THE town’s first ever Walking Festival will be launched by Lyme Regis businesses in February to promote the area as a destination for walkers.

The event will be held between February 9 and 13 when walkers can discover the coastline and the 185 million years of history embedded within its Jurassic history.

Lyme Traders Organisation (LTO) also hopes to repeat the event in late autumn to make the festival a celebration of the changing seasons in and around Lyme Regis.

LTO chairman Tony Colston said: “Lyme Regis is glorious and full of visitors during the summer months, but we want to share its dramatic beauty during the autumn and winter months as well. “This will also help to extend the season for our local businesses and encouraging more people to come to the town when it isn’t as busy.”

Several hotels, guest houses, and B&Bs are offering special rates to visitors during the festival period.

Visitors can go into participating shops and pick up printed descriptions and directions.

Details will be posted, together with a list of participating traders and hoteliers on and the festival’s Facebook page.