Lyme Regis Discovery Trail - The Seafront
Take a stroll along Marine Parade or grab a bucket and spade and head to the beach.
The Lyme Regis seafront boasts beautiful pebble and sandy beaches, framed by a panoramic view of the Jurassic Coast, England’s only natural World Heritage Site.
Marine Parade stretches about 600m from Cobb Gate in the east to Cobb Square to the west and provides an elevated promenade linking the bottom of town to the Cobb.
The radical philanthropist Thomas Hollis created the first public promenade in 1771 and invited a sickly William Pitt the Younger to Lyme for the ‘sea air’, eventually resulting in Lyme becoming a fashionable Regency bathing resort known as ‘The Naples of England’.
From 1995, a series of coastal protection and land stabilisation schemes transformed the seafront, beaches and Cart Road into what you see today. Over 30,000 tonnes of French sand and 70,000 tonnes of shingle from the Isle of Wight were imported to reinforce the existing beaches and protect the town for years to come.
There are wonderful cafés, restaurants, ice cream kiosks and shops to enjoy. Look out for markets and events in the Marine Parade Shelters and outdoor performance area, including live music during the summer months.
Points of interest
The Bell Cliff is situated at the bottom of Broad Street and is an elevated position overlooking the eastern end of the Jurassic Coast. It was built around the 1600 as a buttress to stop Broad Street from sliding into the sea.
The position would have been a superb place to watch Parliamentary ships unloading supplies to be transported to Cobb Gate Quay during the Siege of Lyme Regis in 1644. Today a cannon overlooks the bay from the top of the cliff, offering one of Lyme’s best viewpoints.
Cobb Gate is situated at the bottom of Broad Street.
There once stood a gate on this site until the end of the 18th century all goods landed at the Cobb had to be brought along the foreshore to this busy point for customers assessment. Warehouses, a custom house and fish market once stood on this site. The old customs house was located where the current public toilets are, in between Fordhams and the Pilot Boat Inn.
The Cart Road
The Cart Road was once the only link from the town to the Cobb Harbour. It was built for carts to transport goods to and from the harbour. Over the years it has undergone many changes, but today forms part of the promenade and you can enjoy the wonderful panorama as you stroll along to the Cobb.
The beach huts are positioned on the western end of the Cart Road and can be hired out. See the Town Council website for details.
Madeira Cottage was built around 1815. This quirky little thatched cottage features beautiful bow windows and is an iconic feature to the seafront.
Little Maderia Cottage beyond was built as late as 1934-5 and was formerly a gap in the row of pink cottages. It was designed to blend with its neighbours.
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