overlooking the harbour and the Cobb. With a charming terrace and its own enclosed area on the beach it is perfect for alfresco dining. Inside there is a bustling brassiere-style with a warm and cosy atmosphere. The inn’s varied menu caters for all and offers a choice of fresh fish dishes to enjoy.

Family friendly and extremely welcoming the Harbour Inn is often full of locals and people working in the harbour, a great mix that altogether makes it one of the nicest places to eat and drink in the town.

The richness of Lyme Regis’ history is preserved in many of its buildings. A fine example is The Town Mill complex nestling in the heart of the old town just off Coombe Street. As well as the watermill, restored to full working order since 2001, the site houses art galleries, a café/restaurant, a cheesemonger, a brewery, a pottery, a sewing sanctuary, a milliner, the Miller’s garden and the Designers at the Town Mill gift and craft shop.

Parts of the Town Mill building date from 1340, when King Edward III granted the people of Lyme a licence to build a new watermill and leat on the present site. Step back in time as you wander through the peaceful, ancient buildings of the mill complex. Watch the waterwheel turn, view the milling machinery and see organic, wholemeal flour being ground.

Visit Designers at the Town Mill which brings together a selection of

the best local designers. Here you will find designer hats, cushions, kit bags and fashion, ceramics, mug designs, cards, and jewellery. You can obtain freshly milled flour, jams and preserves and gift items suitable for children to buy as souvenirs of their visit.

Afterwards you can relax in the Miller’s Garden, perhaps buy some flour, cheese or beer, visit the onsite craft studios, admire the current art exhibitions and enjoy a soft drink, glass of wine or a meal in the café/ restaurant.

Harbour – Lyme Regis 4

Lyme teeters on the edge of the sea, with the cliffs appearing to be about to push it into it, and its narrow streets and brightly coloured houses from all periods add up to make a very attractive town and an excellent base from which to explore the surrounding countryside and coast.

The Tourist Handbook Wessex 2018-19

Gun Cliff Walk - Lyme Regis

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