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LYME REGIS TRIPS

LYME REGIS...THE HEART OFTHE JURASSIC COAST.

 

MEETING POINT: The Cobb, Lyme Regis, DT7 3JJ

Wildlife trips running April to November.

2 Hour, 4 Hour, 8 Hour, Photography Course, BIG 3 and

GIANT BLUEFIN TUNA Trips.

Lyme Regis, a historic seaside town, nestles in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at the point where the rugged West Dorset and East Devon coastlines meet – the heart of the Jurassic Coast.  The town and the surrounding area are renowned for their natural beauty, and it has a fascinating history stretching back to the 8th century.  Lyme Regis is also famous as the birthplace of Mary Anning, one of history’s most important fossil collectors and palaeontologists. You can learn more about Mary’s extraordinary life and discoveries at Lyme Regis Museum, which is built on the site of her family’s home.

Lyme Regis boasts breathtaking scenery and a special mystique, making it a sparkling resort for all seasons. Its historic Cobb and harbour are iconic features, set against moody blue cliffs yielding fossilised evidence of life on earth millions of years ago.

An ancient town featured in the Domesday Book, Lyme Regis is home to a number of historical landmarks and educational attractions. The picturesque and tranquil Lyme Regis is a great place to discover a lot you didn’t know about the UK's heritage.

Whatever your age and whatever the time of year, you can be sure to find something to delight and entertain you.  Lyme Regis has it all - the perfect family resort, the home of palaeontology, a world-class creative and cultural community, a bustling harbour, gastronomic delights, an array of shops, a calendar full of events, and plenty for the active.

Wild about Sea Life

Passionate about Dolphins

Dubbed ‘The Pearl of Dorset’ for good reason, this impossibly pretty town tumbles down to a promenade of multi-coloured Georgian houses overlooking the turquoise arc of Lyme Bay. Sweeping out to sea is the 13th Century Cobb harbour wall, which took on iconic status for its starring role in The French Lieutenant’s Woman.

Part of the World Heritage Jurassic Coastline, there’s no escaping fossils in Lyme – even the lampposts have fossils shaped into them! When you’re not digging into the coastline’s 185 million years of history and hunting for your own fossils, soak up the town’s retro seaside feel, enjoy a round of crazy golf or relax on the golden beaches.

Image by John-Mark Strange
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The historic seaside resort of Lyme Regis may be famous for fossil hunting but there are countless other activities that can be enjoyed whilst on your holiday or weekend break . Whether you’re looking for family fun activities, fishing, paddle boarding or crazy golf or a spot of culture and a visit to one of the museums or the seaside Marine Theatre there are plenty of things to see and do in Lyme Regis. If you are looking for a lazy day why not choose a book and while away the hours on Lyme Regis’s beautiful selection of fantastic beaches or maybe a park bench in Langmoor Gardens overlooking the world renowned Cobb and harbour.

The high street has an array of independent shops, perfect for perusing during a quiet afternoon. There are a number of art galleries showcasing the work of local artists as well as well as shops selling clothes, gifts and homeware. Lyme Regis also boasts beautiful restaurants, which serve up a range of tasty treats straight from the sea.

Lyme Regis is very dog friendly with East Cliff, Church Cliff and Monmouth Beach allowing dogs on the beach throughout the year. Restrictions are in place at Town Beach, where dogs are only allowed from October to April, inclusive. There’s a great range of events in the town, including Lyme Regis Carnival, Guitars on the Beach, Dorset Street Food Festival, Lifeboat Week, a Gig Rowing Regatta, a Folk Weekend, Candles on the Cobb and more!

Lyme Regis is a small town and is often referred to as the ‘pearl of Dorset’. Lyme Regis has breathtaking scenery and is known most as being the birthplace of Mary Anning, a renowned palaeontologist and it remains one of the best and most popular destinations anywhere in the world for fossil hunting.

The town boasts a selection of beaches, including East Cliff, Town Beach, Church Cliff and Monmouth Beach. Monmouth beach is best for fossil hunting, whereas Church cliff is fantastic for my favourite past-time... rockpooling and even a spot of fishing when the tide is right. During the summer months Town Beach is popular amongst families thanks to the sheltered stretch of sand which is ideal for making sandcastles.

