Welcome to another Hidden Britain post ladies and gents! This month we are looking at Lyme Regis, the historic sea side town just 4 miles from Hawkchurch Resort & Spa.
Lyme Regis is known along the Jurassic Coast for its maritime history and fantastic fossil collection, with Mary Anning finding the first millions-of-years-old fossil in the 1800s. The beautiful seaside town has a lot to offer all ages, here are some hidden gems of these historic and stunning places…
Lyme Regis Museum – 115 year old building
The Lyme Regis Museum stands in the hear of town and has a breath-taking charm about it; it is 115 years old and is filled with interesting exhibits, fossils and facts. Built in 1901, the museum has almost always been run by dedicated volunteers, they take care of the interesting and quirky displays and collections. The local history of Lyme Regis is well represented by maritime and domestic objects on display throughout the museum, it is visited by over 26,000 people a year, many visiting the Geological Galleries with local fossils, as well as the Writers Galleries, showcasing local literary connections from Jane Austen to John Fowles. The museum is expanding and adding a Mary Anning Wing to the hundred year old structure, with a state of the art learning space. A fun family day our for all.
River Cottage canteen – delicious food for all
OK, so technically in nearby Axminster, but I simply couldn’t leave River Cottage Canteen & Deli out. It is an award-wining deli that celebrates the ethos of fine seasonal and locally-produced food. The relaxed atmosphere is in perfect partnership with the delicious dishes on offer, like Dorset mushrooms and poached free range eggs on toast, or try the butternut squash soup, walnut and sage pesto with some lovely crusty bread. With live music often setting the tone of the evening, you will love your River Cottage dinning experience, the famous River Cottage HQ, home to the award winning cookery school and dining events is located between Axminster and Lyme Regis. Don’t forget to join the team on the farm for a weekend of food and festivities at the Spring Food Fair 2016! Celebrating everything River Cottage, enjoy the market stalls selling fresh local produce, marvel at the craftsmen demonstrating their amazing skill in ironwork and woodwork. Smell the delicious food at the main stage with cooking demonstrations going on throughout the weekend, pull up a hay bail, enjoy a cocktail and some fantastic live music. Stunning food and electric atmosphere, with fun for all the family.
Lyme Regis Marine Aquarium – fascinating marine wildlife
Discover the magical creatures of the seashore and deeper waters around Lyme Bay. See some lovely lobsters up close and hold a friendly starfish at this completely interactive Lyme Regis Marine Aquarium. Check out the fascinating Ballon Wrasse from the eastern Atlantic ocean, which are all female until the age of 8, when only a handful turn male (how cool is that?). Marvel at the Sea Mouse, who’s head and scales are covered by its hairy body, and see if the furry fellow lives off cheese like his land counterparts! (he’s not actually related to mice…) But one of the main attractions for the aquarium is the shoal of Mullet, you can feel the very tame creatures and even receive a kiss! All you have to do is fill your hand with food and let the very friendly fish gently prod and suck at your hands for the food, a truly unique experience that people go back for time and time again. So why not pop along and a kiss from a Mullet?
Hix Oyster & Fish House – stunning views & food
Owner of the HIX Oyster & Fish House, Mark Hix is known as a writer, artist and restaurateur. A native of Lyme Regis, Hix is a very talented chef and the restaurant is a testament to that. The informal, light and airy dinning room shows the focus is on the food, the menu changes daily during peak season due to the produce being sourced from the local fishermen. For the winter months there is a staple menu, including the delicious Shellfish Soup, or the classic fish fingers, chunky chips and mushy peas, with live music setting the tone and adding to the atmosphere too. Hix has teamed with renowned artist Damien Hirst and opened a new restaurant in Soho, London, called The Pharmacy 2 and in true Hirst style the décor is completely unique with pill bottles lining the walls. But it doesn’t have a patch on the stunning sea views from the Lyme Regis Oyster & Fish House, the floor to ceiling windows showcase the breath taking panoramic views of the Jurassic Coast, a sight that has to be seen to be believed.
Why not visit Darwin Escapes brand new luxury location Hawkchurch Resort & Spa, and visit some of these hidden gems? If you find any of your own, drop me a line and let me know!
Happy Adventuring Guys!