Things to do with the kids in Lyme Regis
A quick Google search of ‘Things to do in *insert name of town*’ always brings up results of the bigger tourist attractions within a 40-mile radius, but you can rarely find the insider info on the fun, simple or free things to do at your chosen destination.
Inspired by a simple but lovely morning spent at Lyme Regis, where I spent all of £9.00 (on essential ice cream and pastry refreshments!), I thought I’d put together a round-up of some of the simple things you can do in Lyme Regis with the kids without spending a fortune.
Free things to do with kids in Lyme Regis
Anning Road Adventure Playground
A 15-minute walk from the beach, this recently refurbished adventure playground has a popular pirate’s galleon and lots of play equipment for children of all ages. There are toilets on-site. Parking is limited along Anning Road and take note of the signage as much of the road parking is by permit only or limited to 1 hour.
Fossil Hunting with kids in Lyme Regis
The Jurassic Coast is famed for its fossils and is the birthplace of famous fossil-hunter and palaeontologist Mary Anning. Fossils can be found along the shoreline, in and around the rockpools and amongst the pebbles and sand (best advice is to always stay well away from the cliffs, including the sludgy grey clay ones).
In Lyme Regis, fossils can be found at low tide on the stretch of shore in between East Cliff Beach and Charmouth. East Cliff beach is accessed by ramp or steps at the very end of the walkway beyond The Rockpoint Inn – but beware of incoming tides!
Or, head to the other end of Lyme Regis’ seafront to Monmouth Beach – the pebbly beach just beyond Lyme’s famous Cobb Wall. Keep your eyes peeled for treasures, and if you keep walking on Monmouth beach with your back to The Cobb you might stumble across the incredible ‘ammonite pavement’! Aspiring fossil hunters might like to follow www.instagram.com/lymeregisfossils on Instagram to get some hints on what to look for.
Sea Glass Hunting with kids in Lyme Regis
Visit Church Beach, a small sand and pebble beach just beyond the rear of the Marine Theatre, at low tide for the best sea glass hunting. Scour the shoreline for these little worn-down chunks of glass that look like jewels - emerald green, white and brown are the most common colours, while red and yellow are some of the rarest (said to come from lanterns from wrecked ships, or so the story goes!)
If you want to find out more to add extra excitement to your hunt, check out this sea glass guide. A great free activity, and once you’ve gathered a nice collection you can take it home to make jewellery or crack out the PVA glue and make a mosaic.
Sandcastles and swimming
Possibly the most obvious things to do with the kids in Lyme Regis! Lyme benefits from a lovely, sheltered sandy beach which does not shelve too steeply and provides a relatively safe environment for swimming and paddling. In the height of summer, the sandy beach is usually patrolled by a lifeguard service.
If you don’t want to drag all of the kit to the beach or if you’re in need of something new, you can buy every conceivable beach item you could ever need from The Slipway beach shop (right next to the harbour slipway.) Inflatables should always be used with caution and supervision even on a calm day as they can easily be blown or taken by current to deeper waters.
Sandcastle building and hole-digging is the classic all-year-round activity, and gloriously free. Bring your miniature diggers and toy tractors to the beach for easy toddler fun.
Buggy-friendly walks in Lyme Regis
Walk 1: Wander through beautiful Langmoor & Lister Gardens, accessed through the stone gate posts next to The Alexandra Hotel on Pound Street. The paved pathways crisscross through the landscaped gardens and the steps can be avoided all the way down to the beach, making this walk buggy-friendly. Langmoor Gardens is the ideal place to stop for a picnic away from the crowds in the height of summer. 5-10 minutes to get from the top of Langmoor Gardens to the seafront.
