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Lyme Regis

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General details:

It is probably approaching ten years [that means ~ 1991- Ed.] since I have sailed at Lyme Regis, so forgive me that these details are a bit hazy and brief.

The sailing area we've used is Monmouth Beach - on the western side of the little harbour, "The Cobb". The launch spot is on pebbles which goes out to sand as the tide goes out.

In easterly wind directions the Cobb makes launching tricky because it represents a very significant wind shadow if you are too close. Once you are a few hundred yards out this won't be a problem, it's just the challenge of getting out and then back in again.

Update from Tom Mayne - Sept 2004:

I've been sailing at Lyme for over twenty years off and on, and it's my favorite spot (perhaps because I learnt here?), it sometimes has excellent waves. It's Even better now the sewage problem has been fixed. The main problem now is parking.

The best sailing is generally had to the East of the Cobb, launching from Cobb Gate Beach, but parking is tricky here in summer, I generally unload and find somewhere else to park up the hill.

Monmouth Beach to the west of the Cobb has easier parking and a cleaner wind when it's round to the W, but worse shore break and it's choppier.

Both sides have rock ledges at low tide, good for waves, bad for fins.

Update from Murray Saunders - Oct 2005...

Hi, Lyme is a sick place on a south westerly and welll worth the drive. However, in their wisdom the council has decide on some massive sea defences which render the beach inaccessible!!! nice one!!! this may not finish tell summer 2006! If you go down there after the works launch on the east side.

Update - Sept 2006: Sea defence work is now complete.

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Directions to the right place:

Follow road signs to Lyme Regis, for Cobb Gate Beach.

Follow the main road through the town. At the bottom of the hill is a small car park. Through the car park (usually full) is the sea front. In summer unload and park elsewhere, in winter you can park. Launch from the first bit of beach. When you get to the sea front, aim for the Cobb and park on the western side of it. This is your launching spot.

For Monmouth drive up the hill and turn left just before the large car park, go right at the bottom and park.

Click here for a location map

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How the winds work:

From W to NE:

Best direction is SW which gives a fairly clean cross on wind, good for jumping and backside riding.

WSW is a bit more gusty but virtually cross shore, so frontside riding becomes possible.

It can be sailed in a W but this becomes very tricky, with often no wind on the inside.

When the wind goes S it is dead onshore, and can be difficult to get off the beach as the wind tends to lift over the hill. IE: It's light close in.

SE is even worse - the Cobb restricts your sailing when trying to get to windward.

E is good again, clean side shore wind, but waves generally small and close.

NE is the limit, but quite clean from 200 yards out.

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Tidal conditions:

HW springs tend to occur around 07:30 - 08:30/19:30 - 20:30. HW neaps, around 12:00 - 13:00.

If there aren't big waves, it can be sailed in all states of tide. When the waves are big, it's best and safest in the lower half of the tidal range.

Shore break can be very nasty at high tide, coupled with very little beach (on springs).

Best waves are to be had for 2-3 hours each side of low tide. Very best seem to be 2 hours after low tide.

Spring low tide can be very rocky (neaps OK) - many fins have been lost here.

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Hazards:

Generally very safe, particularly at low tide.

From Cobb Gate there is lots of rock armoring just downwind of the launch since the sewage works were done. Don't get washed on to it (not really a problem as there are plenty of bug out options further downwind).

Getting washed onto the Cobb probably wouldn't be pleasant.

The ledges (both sides) eat fins at low tide (OK on neaps).

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Facilities:

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B&B's / campsites

Campsite in Charmouth - Manor Farm Caravan/Camp Site - Good pitches and levelled Mobile Caravan pitches, outdoor pool for the kids (essential), play area, club house (it's there if you need it!!). Showers and toilets nice and clean, washing-up facilities (loads of hot water). Local facilities - pubs, fish and chips, newsagents, mobile caravan sales/accessories, central to all requirements - we've had an excellent holidays! - ideal for the last minute booking (owner is a real character - and will always try to "squeeze you in" when everything else has failed!)

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Pubs and eateries

The Standard used to be the pub to go to, was named "The Windsurfers Arms" due to the landlord having 3 sons who windsurfed. Now changed hands and not the same.

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Content supplied by . Significant update from Tom Mayne - Sept 2004.

Sea defence update from Murray Saunders - Oct 2005.

Anon. B&B/Campsite info contribution - Aug '03.

Thanks to all.

Note: All comments and opinions mentioned in this section of the site are the personal opinions of the various contributors. Inevitably, one person's favourite may be another person's least favourite.

The information provided here is provided in good faith. We can take no responsibility for the consequences of any inaccuracies. Should you find any inaccuracies, then please take the trouble to tell us, using any of the update links.

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