Holiday hot-spot Dorset offers a checklist of charms. Its shoreline is one of Britain’s best, boasting the Jurassic Coast – a World Heritage Site flecked with sea-carved bays, crumbly cliffs and beaches loaded with fossilised souvenirs. No wonder the swimming, kayaking and hiking here is truly memorable. Inland Thomas Hardy’s lyrical landscape serves up vast Iron Age hill forts, rude chalk figures, fairytale castles and must-see stately homes. Then there are resorts packed with party animals, golden beaches, and Olympic-class sailing waters.
Lyme Regis boasts breathtaking scenery and a special mystique, making it a sparkling resort for all seasons. The famous Cobb has sheltered seafarers for centuries. The curving stone harbor wall in Lyme Regis attracts visitors not just for its visual appeal and its magnificent naval architecture, but also for its literary connections. People visit Lyme from far and wide to see the steps where Louisa Musgrove fell in Jane Austen’s Persuasion; or to see where Meryl Streep stood, looking forlornly out to sea in the film adaptation of John Fowles’ The French Lieutenant’s Woman, one of the most unforgettable scenes in cinema. The historic Cobb and harbour are iconic features, set against moody blue cliffs yielding fossilised evidence of life on earth millions of years ago.
This ancient town featured in the Domesday Book, Picturesque and tranquil Lyme Regis is home to a number of historical landmarks and educational attractions. Whatever your age and whatever the time of year, you can be sure to find something to delight and entertain you. Lyme Regis has it all – the perfect family resort, the home of palaeontology, a world-class creative and cultural community, a bustling harbour, a sandy beach, gastronomic delights, an array of shops, a museum, a theater, The Town Mill and plenty for the active. Lyme Regis town regally hosts a range of family-centered events, including a Jazz Festival, a Fossil Festival, Life Boat Week and a Regatta & Carnival Week.
To view the dates of Lyme Regis events: http://www.whatsoninlyme.co.uk/
6.6 miles 13 minutes
Charmouth is the gateway to the Jurassic Coast, an ancient coastline of dramatic cliffs, fossils and beautiful scenery. Ideal for a family holiday away from brash amusements and expensive visitor attractions – enjoy the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre, visit the Centre to see our amazing fossil collections and find out how to discover your own fossils on the beach. www.charmouth.org
6.8 miles 10 minutes
With the stunning golden glow of the majestic sandstone cliffs and the shimmering radiance of Golden Cap, West Bay, is the Golden Gateway to the Jurassic Coast. West Bay has a small harbour suitable for pleasure crafts and fishing boats, with large stretches of shingle beaches either side. Walkers can visit “Broadchurch “locations filmed around West Bay and walk in the footsteps of the lead characters played by David Tennant and Olivia Colman – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-32499972
15.0 miles 24 minutes
A lively market town with a friendly and vibrant culture and with a fantastic reputation for quality local food and art. Bridport has a rich history and heritage as one of the leading rope and net producing towns in England. Street Markets are held every Wednesday and Saturday in this historic market town.
15.0 miles 24 minutes
A pebble beach 18 miles long and stretches north-west from Portland to West Bay. For much of its length it is separated from the mainland by an area of saline water called the Fleet Lagoon.
28.7 miles 46 minutes
Dorchester is historic and vibrant market town, ideal for sightseeing and shopping. There is no longer a cattle market in the town, however, you can still sample the lively market day atmosphere every Wednesday. At the market you can enjoy sampling local farm produce and find stalls filled with crafts, antiques and clothes. Dorchester was the home and inspiration of the author Thomas Hardy, whose novel The Mayor of Casterbridge was based here.
29.7 miles 44 minutes
Sherborne is, without doubt, one of the most beautiful towns in England. With its abundance of medieval buildings, superb Abbey, world famous Schools, picturesque Almshouse and two Castles, Sherborne has much to offer visitors. Ideally located on the Dorset and Somerset border it has excellent transport links enabling the town to flourish.
29.9 miles 1 hour
Lulworth Cove is the prime Dorset attraction for the budding geographer or simply for a leisurely walk along the Natural World Heritage Coastline and the challenging hills. Lulworth Cove was formed approximately 10,000 years ago by the awesome powers of a river and the sea.
42.4 miles 1 hour 4 minutes