Lyme Regis: a real taste of the Dorset coast with an exciting new food scene

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A thriving artisan quarter and inventive restaurants have injected new life into this genteel seaside town famed for its fossils and literary haunts

Lyme Regis’s charms have always been resolutely genteel and old-fashioned, from its sedate regency seafront to its fondness for fossil shops and all things antique and literary.

It is a seaside town that has never felt the need to play to the hipster crowd, thanks partly to such distinguished and familiar history: home to 19th-century palaeontologist Mary Anning; John Fowles lived here, immortalising the Cobb breakwater in The French Lieutenant’s Woman; Jane Austen loved the place, giving it a starring role in one of Persuasion’s most memorable scenes; and Turner and Whistler both painted here.

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