Next to the beach a level promenade is lined with colourful beach huts and cafe’s, which lead to Lyme Regis’s famed harbour. The historic sea wall, known as ‘The Cobb’ is an excellent place to walk even on a blustery day and  look at the motor cruisers and commercial fishing fleet as they head out to sea. Just a short walk from the harbour, Langmoor Gardens is a wonderful place to relax and soak up the sunshine. It’s elevated position on the hillside affords visitors far reaching views over Lyme Bay and beyond on a clear day. Lyme is a walker’s paradise, with plenty of different areas to the town and coast to enjoy, as well as the Lym Valley trail and a spectacular walk along the Undercliffs from Lyme Regis to Seaton, which we highly recommend!

Lyme Regis is blessed with numerous walking routes to explore with the dramatic and beautiful coastline offering many rambling paths, including the South West Coast Path. To the west is the Undercliff Nature Reserve and to the east is Stonebarrow and Golden Cap, the highest point on the south coast. There are also some scenic inland trails including the River Lim path.

RANDOM FACT – did you know Lyme Regis is twinned with BERMUDA!

Here are some beautiful walks, local to Lyme Regis that are great for wildlife.

Branscombe - 1.9 miles (3.0 km)

A very short walk from Branscombe Mouth to the picturesque thatched village of Branscombe, where the National Trust maintains several delightful properties dating back at least two centuries. Visit the working forge and mill (check opening times), then enjoy a traditional cream tea in the Old Bakery tea-room. If you are feeling energetic after exploring the village, extend the route along the delightful valley behind, to the historic Hole House and Edge Barton 

Stonebarrow Hill - 7.5 miles.

A demanding route  travelling high above the surrounding landscape, with tremendous views in all directions. It passes the remains of a medieval village, and later St Wite's Well, said to cure eye problems and other ailments. There is an optional detour around the back of the most strenuous section, over Golden Cap, as well as a shorter route over the top of Chardown Hill for those who don't mind some stretches of steep ascent.

West Bay & Burton Bradstock - 5.3 miles (8.6 km)

A walk from West Bay on the footpath through the golf course to Burton Bradstock, heading back along the coast. There are far-reaching views across the Devon coastline from the top of the high cliffs that played an important role in preparations for the D-Day Landings in the Second World War. 

Image by Matt Cannon
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Image by Jillian Werner
Image by Jillian Werner
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Langdon Hill, Golden Cap & St Gabriel's Chapel 4.5 miles

A walk through the woods on Langdon Hill, visiting the medieval hamlet of Stanton St Gabriel, now a handful of refurbished cottages and a ruined thirteenth century chapel. The landscape spread out around Langdon Hill is criss-crossed with ancient trackways as well as fields and hedgerows from medieval times, and the traditional farming methods used on National Trust land encourage a profusion of wildlife. Children will love the freedom of the open ground and the old lanes, as well as the forest paths and the ancient ruins. 

Chideock to Charmouth 5.4 miles.

From Charmouth take the bus to Chideock and walk back along a rollercoaster ride of a walk, with an optional detour around the highest peak of Golden Cap. The route travels high (and sometimes low!) along the edge of cliffs carved and sculpted by rain and sea over millions of years. At the foot of the cliffs nestle treasure troves of fossils brought down by frequent rockfalls. Scientists have been able to use these to give dates to various geological events, as well as piecing together fragments of dinosaur bone to draw a picture of one of the monsters roaming here in prehistoric times. Inland there is a pastoral landscape of medieval fields and farms.

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Thorncombe Beacon & Doghouse Hill - 4.3 miles.

A rollercoaster route from Eype Mouth to Seatown, returning on inland paths. West Dorset's oldest human settlement was on Doghouse Hill, with a good lookout over the sea, and Thorncombe Beacon was one of the chain of beacon sites along the south coast used to warn of the approach of the Spanish Armada in 1588, with terrific coastal views of its own. The beach at Eype Mouth is popular with fossil-hunters, and the pub at Seatown was the haunt of the infamous smugglers of the nineteenth-century 'Chideock Gang'. 

