Summer in the Pearl of Dorset – Lyme Regis: fossils, folk and food festivals.
Visitors to the picturesque coastal town of Lyme Regis this summer have a plethora of festivals and cultural events from which to choose. Stay a short stroll from the centre of town – and the beach – at the Alexandra, a boutique cliff-top bolthole with private gardens and magnificent views of the harbour. The hotel offers the perfect haven at which to unwind after the summer events, some of which, are outlined below:
The Lyme Regis Fossil Festival (1-3 May)
2015 marks the 10th anniversary of the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival and the whole family can discover geological-themed walks, talks, theatre, street performance, music, exhibits and hands-on science. This year’s theme is ‘Mapping the earth’ which ties in with the UK-wide celebrations marking the 200th Anniversary of the publication of William Smith’s famous geological map – the first in the world. Entry to the Grand Marquee is free, and there is just a small charge for talks.
Lyme Regis Jazz & Blues Weekend (29-31 May)
Dedicated jazzers, blues hounds and families alike will enjoy the Lyme Regis Jazz & Blues Festival, which brings the best of live music – fusing new jazz and blues music with the traditions of New Orleans Mardi Gras – to the Marine Theatre and seafront over the May Bank Holiday Weekend. The legendary R&B band, Dr Feelgood, will headline the festival finale. Tickets for individual events cost from £6 per person. Weekend tickets cost £50 person person.
The Big Mix 2015 (4 July)
The Big Mix is a vibrant music festival by the sea providing an eclectic mix of up-and-coming Latin, jazz, rock, rap and folk acts at the Marine Theatre, plus DJ’s until late at The Harbour. Tickets cost from £5 per person.
Lyme Regis Lifeboat Week (18-25 July)
Hundreds of spectators flock to Lyme Regis for this popular flagship event and RNLI lifeboat charity fundraiser. Highlights include a spectacular flying display by the RAF’s Red Arrows, the ever-popular bath tub race and a barbecue on the harbour slipway cooked by the lifeboat crew.
Regatta and Carnival Week (1-9 August)
Starting with a carnival procession and fireworks on the first Saturday in August, over 60 family-friendly events – including Teddy Bears’ Picnics, sailing races, pavement art competitions, dog shows, sand sports and Fete Games – follow throughout the week, raising money for local causes.
Lyme Folk Weekend (21-23 August)
After just two years, Lyme Folk Weekend has established itself as one of the highlights of the south-west’s musical calendar and one of the not-to-miss festivals along the Jurassic coast. The summer festival blends young and emerging talent with some of the finest folk acts in the country. Performances (and dancing) take place in the streets, in the pubs and, perhaps best of all, on the seafront.
Lyme Lympics 2015 (26 August)
Eccentrics of all ages will appreciate the wacky beach races at the Lyme Lympics. The day features such non-Olympic sports as mermaid racing, the eight-legged race, skateboard mackerel relay, tug o’ war, nettle-eating and the old fossils’ electric buggy race.
Lyme Regis Mackerel Festival (4-6 September)
Fresh seafood, fishing and family-friendly seaside activities are at the heart of this festival –championed by local celebrity chef Mark Hix – showcasing the plentiful fish and seafood harvest of Lyme Bay. Fishy-focused events at the Lyme Regis Mackerel Festival, aside from the obvious mouth-watering mackerel feasts, include mackerel fishing competitions, cookery demonstrations and cook-offs between local chefs. Tickets cost £25.
Sample price: Rest your head at the Alexandra, with views across the azure waters of Lyme Bay, the Jurassic Coast and the famous harbour wall, the Cobb. A night’s accommodation with breakfast costs from £180 per room (two sharing)/ £90 per person. As well as direct access to the beach, a lovely sunny lawn and an award-winning restaurant, the hotel offers a treatment room, gym, complimentary WiFi and children’s play area.
For more information visit www.hotelalexandra.co.uk, or call 01297 442 010 to book.
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