Lyme Regis is beautiful, with its steep winding streets, bow windows, lamp posts decorated with iron ammonites, Regency cabane ornee resembling a thatched igloo, gabled clapboard houses, fossil shops, ancient inns, Nonconformist chapels, and fanciful houses along the front. A terraced public garden moulded from a landslip is thick with ferns and pampas grass. Below it, level with the beach, an amusement arcade with a grim 1970s front is set discreetly underground.
Lyme is inspiring. Whistler rented a studio here for a summer, Samuel Palmer spent time drawing the landslip and Henry Fielding dallied with a local beauty. Perhaps most famously, Jane Austen set part of Persuasion in Lyme.
Read more about Lyme Regis in Candida Lycett Green’s new book Seaside Resorts, available now from The Oldie website for £14.99.
Buy the book