Things to do and places to visit in and around Charmouth

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Local Activities


Guided fossil hunting walksVisit the Centre to see our amazing fossil collections and find out how to discover your own fossils on the beach. Our guided fossil hunting walks are a great family day out on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. With free entry to the Centre, come and meet the Charmouth Dinosaur and explore the past and present of this incredible coastline.

The Centre is an independent educational charity and we provide a large and varied programme of events and activities which run all year round including Fossil Hunting Walks and Rockpool Rambles. We have over 6,000 children visit us each year on educational trips and we have over 25 years of experience of leading school sessions.

We are located on the first floor of the large building situated on the beach at Charmouth. We have disabled ramp access at the rear of the building. The Centre is the perfect place to visit before heading out onto the beach to find fossils, with interactive computers, fossil touch table, fossil beach, Jurassic Theatre and a video microscope to examine your fossil finds. There is also information and displays on the geology, and coastal wildlife of the area, including a marine rockpool aquarium.

Tel: 01297 560772 |


Fishing trips on Marie F and SunbeamMARIE F and SUNBEAM are two 24ft. open wooden, traditionally built mackerel fishing boats based at The Cobb, Lyme Regis. Mackerel fishing trips last one hour and the cost is £8 for adults and £6 for children. All fishing lines included. (Click photo for different photo)

We also go deep-sea fishing for three hours every morning from 8.30 - 11.30am. The cost is £22 each including rod and bait. Everyone is shown exactly what to do, we have never returned without any fish!

Both boats carry full safety equipment; life jackets are available on request.

Tel: 07974 753287 |


Jurassic ElectricIf you want to explore the area more thoroughly, you can take an electric bike tour with Martin from Jurassic Electric Bikes 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!)

Tel: 07796 135256 |



The Tunnel Target Sports CentreThe Target Sports Centre Ltd, opened in July 2010, the facility enjoys the benefit of both a Home Office approved club “ The Tunnel Target Sports Club” and a commercial entity.

We are affiliated to the National Rifle Association at Bisley and aim to provide an all round understanding to both Air, Small bore and Full bore shooting. We offer training facilities at all levels from the novice, the elite including Team GB and Quality Assured Maritime Firearms Competency assessments.

Target Sports Centre Ltd, The Tunnel, Axminster Road, Charmouth, Dorset DT6 6BY

Tel: 01297 560049 | |


Charmouth Natural History GroupThe Charmouth Natural History Group was founded in 2007 with the aim of observing and studying the local flora and fauna. The group now has 12 members and we have regular site visits to local places renowned for their wildlife including: Axe Estuary, Powerstock Common, Radipole, Lodmoor, Somerset Levels R.S.P.B reserves, Stonebarrow and Durlston Head. We have observed very many animals including Cuckoos, Richard's Pipits, and Adonis Blue and Comma butterflies.

Why not join us and learn something new, don't be put off because you might not know anything. In the group there are several experts to tell you what the subject is. Locals and vistors can join the group on any of our outings. We meet on the 3rd Tuesday of each month, picnic lunch or pub lunch depending on the weather. Our December meeting is our Xmas lunch and we choose where we would like to go to in the following year. So if you are in or visiting the Charmouth area please come along.

Tel: Kate Stapleton on 01297 598612 |


Abbotsbury Swannery Abbotsbury Swannery in Dorset is unique. This is the only place in the world where you are able to walk through the heart of a colony of nesting Mute Swans. A visit to the Swannery is considered one of the best things to do in Dorset.

Located on the dramatic Dorset Coast, this unique natural wildlife habitat is also popular with film makers and has been used as a location for Harry Potter filming.

So if your family is looking for unusual things to do on holiday in Dorset, come to the Swannery and help hand feed 600 swans at 12.00 noon and 4.00pm daily, or get lost in the giant maze (the largest willow maze in Dorset), swing on the swinging nests play area, at the Kennels café or browse our quality gift shop. Parking is free!

The swans at Abbotsbury are all free flying, this is a sanctuary, not a zoo. There are no cages.

New Barn Road, Abbotsbury, Nr Weymouth, Dorset DT3 4JG

Tel: 01305 871858 | |


The Donkey Sanctuary, SidmouthThere are no commercial attractions - just gently rolling countryside with walks around the fields where you can meet the donkeys, who adore the fuss and attention received from visitors. Donkeys of all ages are resident at Slade Farm but a large percentage are elderly and remain here in order to be close to the veterinary hospital.

