We recently did a day trip to Lyme Regis in Dorset, and really loved it! It is a something-for-everyone small seaside town two hours from Winchester.
It had real Cornwall-y vibes, and the drive itself is super pretty given that it crosses the New Forest, and the rolling hills of the Wiltshire and Dorset countryside (depending on your route).
Things To Do
Obviously there’s the sea! The beach has a sandy side and a shingle side, so it’s a win-win really. There were lots of cafes and stalls along the front for refreshments, and some watersports and equipment-for-hire places too.
Mini Golf & The Town Mill
There’s a great outdoor mini golf course set up the hillside that overlooks the harbour and sea.
The Town Mill is a converted mill turned art gallery and space for local artisans. There’s a pretty courtyard and a cafe selling locally sourced food.
The high street, is very small and there are not a lot of shops, but it’s definitely worth a mooch. There are some lovely (and fancy) homeware shops, and lots of vintage and antique stores too. We didn’t get to try it, but there was a queue out the door and down the street for Mulberry Manor bakery, so I can’t vouch for it, but it’s probably worth a try.
Walks & Heritage
The Jurassic Coast has many walking options, and also a lot of National Trust and English Heritage sites nearby.
Lewesdon Hill (National Trust) is the highest point in Dorset, providing views across Devon, Somerset and out to sea.
The East Devon and Dorset hills (both AONBs) and the Blackdown Hills are also in close proximity.
Food & Drink
Town Mill Bakery – situated down Coombe Street, and named after the Town Mill itself, Town Mill Bakery offers great breakfast and brunch options.
The Oyster & Fish House – if you love seafood, this place should not be missed. Lovely views over the sea, friendly staff, and excellent seafood and cocktails.
Swim – a good brunch and lunch spot, selling burgers, salad, as well as steak, fish and vegetarian options. It has a great cocktail menu too, with views over the beach.
Dottie Kitchen – another good lunch spot selling wraps, smoothies, salads and sandwiches.
Kiosk – right on the seafront, selling excellent ice cream and fair-trade coffee.