BUT... what we are here for is the wildlife...And its plentiful!!

Whether you are a complete beginner or a keen birder, there are some fantastic bird watching locations and guided tours to join both with us and others.  Lyme Regis in Dorset is blessed with both countryside and coast, you will get the chance to see a huge variety of coastal and migratory species as well as specialities like Dartford Warblers.

Being located on the south coast, Lyme Bay is one of the first places where birds travelling up from the south arrive at. Portland Bill and Durlston Country Park are brilliant locations for seeing species on their migration routes during spring and autumn.

 

The Cobb is as good a place as any to start with Sanderling, Dunlins, Knot, TurnstonesRinged Plovers and Purple Sandpipers all being relatively easy to observe at different points of the year.  There have also been Great Crested Grebes and Great Northern Divers in the sea.

 

Very often Buzzards, Kestrels will be soaring in the sky and for the keen observer a quick glimpse of Sparrow Hawks darting into woodland and brush can be seen. Other birds smaller birds in the area are Linnets, Goldfinches, StonechatsDippersGrey Wagtails, Pied Wagtails, Rock PipitsRedbacked, Woodchat ShrikeGreat Spotted and Green Woodpeckers, Snow and Cyril Bunting, Black Redstart and Pallas's Warbler or even Egret and Glossy Ibis.

You might even be lucky enough to see an Osprey thanks to a project to re-establish this spectacular bird of prey to its former breeding grounds on the south coast.  In this 5-year project by Poole Harbour, up until 2021, 60 Osprey chicks are being translocated from Scotland and releasing them in the Poole Harbour area. The aim is to restore a breeding population 180 years after they went extinct in England.

Off shore observing may yield small delicate seabirds such as Sandwich, Common and Arctic terns, with occasional Little terns, Storm Petrels. During the Summer and Autumn months Manx, Sooty, Great, Cory's and the much rarer Beleric Shearwaters can all be seen. and we do run some all day Autumn trips looking for these beautiful birds as part of out BIG 3 and Tuna Trips. Razorbills, Guillemots and Puffins are frequently found in rafts on the water.  

Other notable regular observations are the Cuckoo, Nightjarsand Butterflies... OH MY! SO MANY BUTTERFLIES, Speckled Wood, Small Tortoiseshell, Holly Blue, Large White, Brimstone, Green Hairstreak, Red Admiral and many more!

Now we have the Marine Life, and Lyme bay is stuffed with it from Bottlenose, Common and White Beaked Dolphins through to Grey Seals, Sharks and Tuna.  We are very lucky at the moment to have a small pod of Bottlenose Dolphins the have set up camp around the cruise ships in the bay, these are frequently seen as are the much larger inshore pod that roam freely between Bridport and the Isles of White along with a few offshore pods that also frequent the area.  As is the same as Brixham from May to the end of September large amounts of Common dolphins move from the warm waters of Bay of Biscay along the south coast of the U.K and into Lyme bay.  Some of these pod are truly massive with sightings of over 200 animals at a time and it being nothing to encounter several hundred animals in a day.  

 

Lyme bay also holds a resident population of around 150 White Beaked dolphins, this is about the furthest south they are recorded and make them quite a rarity and unique along the south coast, we usually find some of these pods several times a year and run special days trips looking for them further offshore. These large and playful animals truly are one of my favourites.

Risso are regularly encountered and although these are normally in offshore encounters we actively search for them on our ALDERNEY TRIPS that we run from Weymouth.  Harbour Porpoise the found most trips both in the Portland Race an in Lyme Bay.

Some of our other Large animals seen are, Minke Whales, Basking and Thresher Sharks, GIANT Bluefin Tuna, Sunfish, Harbour Porpoise and as in this year (2021) a Leatherback TurtleHumpback, Fin and Pilot Whales have also been recorded numerous times in recent years

Take a look at the photos below of some more of Weymouth and our BEAUTIFUL wildlife we've seen on trips...

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LYME REGIS...THE PEARL OF DORSET.