Lovely Lyme Regis is easy ‘Persuasion’ with fab First Bus!

Cast aside those January blues at one of our favourite seaside spots, nestled halfway along a spectacular Jurassic Coaster X53 bus route between Weymouth and Axminster, which is run by First Bus. The scenery on the trip is so stunning, it’s an attraction of its very own, but so too is a stop off at charming Lyme Regis with its bustle and beauty and sumptuous seaside views! This is a sojourn that can be part of a great triangular trip – train to Weymouth on First’s South Western Railway (SWR), then the bus to Axminster (via Lyme Regis) and back onto the SWR network, to Exeter and beyond perhaps or back eastwards towards Hampshire, Surrey and London!

Delightful Dorset by First

The X53 is a breathtaking experience along the glorious Dorset coastline that itself stretches all the way from Poole Harbour in the east, through the stunning West Bay to beyond Lyme Regis. Spectacular views prevail as the bus works its way through the coastal area, which was England’s first natural World Heritage Site. There’s plenty to see and do on the route and the pinnacle is perhaps Lyme Regis which arguably, like no other town in this incredible region, provides the most delightful mix of natural beauty, historical charm, and cultural attractions.

Christmas cobwebs blown away at the Cobb!

Begin your exploration in Lyme Regis at the iconic Cobb, (pictured above), which is an historic harbour wall that has stood for centuries and featured in Jane Austen’s world famous novel “Persuasion“. In the story, Cobb serves as a pivotal location where significant events unfold. It is at Cobb that Louisa Musgrove, a character in the novel, suffers a fall after attempting a reckless jump from the wall. This incident plays a crucial role in the storyline, affecting the relationships and dynamics between the characters. Cobb’s significance in “Persuasion” is not only tied to its physical presence but also to the symbolic weight it carries within the storyline, contributing to the novel’s exploration of love, regret, and second chances. The association with Lyme Regis and its iconic Cobb adds a distinctive coastal flavour to the backdrop of Austen’s narrative.

Fertile fossil-hunting fun!

For fossil enthusiasts, Lyme Regis is a paradise. The town is renowned for its fossil-rich cliffs, and you can try your hand at fossil hunting on the beaches, especially in the famous Charmouth and Monmouth Beach areas. The Lyme Regis Museum provides a captivating insight into the region’s geological and historical significance. Housed in a charming Grade II listed building, the museum offers a captivating journey through time, showcasing the town’s rich heritage. Inside, visitors can explore exhibits dedicated to the region’s fossil-rich cliffs, a testament to Lyme Regis’ significance in paleontology. The museum’s fossil collection, including specimens discovered by the renowned Mary Anning, provides a glimpse into prehistoric marine life. More about Mary later, though….

Marine thrills, spills and jokes

Explore the narrow, winding streets of this fab town, lined with picturesque houses, shops, and cafes. Visit the Marine Theatre for cultural performances and events, including the Lyme Regis Comedy Club, this Friday evening (19th January). Here, four comedians are on the bill for a bargain comedy night! Check out the eclectic mix of shows at this fab place, by checking out What’s On? – Marine Theatre The town also hosts various festivals throughout the year, celebrating literature, arts, and the local maritime heritage.

Becalming beach views

For a more relaxing retreat, then it’s worth a visit to the tranquil Langmoor Gardens, overlooking the sea – a picturesque haven and pleasant retreat from the lively festivals in the town that take place throughout the year, celebrating literature, arts, and the local maritime heritage. That’s the beauty of Lyme Regis – pace and peace reside side-by-side a stones-throw away!

Far from “run of the mill” with so much here…

The Town Mill, located in the artisan quarter is well worth a visit. It’s nestled around a cobbled courtyard and these restored mill buildings house a working flour watermill and shop, as well as an art galley, restaurant, silversmith, seamstress and also facilities for pottery and seaweed art, as well as a pilates studio and a micro-brewery. For more details, go to  The Town Mill | Working Watermill in the Heart of Lyme Regis, Dorset

Cream tea and scampi

Indulge in fresh seafood at one of the many charming eateries, and don’t miss the opportunity to savour traditional Dorset cream tea! Fish and chips (the scampi is best, since you asked…) on the promenade looking out into the sea, is part and parcel of a trip to this fab place, though so too is a sojourn into the town where there is an incredible choice for those with a sweet tooth!

Wait for it….

Lyme Regis offers a perfect blend of relaxation, exploration, and natural beauty, making it an idyllic destination for a coastal getaway, but it can also be crazy and chaotically fun…

The town harbours a quirky modern-day tradition – the annual “Lyme Lunge“. In a whimsical celebration, locals and visitors don eccentric costumes on New Year’s Day and plunge into the frigid waters of the Cobb Harbour! This jovial event attracts participants of all ages, with the eclectic array of costumes ranging from historical figures to fantastical creatures. The “Lyme Lunge” has become a beloved and offbeat tradition, drawing crowds to witness the spectacle and infusing the historic town with a playful and community-driven spirit to kick off each new year.

Fortress Regis

In the 19th century, Lyme Regis had an intriguing yet largely forgotten association with the “Lyme Regis Sea Fencibles“. Established during the Napoleonic Wars, this peculiar militia consisted of local fishermen and sailors tasked with defending the coast from potential invasion. Their distinctive role involved patrolling the shores armed with unconventional weapons such as long-handled pronged forks, which earned them the nickname “Lyme Regis Devils.” While their impact on military history was minor, the Sea Fencibles left a quirky legacy, and remnants of their unique weaponry were occasionally found by later generations during coastal excavations, adding a fascinating footnote to Lyme Regis’ maritime past.

Famed for Fossils and Films

A Lyme Regis luminary is Mary Anning (1799–1847), a pioneering paleontologist whose fossil discoveries along the Jurassic Coast contributed significantly to the understanding of prehistoric life. Anning’s findings, including the first complete Ichthyosaurus and Plesiosaurus skeletons, earned her recognition as a trailblazer in the field.

Moreover, John Fowles (1926–2005), a renowned author, lived in Lyme Regis for many years. He penned the critically acclaimed novel “The French Lieutenant’s Woman,” which was later adapted into a successful film.

The ultimate winter warmer of a trip!

This really is an incredible town, showcasing Dorset’s finest charm and a melange of heritage, invigorating energy of modern day life, some great architecture, places to eat and drink and of course the most stunning of views. It’s a lovely holiday destination but also provides a fantastic day out, just the tonic this time of year, when it’s a bit quieter, out of the tourism season and everyone needs a cheery pick-up to warm their hearts! For more details of how to get there on the wonderful X52, go to Timetables | First Bus