Charmouth is situated in West Dorset, close to where the Dorset/Devon border meets the sea just two miles to the west at Lyme Regis. Its famous fossil beach is at the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic Coastline.
This beautiful,spectacular coastline stretches from Old Harry Rocks forty miles to the east, passing Swanage and the Purbeck Hills, Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door, the Victorian resort of Weymouth, the graceful curve of Chesil Beach and the rugged cliffs at West Bay to Golden Cap, just two miles from Charmouth and the highest point along the south coast.
Travelling west from Charmouth past Lyme Regis and into Devon, the coast crosses the Axe Estuary Wetlands (great for bird watching) and the Seaton Tramway, on past the pretty villages of Beer and Branscombe and the ancient red sandstone cliffs at Sidmouth, past Budleigh Salterton to the River Exe Estuary at Exmouth.
Charmouth is on the South West Coast Path and the landscape affords spectacular cliff walks in all seasons. (Please note that certain sections of the path close from time to time as the cliffs erode away, we can advise you of the closures affecting the Charmouth area at the time of your visit). The beach is world renowned for its fossils and you can book expert guided fossil walks with Charmouth Heritage Centre or with Chris Pamplin.
But do not just restrict your travels to the coast, the countryside around Charmouth is also well worth exploring. Many country lanes wind their way through the Dorset hills and lead to hidden villages and hamlets, thatched pubs, Iron Age Hill forts and historic houses such as Forde Abbey just five miles to the north. If you want to explore the area more thoroughly, you can take an electric bike tour with Martin from Marshwood Trails which we can highly recommend. It is a superb way of really seeing the hidden countryside such as the Marshwood Vale (and those electric bikes do take a lot of the work out of the hills!)
Bridport and West Bay (which was where much of Broadchurch was filmed ) just five miles to the east is a charming Georgian market town, famous for rope and net making (the hangman's noose was known as the Bridport Dagger). Its Saturday street market is a great way of whiling away a few hours on a Saturday morning.
Charmouth is only four miles from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's River Cottage HQ which hosts regular cookery courses and other events.
Slightly further afield you can visit the Donkey Sanctuary near Branscombe, or have a guided tour of the 2000 year old man made Beer Quarries and Caves, go fishing for mackerel with local fishermen Nick or Harry from Lyme Regis harbour or for the adrenaline junkies, a white knuckle Rib Ride from Simon in West Bay.
The County town of Dorchester, birthplace of Thomas Hardy, is 20 miles to the east. The attractive towns of Sherborne and Shaftesbury with the famous Gold Hill are 30 miles or so to the north west. There is also within a 30 mile drive the Fleet Air Arm Museum near Yeovil and the Tank Museum at Bovington which are both worth a visit.
The historic lace-making town of Honiton is sixteen miles to the west and is renowned for its many antique shops. The City of Exeter is thirty miles to the west and worth a visit, if just to see its magnificent Gothic Cathedral.
There is an awful lot to enjoy in this area but most of all the peace and quiet of the countryside and the spectacular coastline are what will bring you back to west Dorset again and again.