Charmouth, Dorset

Charmouth is a very peaceful village on the coast of West Dorset, just a couple of miles from Lyme Regis. It's not a very big place - the population is only around 2,000 but in the summer that multiplies enormously because people like to have their holidays here, or to come and spend the day by the sea. 

The beach is divided in two by the mouth of the River Char, and is a mix of pebbles, sand and shingle, becoming more sandy at low tide. The river adds to the scenic aspect; the wooden bridge that spans it also overlooks a lake that attracts ducks and swans; there are open fields leading up to the clifftops, and a row of beach huts where people sit outside and chat. Everyone seems to quite happily do what they will; some spend hours spuddling about in the rock pools or digging in the shingle for sea glass, others go for a stroll along the South West Coast Path up to Golden Cap, which is incidentally, the highest point on the south coast of England.

Charmouth is famous for the fossils found on the beach - ammonites and belemnites are often found, but if you're not sure where to look or how to go about finding them, you can join a guided fossil hunting walk. There are car parks right by the beach, a visitor centre and cafe, and one or two shops. 

If you're planning on being here a while either bring a picnic, or stroll back up the road to the village where you'll find The George Inn and The Bank House Café on the main street.

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