What can I do on a visit to Lyme Regis?

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Lyme Regis is a favourite location for many of our guests and you might choose to visit for any number of reasons. Lyme is a pretty seaside town in the English tradition, with a busy harbour, lovely independent shops and a museum that tells the story of Lymes pioneering role in the understanding of fossils. Or you might want to sit by the sea enjoying a fish and chip lunch before strolling out onto the Cobb to enjoy the coastal views.

An illustrious seaman and knight from Lyme Regis

When we make a family visit Lyme Regis, we like to visit the memorial of a famous Eilzabethan resident, which stands on the Cobb near the harbour entrance. Admiral Sir George Somers had a very interesting and notable life and he was a player in the world events of his time that have shaped our modern lives.

George Somers was born in Lyme Regis in 1554 when King Henry VIII was on the throne. He was a friend of Walter Raleigh (another local man) and had a very successful career as a merchant trader, privateer and Naval commander.

The merchant adventurer and the New World

He was knighted in 1603 and became Member of Parliament for Lyme Regis in the same year. George Somers used the wealth that he had accumulated in the Navy to invest in the New World and was one of the original investors in the London Virginia Company, which took colonists from England to Jamestown, Virginia. In 1609 at the age of 55, Admiral Sir George Somers set sail for Virginia at the head of the Third Supply Relief Fleet.

A storm and misadventure

The Fleet hit a powerful storm in the Atlantic and all the ships of the fleet were separated. The flagship took on water badly and Admiral Sir George drove the vessel aground on a reef thus preventing the total loss of the ship and saving the lives of those on board. The survivors had made landfall on Bermuda. Somers and his crew though presumed dead, stayed on the island. They built two new ships, setting sail for Jamestown ten months later.

The relief of Jamestown

When they arrived, the colonists were on the point of abandonning Jamestown but the arrival of the small supply fleet enabled them to stay on. Somers returned to Bermuda to collect more supplies but became ill on the voyage and died. Bermuda is also known as the Somers Isles in recognition George Somers part in its history.

While the London Virginia company was never a very successful business venture, it was the means by which English territory was substantially increased and new land settled. Spanish colonial enterprise in the the Americas was challenged and English laws, religion and language secured a place in the New World.

Your visit to Lyme Regis

When you tour with us, we create a personalised itinerary for you, based on your interests and desires. Not everyone includes a visit to Lyme Regis, but it might be just the right spot for you. Would you like to :

  • take in the seaside ambience
  • enjoy the wide ranging views to east and west
  • visit quaint shops on the High Street
  • fish and chips for lunch
  • walk the Cobb (like Meryl Streep)
  • visit the museum and learn about Mary Anning, the paleaontology pioneer
  • scour Monmouth Beach for fossils
  • visit the town gardens

If the sun shines or if it doesn't, you can't fail to have a good day out in Lyme Regis.