Charmouth is an attractive seaside resort with fine Regency houses and a dramatic cliff line.

Charmouth beach
Charmouth Coastline © Travel About Britain

The shoreline here is famous for its abundance of fossils, exposed by the constant erosion of its Jurassic rocks. In fact the beaches between Charmouth and Lyme Regis are some of the best places to go fossil hunting. The first complete fossil of an ichthyosaurus was discovered in this area in 1811, by the 12 year old Mary Anning. Whose finds are currently on display in the London Natural History Museum.

A heritage coast centre on the seafront provides information on the types of fossils and where they can be found. However not not every beach is safe, and not all fossils should be collected. For further information on how to collect fossils in this area visit the Jurassic Coast website.

There are also good walks along the cliff tops here, which overlook the wide sweep of Lyme Bay.

Charmouth was was a fashionable coach stop during Jane Austen's time and has changed very little since. The most historical building is the Queen's Armes (now called the Abbots House). An old coaching inn where Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII's first wife, stayed in 1501. King Charles also took refuge here when forced into hiding in 1651.

Map of Charmouth


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