Well we’re here and we’ve been having a fantastic time. Our cottage – an old shipman’ cottage – is a 2 minutes stroll down to the East Cliff beach and a short walk into the main town and the bustling Cobb area.
There’s so much to do here. Sunny days can be spent on the beach, taking in the breathless views towards the Golden Cap, finding shrimps and crabs in rock pools, fossil finding and strolling along the seafront with its many bars and cafes. For rainy days, there’s so much to do; in the town itself there’s the Town Mill museum with it’s working watermill, the Lyme Regis Museum and the Dinosaur Museum to name a few attractions.
The beach areas are great for families. The Cobb is where the main events and activities take place, with lifeguards stationed at the Sandy beach area, plenty of amenities and cafes, the obligatory English deckchair for hire and so on. It feels safe for the kids, which is all the more relaxing for the parents.
We’ve never been rock pooling or fossil-hunting before. I was a little dubious we would find anything at all. Not naturally outdoorsy-type people, it makes our brains hurt to think of what equipment we would even need for such activities.
As it turns out, no equipment is needed whatsoever. Although I believe you have more success with lines and bait for the crabs and shrimps, when the tide is out a simple bucket will catch many tiny shrimps. It’s easy to spot the crabs dipping in and out of the shady rocks. It’s a fantastic children’s activity; a good hour or so at a time can be spent pottering around the rocks, in sunshine or drizzle (we did both!).Over at East Cliff, you can see many tourists with hammers and chisels, busting away at the grey Jurassic rock in their fossil hunts. The tools are sold in the local shops, but you can simply use another big stone to tap along the strata of the rocks, as we found to our success! Ammonites are most commonly found – a type of marine mollusc. However, head to one of the museums to see some unbelievable examples of fossils found and read the story of Mary Anning who made some of the most significant geological finds of our time.
At the Town Mill Museum, our two girls learned from one of the best volunteer guides we’ve seen how the working watermill worked and even had a try at milling their own flour. We really enjoyed our afternoon here, topped off with a beer at the Lyme Regis Brewery across the way.
It’s important for us as parents to chill out on holiday and I can report that it’s been relaxing so far mainly due to the children being occupied…and helped by the discovery of a handy flask in our cottage. Perfect for beach-coffees!
We’re only a little way into our holiday so more beach days to go. I haven’t even mentioned the restaurants we’ve visited (separate review of River Cottage to come!). Lyme Regis is famous for the 1981 film version of The French Lieutenant’s Woman, so this evening we’ll be visiting the aptly named French Lieutenant’s Bistro.
Later this week we’ll be following in my pal Hodge Podge Days‘ footsteps and moving across to sunny Devon for more fun and adventures!