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Lyme Regis lies in Lyme Bay on the Dorset–Devon border. It is nicknamed "The Pearl of Dorset" and the town is noted for the fossils found in the cliffs and beaches, which are part of the Jurassic Coast.

The town was home to Admiral Sir George Somers, its one-time mayor and parliamentarian. He founded the English colonial settlement of the Somers Isles, better known as Bermuda and Lyme Regis is twinned with St. George's, Bermuda. In July 2015 Lyme Regis was also 'tripled' with Jamestown, Virginia to form the Historic Atlantic Triangle between Lyme, St George's and Jamestown.

In Saxon times, the abbots of Sherborne Abbey had salt-boiling rights on land adjacent to the River Lym and the abbey once owned part of the town. Lyme is also mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. In the 13th century, it developed as one of the major British ports. A Royal Charter was granted by King Edward I in 1284 when 'Regis' was added to the town's name. The charter was confirmed by Queen Elizabeth I in 1591.

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