As children, we were all fascinated by fossils and the idea of uncovering prehistoric secrets. And if you’re still holding onto that sense of wonder, then the Jurassic Coast is where you need to be! With its stunning cliffs and ancient rock formations, this stretch of coast boasts some of the world’s most important fossil sites. So grab your gear and get ready to embark on a thrilling adventure as we explore the best places to go fossil hunting along the Jurassic Coast!
The Jurassic Coast
England’s Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage Site that spans 95 miles of coastline from Orcombe Point in Devon to Old Harry Rocks in Dorset. This stretch of coastline reveals 185 million years of Earth’s history and is home to an abundance of fossils. From ammonites and belemnites to Dinosaur bones, there is something for everyone to find. Here are some of the best places to go fossil hunting on the Jurassic Coast:
Lyme Regis: This seaside town is renowned for its rich fossil history and is regularly visited by fossil hunters from all over the world. The Cobb, a large stone pier, provides an excellent platform for combing the beach for fossils. Lyme Regis is also home to the Fossil Festival, which is held every May.
Charmouth: Charmouth beach is another great spot for finding fossils. It is recommended that you visit at low tide so that you have more area to search. Keep your eyes peeled for ichthyosaurs, crocodiles, and shells.
Durdle Door: This natural limestone archway provides a stunning backdrop while you hunt for fossils in the rocks and cliffs around it. You may even be lucky enough to find a piece of Amber here!
Lulworth Cove: Lulworth Cove is a must-see when visiting the Jurassic Coast. In addition to its beauty, this cove also provides easy access to various fossil-rich areas. The nearby Durdle
Best Places to Go Fossil Hunting on the Jurassic Coast
The Jurassic Coast is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that spans 95 miles of England’s coastline. It’s home to some of the world’s most well-preserved fossils, dating back to the Mesozoic Era.
Whether you’re a seasoned fossil hunter or a complete novice, there’s plenty to find on the Jurassic Coast. Here are some of the best places to go fossil hunting:
1. Charmouth Beach
Charmouth Beach is world-renowned for its fossils. The beach is constantly eroding, revealing new fossils each year. You can find ammonites, belemnites, and ichthyosaurs here.
2. Lyme Regis
Lyme Regis is another excellent spot for fossil hunting. It’s especially good for finding marine reptiles like plesiosaurs and mosasaurs. You can also find ammonites and belemnites here.
3. Durdle Door
Durdle Door is a natural limestone arch that’s famous for its fossils. You can find ammonites, bivalves, and echinoids here. The cliffs around Durdle Door are also rich in fossils, so it’s worth exploring them too.
4. Burton Bradstock Beach
Burton Bradstock Beach is great for finding vertebrate fossils like fish and crocodiles. You might also find ammonites, bivalves, and echinoids here too. Keep an eye out for
What Type of Fossils Can You Find?
Fossils can be found in a variety of rocks, from sedimentary to metamorphic. The most common fossils are of shells and other hard parts of animals or plants that lived in the ocean. However, you can also find fossilized leaves, tree bark, and even insects in some rocks.
To find fossils, you need to look for places where rocks have been eroded or broken open. This can happen naturally, but it is often easiest to find fossils at quarries or construction sites. Once you have found a likely looking rock, you will need to gently break it open to see if there are any fossils inside. It is important not to use too much force, as this can damage the delicate fossils.
If you are interested in finding a particular type of fossil, it can be helpful to do some research beforehand. This way you will know what kind of rocks to look for and where to find them. For example, if you want to find dinosaurs bones, you should look for sedimentary rocks that were deposited in river deltas or coastal areas during the Mesozoic Era.
How to Prepare for Your Fossil Hunting Adventure
Before you head out on your fossil hunting adventure, there are a few things you should do to prepare. First, research where the best places to look for fossils are. The Jurassic Coast is full of them, so you’ll have plenty of options. Once you’ve decided where you’re going, make sure you have the proper gear. You’ll need comfortable walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen, and water. A backpack with snacks and a first-aid kit is also a good idea.
When you’re ready to start looking for fossils, keep your eyes peeled for any rocks that look like they might have shells or bones in them. It can be helpful to bring along a hammer and chisel so you can split open rocks if necessary. Be careful not to damage any fossils you find – it’s important to preserve them so future generations can enjoy them too!
What to Do With the Fossils You Find
If you’re lucky enough to find a fossil on the Jurassic Coast, there are a few things you should do to ensure its preservation. First, it’s important to gently brush away any dirt or debris that may be obscuring the fossil. Once the fossil is clean, you can take a picture of it in situ (in its natural location) for reference. If you want to remove the fossil from the beach, it’s best to use a soft brush and gentle pressure applied evenly across the surface of the rock. Once you’ve loosened the fossil, carefully lift it out of the rock and place it in an appropriately sized container filled with slightly dampened paper towels. It’s also a good idea to label your container with the date, location, and identification of the fossil (if known).
If you have any questions about what to do with your fossils or where to take them for further identification, you can always contact your local museum for guidance.
We hope this article has inspired you to go out and explore the Jurassic Coast’s fossil hunting sites. Fossil hunting is a great way to get up close and personal with prehistoric life while also providing an exciting adventure. With some preparation, you can make sure that your trip will be safe and enjoyable, giving you the chance to uncover some of Britain’s best kept prehistoric secrets!