Best things about living in Lyme Regis
PUBLISHED: 12:03 29 June 2015 | UPDATED: 12:03 29 June 2015
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Dubbed ‘The Pearl of Dorset’, Lyme Regis is popular with tourists who enjoy its fossil-laden beaches and exploring its winding streets, but what would it be like to live here?
The appeal of living in Lyme Regis is clear. Situated on the most westerly point of Dorset’s Jurassic Coast close to the Devon border, the surrounding coast and countryside provides a stunning backdrop to a town bursting with individual character. Lyme’s uniqueness is perhaps best demonstrated through its programme of annual events which range from a Fossil Festival through to a Food Rocks Festival which celebrates the local seafood! The town also has strong literary connections which draw in fans from across the world. Jane Austen, who came here on holiday twice, sets some scenes in Persuasion here and local author John Fowles used the dramatic backdrop of the Cobb for The French Lieutenant’s Woman.
Independent shops and eateries, such as Aroma Café, Tierra, Town Mill, Alice’s Bear Shop and of course the Lyme Fossil Shop and The Old Forge Fossil Shop, ensure that there is a regular stream of visitors all year round. Foodies enjoy browsing The Town Mill Cheesemonger, a worthy winner in last year’s Dorset Magazine Food, Drink and Farming awards; or for great food with views there’s the Mark Hix’s Fish and Oyster House overlooking the Cobb, and the Alexandra Hotel with its cliff top panorama.
As well as coastal charm and independent style, Lyme Regis offers very good schools. There’s St Michael C of E Primary School in the heart of the town, Mrs Ethelston’s Primary in nearby Uplyme and Woodroffe School, a local comprehensive with a sixth form, has been rated ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED. Transport links are good, the town is equidistant between Dorchester to the east and Exeter (with its airport) to the west, both 25 miles away. There are regular train services between Exeter and London Waterloo from nearby Axminster station.
As is often the case for coastal towns, the majority of property sales in Lyme Regis in 2014 were flats, selling for an average price of £226,337. The town’s overall average property price last year was £320,305, making it more expensive than nearby Bridport (£236,842) and West Bay (£261,422). There has been little fluctuation in sale prices in the town over the past few years, with property around 7% more affordable now compared to the 2011 average sale price of £346,145.
Of the new developments, there are currently a number of three and four bedroom houses from Bloor Homes available at Woodberry Copse, just off the A3052 on the outskirts of Lyme Regis, with sale prices ranging from £324,950 to £579,950. One home currently on the market there is ‘Studland’ – a contemporary, three bedroom semi-detached house with a spacious lounge and an open plan kitchen/dining area. The property has a guide price of £328,950.
The Property Market in Lyme Regis (average sale prices in 2014)
• Flats: £226,337
• Semi-detached house: £252,571
• Detached house: £452,836
• Average sale price: £320,305
• Pricing information from rightmove.co.uk
• Bespoke watch business in Lyme Regis - An enterprising couple chose a terrace of renovated artisan cottages in which to launch a bespoke watch business - and drew design inspiration from a famous literary relative.