THE warship HMS Edinburgh paid a surprise visit to Lyme Regis last night on the last leg of her final voyage.

Lyme Regis was the last port of call for the Royal Navy warship as she headed back to Portsmouth to be de-commissioned.

The Type 42 destroyer and the crew were so taken with the resort during their three-day visit last summer that they decided to pay one last visit.

The stopover last May saw dignitaries from the ship attending a ceremony to rename the Marine Parade Shelters pavilion in honour of the Jubilee.

The crew attended several civic receptions, joined in races with Lyme Regis Gig Club, and played a friendly with Lyme Regis Football Club.

Arriving yesterday just after 7pm in gloomy and rainy conditions, the warship also stayed overnight in the bay before leaving early this morning.

Town mayor Sally Holman and harbourmaster Grahame Forshaw were invited aboard yesterday evening as dinner guests of the Commanding Officer Nick Bourbone.

Coun Holman said she had a surprise email from Cdr Bourbone telling her about the last minute stop-off.

She said: “This is the last leg of her final voyage back to Portsmouth before she is decommissioned next week.

“It is a tremendous honour that she should call in and I think it is due to the great reception they had last year for the naming of the Jubilee Pavilion, the ceremony and the work of harbour staff.

“I have kept in touch and became an official affiliate of the ship.

“The harbourmaster and I were guests of the CO for dinner and had an amazing evening. What an honour, and it strengthens our links with the Royal Navy.”