Lyme Regis, Dorset
Just over the East Devon border in Dorset is the former fishing town of Lyme Regis; this is where Mary Anning found the first complete icthyosaur fossil, and where The French Lieutenant’s Woman was filmed. Stroll along the famous Cobb and harbour to the little marine aquarium right out the end, walk through the town gardens and admire the expansive sea views, go out on a mackerel fishing trip, build sandcastles on the main beach, visit the quirky museum. Annual events include a Jazz Festival, Life Boat Week, Regatta & Carnival Week, Guitars on the Beach, a Fossil Festival, Candles on the Cobb, and Red Arrows Day when the famous RAF team take to the skies for a spectacular aerobatic display. The streets are lined with independent shops and cafes, and there are some lovely Georgian town houses and pretty cottages along the promenade. When you’re hungry grab some fish and chips to eat on the beach, head to the Red Lion Hotel in the town centre, or to the little café at the Town Mill Gallery.