Charmouth beach is one of the best places to hunt for fossils
Charmouth beach is one of the best places to hunt for fossils

The attractive seaside village of Charmouth can trace its history back to the Iron Age, when the Celts founded a settlement, and evidence of hill forts can still be seen in the area. Many of the buildings that remain in the village today date from the 18th and 19th centuries, giving the sense of a place where time has stood still.

Charmouth is right in the heart of fossil hunting country. The large shingle beach and the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre on the seafront are a must-visit for those interested in fossils and the local natural history. The Heritage Coast Centre also runs regular fossil hunting walks which are extremely popular.

Charmouth is also great destination for walking, and there are many attractive routes running both inland to the pretty Dorset and East Devon countryside, and along the South West Coast Path. Lyme Regis is about two miles to the west, while the attractive village of Burton Bradstock is a longer walk further east.

The spectaular view looking east from Golden Cap
The spectaular view looking east from Golden Cap. Photo: Mark Simons

Getting there

  • The Jurassic Coaster bus service runs through Charmouth.
  • The nearest railway station is at Axminster, seven miles to the north-west. There is no direct bus service to Axminster, but it is possible to travel via Lyme Regis.
  • By road, Charmouth is signposted from the A35.

Need to know

The 191-metre summit of Golden Cap is the highest point on the south coast and lies about three miles to the east of Charmouth. It’s an invigorating walk to the top, and the views are far-reaching and spectacular.