Walk 2: Walk the promenade from end to end, starting at the harbour, passing Lyme’s famed beach huts, past the jubilee clock tower and beyond the Rock Point Inn and Marine Theatre to East Cliff Beach (almost to Charmouth!) It’s all paved and largely traffic-free, apart from a stretch beyond the beach huts which gets the occasional vehicle for access or disabled parking. Along the way you can grab takeaway refreshments from The Kiosk, which does great coffee, snacks (and bacon bagels in the morning!). No visit to Lyme Regis is complete without a wander around the harbour and along the inside of the famous Cobb Wall (not advisable in stormy weather) so tag this on to either end of your walk. Allow about 30 mins to walk from start to end and back again.
Image of the Cobb wall with thanks to www.lovelymeregis.co.uk
Walk 3: Windsor Terrace to the beach and back alongside the river and 'old town'. This route takes you along the River Lim from Colway Lane (limited free parking on Roman Road just before the junction with Windsor Terrace.) Walk down Windsor Terrace and follow the riverside walk into the old quarters of Lyme Regis, through the quaint Lyme Regis Town Mill with its working waterwheel, then arriving at the seafront. The whole route is buggy friendly and takes about 20 minutes each way (or longer with young walkers in tow!)
(Credit for image of Lyme Regis Town Mill with thanks to www.lovelymeregis.co.uk)
Take a picnic – (or there’s ice cream and fish and chips!)
Bring your own lunch and avoid the summer queues. The obvious choice for a picnic is on the sandy beach but if you’re averse to a sandy sandwich, or crowds in summer, you can find quieter spots on either of the pebbly beaches to either side of the sand. Or for a different aspect, take your picnic rug to Langmoor Gardens above the Amusement Arcade for arguably the best views in town.
A word of warning – seagulls! They can be predatory and a real pain in high season. Guard your cake/sandwich/chips with your life or you may find yourself divebombed.
Or – not free – but it is a seaside resort after all! There’s an abundance of cafes and kiosks along Marine Parade selling fish and chips, sandwiches, pizza and ice cream.
What is this list missing? What are your favourite free things to do in Lyme Regis? Contact me and I’ll add to this post!
Things to do in Lyme Regis with the kids (not free):
This list is by no means exhaustive, there’s so much to do with the family in Lyme Regis, but here’s a selection of firm family favourites and popular Lyme Regis attractions to check out.
Jurassic Footgolf – like golf, but with a football and bigger holes! (And no golf clubs, just your feet.) A great family activity for fair-weather days, with fine views.
Dinosaurland Fossil Museum – an unusual family-run museum, showcasing Lyme Regis’ amazing history and dinosaur finds. Great for a rainy day. Recommended age 5+ yrs.
Lyme Regis Marine Aquarium – a charming little aquarium just beyond the Harbour next to the fishermen’s stores. You can feed the mullet and get a good close up look at the local marine life.
Lyme Bay Rib Rides – minimum passenger age 5 years old. Take a rib ride around the coast and see the area from a different perspective.
Mini Golf and Table Tennis – situated in Langmoor Gardens above Marine Parade
Lyme Regis Amusement Arcade – good luck walking past this with a toddler if you’re not wanting to go in (speaking from experience)
Trampolines – from Easter to the end of summer, you’ll often find ‘pay per go’ trampolines just beyond the sandy beach, in front of the pastel beach huts
Lyme Regis Museum – recently extended museum of all things Lyme Regis and lots on Mary Anning and her famous finds, with kids’ activities and lots for children to see and do
Swimming Pools – Lyme Regis doesn’t have its own public swimming pool, but you can find good indoor swimming facilities at the nearby Flamingo Pool in Axminster or at Newlands Holiday Park in Charmouth. (Check timetables before visiting – and at Newlands ring first to check that they’re open to the public as this can be season dependant.)
What’s missing from this list? If you’d like to include your activity or attraction on this list of things to do with the kids in Lyme Regis, please get in touch.
I hope you’ll have an amazing visit to Lyme Regis – it’s truly a magical place at any time of the year.
Click on the map below to visit the official interactive town map for Lyme Regis.