Visitors are free to spend as much time as they wish meeting the donkeys in the Main Yard where they wander at will. These donkeys live in the main barn with the other residents, some of which are over 40 years of age. They need plenty of extra attention and are kept here to be close to the veterinary hospital. Please do stop by and spend some time with them as they adore fuss and attention in their old age.

The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth, Devon EX10 0NU

Tel: 01395 578222 |

PECORAMA ~ Gardens, Games and Trains

PecoramaPecorama, set on the hillside above the picturesque fishing village of Beer, is home to the world's foremost manufacturer of model railway track, PECO Streamline and PECO Setrack.

On entering the famous Model Railway Exhibition you will be greeted with a display of superbly crafted model railway layouts in all the many scales and gauges produced by the company.

The Beer Heights Light Railway, our award-winning 7¼ inch gauge passenger-carrying miniature railway, takes you on a mile-long ride through flower-filled gardens with breathtaking views of Lyme Bay.

Check our relevant web pages for the fantastic and varied programme of events and children's entertainment scheduled throughout the season.

We look forward to welcoming you very soon!

Pecorama, Underleys, Beer, Devon, EX12 3NA

Tel: 01297 2154 |


Seaton TramwaySeaton Tramway operates narrow gauge heritage trams between Seaton, Colyford and Colyton in East Devon's glorious Axe Valley, travelling alongside the River Axe estuary through two nature reserves and giving an unrivalled view of the abundant wading bird life.

The coastal resort of Seaton is now a gateway town to the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, whilst the historic town of Colyton is described as "Devon's Most Rebellious Town" for its part in the Monmouth Rebellion of 1685. Explore this site for full details and then be sure to pay us a visit!

Tel: 01297 20375 | |


Stuart Line CruisesFrom Exeter Canal Cruises to Glam Rock Boat Parties, from All Day Wildlife and Geology Cruises to Sailing With Santa these more unique events sail with Stuart Line Cruises every year.

Guided Bird Watching Cruises
The only way to see the thousands of birds that migrate to the River Exe for the Winter is by boat! Covered and heated vessel with full commentary and guidance from a leading ornithologist throughout. Advanced Booking Essential - Sailing November to March!

Private Charter
Celebration, socialization or corporate event? Give it the unique twist of a Stuart Line Cruises Private Charter.

Exeter Canal Cruises
Sail the oldest shipping canal in Europe Sail through Turf Locks, Double Locks and the Countess Weir Swing Bridge.

5 Camperdown Terrace, Exmouth, Devon, EX8 1EJ

Tel: Summer - 01395 222144 or Winter - 01297 279693 |


Beer Quarry CavesMany of us marvel at the intricacy of stonemasons' work on numerous stately buildings, cathedrals and churches. But do we ever stop to consider where the stone came from and the history of the excavation behind it?

Our guides will take you on an hour long tour through the awe-inspiring caves with their mighty halls of vaulted roofs and pillars of Beer Stone which have been likened to a vast underground cathedral.

"This is an inspirational and moving place, inspiring awe at the extraordinary skill and industry of man throughout 2,000 years and moving because of its testament to the injustices of a system that enabled such labour to be valued so lightly - a must see destination and many congratulations on the best guided tour I have ever had."
Tim Smit Director, Eden Project, Bodelva, Cornwall.

Beer Quarry Caves, Quarry Lane, Beer, Seaton, Devon. EX12 3AT

Tel: 01297 680282 | |


Char Valley Health ClubChar Valley Health Club offers a range of facilities including a gym, pool sauna and steam room, exclusively for adults. In the gym, the Matrix cardio machines use virtual active technology to help keep you focused while you workout. These include a wide variety of courses through the Alps, cycling through the Rockies or cross training in Chicago. The Trixter bikes provide the ultimate immersive biking experience, with the opportunity to race against a friend or progress through simulated tracks. There are also dedicated resistance machines and a functional trainer. The sauna, steam room and exercise pool are situated on the ground floor along with the Char Valley Coffee House, a perfect place to unwind and relax after your swim or workout. Coffees made from the Italian Rocca beans, tea, smoothies, fruit juices and milk shakes are all available.

Tel: 07971 520897 | |