For the August bank hol, I was desperate to get to the sea. Life in central England has benefits, but seaside living isn’t one of them, and there’s no substitute. Cornwall is my dream location but a pain in the ass to get to when time is short, so we went two stops along to Dorset. It’s not somewhere I’ve seen a lot of, and is less trendy/expensive also, making it easier, and cheaper, and new!
I stayed with a couple of friends in Lyme Regis for 3 days. It’s a beautiful town, full of quirky and colourful houses. We happily spent a day and a half just exploring the place, poking around the bookshops, eating good food and playing miniature golf (and since you asked, yes I did win…).
We scrimped on accommodation (more on THAT STORY another time) in exchange for eating out, choosing to take a brunch, naughty lunch (ice cream or cake), and dinner out.
While the weather was crap (as per) this shouldn’t be a bummer unless you have unreal expectations (“no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing…”). A dabble in the sea is always necessary, even if you’re too chicken for a full submersion. There’s something so good for the soul about being close to the sea – invigorating when the wind and waves are up, calming when it’s flat and peaceful.
Lyme Regis Bucket List
- Fish and Chips on the beach. Get it in the evening, sit on the shore and enjoy the sunset. We had a glorious red one, made even more special by a candlelight festival that happened to be planned that evening.
- Walk round the Cobb to the Aquarium. The dodgiest, drug den of an aquarium I’ve ever seen (enter through the gift shop via a beaded curtain, beckoned by a man in the shadows). We decided not to pay for entry but still enjoyed this experience.
- Visit the Town Mill. We didn’t have time for a tour, and both times we tried the café was not open (who closes at 4pm on a Saturday??), but enjoyed seeing some of the pottery also made on site and the gallery attached.
- Window Shopping. There’s something about the seaside which seems to attract a great creative vibe – full of independent shops and homemade goods. My favourites were a little tucked away bookstore, a fudge shop with the friendliest owner, and all the places that stocked Magpie goods. I love that stuff!
- Climb the hill. Above the shore, there is a steep green hill, populated with a miniature golf course and woodland walk. These are both worthwhile activities, but if nothing else, just ascend and enjoy the view.
- The Town Mill Bakery. This was our breakfast stop on Day 2, and was a slightly unusual but wonderfully fresh change to a regular café. After pulling up a pew on one of the beautiful wooden benches, you can choose a sweet pastry (baked on site), toast your own toast (homemade – as is the Marmalade), and even boil your own egg. All very minimum fuss, maximum authenticity and taste. Highly recommend.
- Eat a Pasty. Always a must by the seaside.
- Find some live music. Another benefit of the creative scene. We stumbled across a lovely duo while having some cake in The French Lieutenant – unfortunately I didn’t catch their name.
We also spent a day touring the local area – Weymouth, Chesil Beach, Portland… perhaps more on that another time.