STORM damage has temporarily closed a popular west Dorset tourist attraction.

Dorset Council says it has shut the high wall section of The Cobb in Lyme Regis following rough seas last night.

The local authority says it will carry out assessments on the structure next week and hopes to complete repairs 'as soon as possible'.

It comes as a flood alert has been issued for west Dorset amid heavy rainfall and strong winds. 

"We have closed the high-wall section of The Cobb in Lyme Regis, as there has been some storm damage at the upper causeway," Dorset Council said. 

"We hope to carry out an engineering assessment next week, so repairs can be done as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience and understanding."

The high wall section of the Cobb is one of Lyme Regis' most famous landmarks and enables walkers to venture out to sea and enjoys magnificent views of the Jurassic Coast.

Dating from the 13th century, the landmark has long inspired artists and writers like Jane Austen and was the location for the unforgettable opening scene from the 1981 film The French Lieutenant's Woman. 

In 1756 the Cobb was joined to land and at the beginning of 1820 it was completely rebuilt in Portland stone.