A WEEKEND full of science, discovery and fun will return to the west Dorset coast this week.

The annual Lyme Regis Fossil Festival will once again host some fascinating exhibitions throughout the town centre, which will include experts from the Natural History Museum, the British Antarctic Society, the Palaeontological Society and lots of local scientific organisations, as well as some thought-provoking and entertaining talks at the Marine Theatre.

Throughout the weekend, there will be stalls selling a range of fossils, jewellery and dinosaur gifts, hands-on science activities, guided walks and tours, story-telling, art exhibitions and the chance to meet Mary Anning and Charles Darwin

On Friday, May 3, there will be a talk on environmental and marine current issues by Julia Hailes and Adam Rees at the Marine Theatre and a lantern procession along the parade to the harbour in the evening.

On Saturday, May 4, members of B Sharp and local school students from Woodroffe School and Mrs Ethelston’s Primary Academy will entertain an audience with their concert, Evolution Rocks.

Events and activities will be going on throughout the town at The Hub, Jubilee Pavillion, the town mill, Lyme Regis Museum, Philpot Museum and Marine Theatre as well as Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre.

A spokesperson for Lyme Regis Fossil Festival said: “We are really proud once again to be hosting one of the biggest scientific festivals, not only in Dorset, but the whole of the UK.

“We are really looking forward to welcoming people of all ages to Lyme Regis and offering some fantastic activities over the weekend, which we hope the whole family will be entertained and educated in the field of fossils, geology, environmental issues and much more.”

The festival is free to attend.

For more information and to book tickets to events, visit www.fossilfestival.co.uk