22. West Bay to Lyme Regis

This was another thoroughly wet walking day with gales, wind and rough seas. I opted to get the bus from Sidmouth to West Bay for this particular section. I arrived at West Bay in the dark and it was a case of getting my head torch out for the first half hour of walking.

I followed the path up and down for a few miles before I dropped down to the small village of Seatown. I passed the Anchor pub in the village and remember reading how the landlords of the pub had made quite a few ascents on nearby Golden Cap for charity in the past.

I climbed slowly up the slopes of Golden Cap knowing the top was shrouded in mist. It was still raining as I descended towards Charmouth. One of the problems with walking in miserable and rough weather is that you tend to withdraw into yourself and not pay much attention to what is around you. After passing through Charmouth I was diverted inland due to a recent cliff on the SWCP. I took the Axminster road as far as the hotel near Fern Hill. The path then cut across the golf course bringing me out on the A3052. The road dropped down a steep hill and continued on through the narrow streets of Lyme Regis to finish at the Cob.

A throughly wet and miserable day.

Setting out in the dark looking back at West Bay
Looking back at Doghouse Hill
Looking down on Seatown with Golden Cap shrouded in mist in the distance
The summit of Golden Cap
Looking back at Golden Cap beginning to clear now
Looking ahead to Charmouth and in the mist and distance Lyme Regis
Looking back east from Lyme Regis

Distance today = 10 miles
Total distance =   343.5 miles



3 thoughts on “22. West Bay to Lyme Regis”

  1. Ugh, sounds like a horrible day. Shame, cos the views from Golden Cap are amazing. I followed the diversion too, which gets you around the slow moving landslip to the east of Lyme Regis, but I think you can ignore the warning signs and walk along the beach if the tide is out.


  2. I grew up in the 70s in Charmouth, Alan. So this post particularly is of interest to me. We lived in the last house on Old Lyme Rd. The views that you present here are forever ingrained in my mind. From my bedroom as a kid I could look east, along the coast, toward Golden Cap and beyond to Portland. I would count the seconds in between the light flashes – 27. To the west was Lyme and, of course, the Cobb. The bottom of the garden was the cliff and Black Venn. The footpath, as you mention, was forever falling away or, at least, being closed. The winter of 76 our house burned down and for a year or two my folks rented a bungalow in the village proper. They would have been younger than I am now. It turned out the fire was possibly deliberate (we were on holiday in Llandudno at the time) and I suppose that they never got over it. We moved back to south London where we had left at the end of the 60s. Idyllic times, great, great memories. Thank you so much for reminding.


  3. Hi Nick, thanks for sharing that. I must confess I can only remember a few things about this walk. It was a really wet and miserable day and my camera stayed in the dry of my rucksack for most of the walk. I do remember walking out of Charmouth up the Axminster Road as far as the Fernhill Hotel and then cutting down through the golf course to Lyme. I’ve been to Lyme a few times now and finished my Wessex Ridgeway walk at Lyme. I used to read a lot of John Fowle’s stuff and remember The French Lieutenants Woman being based and filmed there. Actually I was only reading the other day on the BBC news site of a successful fund raising initiative to erect a statue of the Victorian amateur paleontologist Mary Anning who lived and had a small fossil shop in the town.


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