Friday, August 15, 2014

New guide to Lyme Regis: Exploring with 'Lesser Known Lyme Regis'

This is the perfect time of year for enjoying Dorset’s seaside. A new book just published,  Lesser Known Lyme Regis, delves into a side of Lyme Regis you might not know, with commentary from local people and six easy-to-follow guided walks with maps.

It’s rather like having your own personal guide. Author Joanna Smith lives in Lyme Regis, where she runs the Black Dog Writing Group. She spent two years researching the book.

‘So much has been written about the town’s history, literary links, walking trails and fossils, but I wanted to write a comprehensive guide that brings all these facets of the town together.’

The bizarre 'moonscape' known as the Ammonite Graveyard, Monmouth Beach 
‘The book includes interviews with dozens of local people such as fishermen, artists, fossil hunters, historians and wreck divers, which give a real insight into contemporary Lyme and explain why it’s such a vibrant place’.

Liz Martin, a volunteer miller at the Town Mill, weighing out freshly milled flour.
Like Lesser Known Weymouth and Lesser Known Swanage, two other titles in the series published by Roving Press, the book will appeal to locals as well as visitors. It takes you on a personal tour to reveal the quirkier side of Lyme Regis.

Vantage point on Bell Cliff. The Georgian cannon was retrieved from the Cobb in 1974 where it had spent many inglorious years as a mooring post, stuck in the harbour floor near the Gin Shop.

Lesser Known Lyme Regis is available in local outlets and direct from Roving Press (, tel 01300 321531), priced £11.99.

Copyright Julie Musk 2014

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Explore Swanage with new 'Lesser Known Swanage' guide for 2014

Lesser Known Swanage was first published in 2009. Revised and updated for 2014, along with other books in the Lesser Known series – Weymouth and Lyme Regis – it takes a contemporary look at the town.

Learn about:
·         the history of the stone trade. Purbeck stone is the cause of much local pride and quarrying goes back to Roman times;

·         Durlston Country Park, with the Lighthouse, newly renovated Durlston Castle, dolphin spotting, flora and fauna;

·         Swanage Railway – past and present;

The busy engine working area and turntable. A special viewing area over the bridge allows you to see the action (walk up Gilbert Road, parallel with the track, cross the bridge, then through the gate on the right)
·         behind-the-scenes interviews with local people (from sailors to Lifeboat crew, fishermen to Purbeck Producers);

Local fishermen work out of huts along Peveril Point Road, next to the council Boat Park. Most of the red buoys in Swanage Bay are either moorings or lobster/crab pots

·         practical information, including chapters on regular events, local fare, exploring, family fun and other activities;

 ·         six self-guided walks and maps exploring the Square, High Street, Peveril Point, Mill Pond and hills around Swanage;

Designed to take out and explore the backstreets with, hopefully families will enjoy the quiz questions in the walks and day-trippers will find plenty to inspire them to come back and enjoy this friendly seaside town, with its wealth of hidden gems. Even locals will discover new things.


Lesser Known Swanage has 144 pages, fully illustrated in colour, priced £9.99. It and other Lesser Known guides to Weymouth and Lyme Regis are available from Roving Press ( If you like exploring Dorset, you'll love our books.

Copyright Julie Musk 2014