Our summer holiday this year will be spent at Lyme Regis, a lovely little town on the coast of Dorset. It is steeped in history and features in Jane Austen’s Persuasion:
the principal street almost hurrying into the water, the Walk to the Cobb, skirting round the pleasant little bay, which, in the season, is animated with bathing machines and company…are what the stranger’s eye will seek
The Cobb is Lyme Regis’s famous harbour wall. In Persuasion, one of the characters takes a tumble off the Cobb. In a later novel, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, John Fowles immortalised “quite simply the most beautiful sea rampart on the south coast of England”.
Lyme Regis is on The Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site for its wealth of fossils from the Jurassic period. It was here that Mary Anning (1799-1847) discovered, at the tender age of twelve, the first complete ichthyosaur. She went on to become a renowned palaeontologist when the science was in its infancy. Lyme Regis Museum, a fascinating place to visit in its own right, is built on the site of Mary’s home.