Tips For Fossil Hunting Along The Jurassic Coast

fossil molluscs

Fossil hunting is such a fun holiday activity for kids visiting the Jurassic Coast.  When we spent time in Devon, we visited Seaton beach with the girls.  We didn’t really have a plan for our fossil hunting but we ended up finding a rock full of fossils.  It was a large rock full of small molluscs that must have died at the same time.  The girls were so excited to find it, it was like they had struck gold.

It got me thinking that if we had a plan or some tips for how to find fossils on the beach we might have found a few more.  I often recommend taking a holiday on the Jurassic Coast to my friends and family, and suggest that they take their kids fossil hunting.  I’ve been asked questions like do you need a fossil hunting kit or where’s the best fossil beach so I wanted to share this guide with families who are interested in this holiday activity.

Jurassic Coast Devon

Tips For Fossil Hunting Along The Jurassic Coast

Before you start fossil hunting there’s a couple of things you should know.  It’s recommended that you should only collect loose fossils that you find on the beach.  It’s important not to chisel or dig out Jurassic Coast fossils.  There are also places where fossil collecting is not allowed, so take a look at local information before you start exploring.

The other thing to remember when you are fossil collecting is to stay safe.  It’s advised to visit a fossil beach during low tide and stay away from cliffs and potential landslides.  Parts of the Jurassic Coast are very fragile and prone to erosion so being cautious about where you go is strongly recommended.

fossil hunting with kids

Jurassic Coast Beaches – Devon

Seaton beach is a stone beach and is a great place to start fossil hunting.  Seaton Jurassic is also nearby and I highly recommend a visit here if you are interested in Jurassic Coast fossils.  You may find yourself near to a different beach in Devon so here are other locations good for fossil collecting

  • Sidmouth
  • Lee Bay
  • Hooken Cliff
  • Valley of the Rocks
  • Beer Head
  • Fremington
  • Hopes Nose
  • Pinhay Bay
  • Croyde
  • Budleigh Salterton
  • Daddy Hole

Hooken Cliff and the Valley of the Rocks are known for best results for fossil hunting.  Both are suitable for families, but Hooken Cliff would suit older children better due to access and the nature of the location.

fossil hunting in Devon

Jurassic Coast Beaches – Dorset

Dorset is a really popular location for fossil hunting.  It’s the home of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site so it makes sense that you will find lots of great specimens here.  Lyme Regis draws lots of visitors looking to get started with fossil hunting and is a great place to visit if you are interested in joining a guided tour or finding out more about the history in the Lyme Regis Museum.

Lyme Regis is a very popular holiday destination and so the beach can get crowded, especially in the summer.  There are many fossil beaches in Dorset so consider visiting one of these during your holiday.

  • Pirates Cove
  • Cogden Beach
  • Langton Herring
  • Seatown
  • Hengistbury Head
  • Tidmoor Point
  • Charmouth Beach
  • Burton Bradstock
  • Poxwell Quarries
  • West Bay
  • Dancing Ledge
  • Redcliff Point
  • Perryfield Quarry
  • Church Ope Cove
  • Portland Bill
  • West Weare
  • Wake Regis
  • Osmington Mills
  • Horn Park Quary
  • Thorncombe Beacon
  • White Nothe
  • Monmouth Beach
  • Stutland Bay
  • Freshwater Bay
  • Eype
  • Swanage
  • Chapman’s Pool
  • Durlston Bay
  • Watton Cliff
  • Kimmeridge Bay
  • Ringstead Bay
  • Lulworth Cove
  • Bowleaze Cove

As you can see, Dorset is the perfect place for Jurassic Coast fossil hunting and there’s no shortage of beaches to choose from.  Seatown is an excellent source of fossils at low tide and is perfect for children of all ages to go fossil hunting.  Ringstead Bay is also a great fossil beach for children and has good facilities including accessible parking, toilets and places to get refreshments nearby.

fossil molluscs

Fossil Hunting Equipment

When it comes fossil hunting kits you really don’t need a lot for this activity.  When we visited Seaton beach we didn’t have any equipment and we still managed to find a fossil on the beach.  Unfortunately we didn’t know the type of fossils they were until we took the rock to Seaton Jurassic.  We also might have missed them if the stone had of been dry.  Fossils are a lot easier to spot when the rocks are wet.

If you are going fossil hunting with kids I would recommend taking a magnifying glass and a small brush to clean off mud and debris.  You will also find a notebook to record your fossil finds and a camera just in case you find a fossil which isn’t loose.

A fossil guide will also help you identify the types of fossils that you find.  It helps to know what you are looking for if you want your fossil hunting to be successful so having something like this guide to hand will you make the most of this fun holiday activity.

Family Friendly Places to Stay in Devon

Luxury Apartments in Devon: Cofton Holidays

Glamping in Devon: Our Stay at Crealy Meadows – Review

Caravan Holidays Devon: Staying at Andrewshayes Holiday Park

Tips For Fossil Hunting around the Jurassic Coast UK

Zena Goldman

Zena Goldman is a UK based travel, family & lifestyle blogger who left her 9-5 job behind in the not-for-profit sector to follow her creative dreams and enjoy a more flexible family life. She began writing Zena’s Suitcase in 2011 and shares the holidays and adventures she goes on with (and without) her 2 young daughters. She wishes her son would join them more often but he’s carving out his own dreams now and enjoying university life. Since beginning Zena’s Suitcase she has worked with a number of brands and also has a regular monthly feature in the ASDA Good Living Magazine feature, ‘Ask The Expert’ where she shares helpful parenting tips. In 2018 she was also a finalist in the prestigious BIBs Awards for Social Media.

Related Posts

3 Discussion to this post

  1. Ah my three would love to do this. We love finding nature’s treasure on the beach. I’ve never visited the Jurassic Coast! One for the 2019 bucket list I think x

  2. Calvin says:

    Sounds like a blast.. definitely never thought of such a cool activity

  3. makim says:

    The Jurassic Coast is one of Englands UNESCO World Heritage Sites that’s perched on the south coast of Great Britain. What makes this area so special is the fact that you can go fossil hunting and explore the incredible landscapes of the Jurassic Coast.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest Stories

Search stories by typing keyword and hit enter to begin searching.

%d bloggers like this: