Walks in and Around Lyme Regis
"Lyme Regis – perched like a herring gull on a ledge suspiciously peering both ways into Devon and Dorset". Thus wrote one of Lyme's most distinguished citizens, John Fowles, and no-one enjoyed walking in and around Lyme more than he did.
This small town is a walkers' paradise – it literally has something for everyone of all ages and abilities. Within the town itself there is the gentle stroll along the Marine Parade from Cobb Gate to the beach, with shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants on one side and the sea on the other.
For the historically minded, there is a wonderful walk within Medieval Lyme. For those more interested in architecture, there is Georgian Lyme. And for nature lovers, there is a spectacular walk along the Lym Valley, taking in the flora and fauna which is there in abundance.
All this and more, plus a network of footpaths, is right here within the town and its immediate environs.
Step just a little way out of town and you come to the Undercliff, one of the first of Britain's National Nature Reserves, which was created over the years from a series of landslips, the most spectacular of which occurred on Christmas Eve, 1839. This steeply undulating and winding path stretches from Lyme Regis (Dorset) to Seaton (Devon) – hence the Fowles' analogy with the herring gull peering suspiciously in both directions. This is rugged terrain and it is not unusual for more than 40 species of birds to be spotted in one afternoon.
For more information about the route, visit the South West Coast Path website.
The Liz Jones Series of Commemorative Walks
Liz Jones loved walking and sourced over seventy circular walks in the area. For several years she and her husband David led the U3A Walking Group and after she died in April 2013 members of this group decided to make some of her walks available to a wider audience as a tribute.
Listed here are 12 of these walks, all between four and seven miles, and starting within easy reach of the town.
1. Lyme Regis - A delightful walk including River Lym, Uplyme and great views from Ware Cliffs.
2. Charmouth - A country and village walk, featuring riverside, wildflower meadows and views.
3. Catherston Leweston - Country walk with sea and country views & walk along the River Char.
4. Rousdon - A country and village walk including the Peek Estate and the village of Combpyne.
5. Axmouth - Walk along the Axe estuary, through Axmouth and with amazing sea views.
6. Battleford Hall - A varied country and village walk with good views and bluebells in season.
7. Lamberts Castle - Longish walk around Iron Age fort. Stunning views of countryside.
8. Eype and Eype Down - Scenic walk including coast and country views. Bluebells in season.
9. Membury Country - Views and charming village of Membury and hamlet of Rock
10. Bettiscombe Country - Walk with outstanding views of Marshwood Vale to the sea.
11. Offwell - Country views, woodland and interesting buildings. Bluebells in season.
12. Barnes Surges - A countryside and woodland walk with good views and wild flowers.
The South West Coast Path National Trail is rated as one of the top walks to be found anywhere in the world, and passes through Lyme Regis.
You can go north and east into rural Dorset and west into Devon – and don't miss that part of the coastal walk which brings you to the top of Golden Cap. It is the highest point on the South Coast, and rewards hill walkers with breathtaking views over Lyme Bay.
The 28 mile Liberty Trail from Ham Hill in South Somerset to the Dorset coast at Lyme Regis follows the footsteps of people who, in 1685, walked to join the protestant Monmouth rebellion at Lyme taking in Crewkerne and Forde Abbey.
Be safe while you're on the beach, walking along the coast path or collecting fossils.
Please be aware of ticks while walking
Be aware that ticks can be found throughout the countryside in this area, and on the South West Coast Path. Ticks are small blood-sucking arthropods, related to mites and spiders, that attach to your skin and can pass on diseases, including Lyme disease. They tend to be found in long grass and vegetation where they are protected from drying out. They can be as small as a poppy seed and go unnoticed. Brush off your clothing and the fur of pets before going inside to remove any unattached ticks. It is important to check yourself after walking and remove any ticks found as soon as possible with a tick removal device which avoids squashing the body.For further information see the Lyme Disease Action website.