Dorset’s Jurassic Coast is THE place to go if you want to spend the day searching for fossils or rock pooling, so here are some of the top sites in the county for finding all manner of fossils and of course, interesting small sea creatures that make their homes in the rock pools!
These places are well known for the number of fossils that can be found and the rock pooling opportunities to be had, so you’ll find that many of the seafront stores and gift shops in the area will sell fossil finding kits and rock pooling equipment, so you can really get involved with hunting for evidence of the dinosaurs.
Lyme Regis the most famous of all the areas of the Jurassic Coast and it has a variety of beaches giving you ample opportunity to relax in the sand or scour through the rocks. Plus being the home of a dinosaur museum and the base of several research initiatives, it’s the ideal place for junior palaeontologists!
Having an iconic harbour means that there are plenty of great eateries serving the very best in local produce for you to explore too. See what options are available to you here.
Just along the coast is the village of Charmouth, it is no surprise to anyone that it can be found slap bang in the middle of the UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s a beautiful and charming village and the beach is perfect for anyone wanting to go hunting for fossils. To make sure you go to the best sites, join one of the regular walks hosted by the World Heritage Centre based on the seafront.
This quarry in Swanage was once the home of several large dinosaurs as evidenced by the fact that you can see footprints leading through the site. The fossils were only discovered in the late nineties and have become a popular tourist attraction ever since!
Swanage is a lovely place to base yourself for a family break in Dorset, located on the isle of Purbeck it is the gateway to the Jurassic Coast and has loads of family-friendly attractions to occupy your brood. Find out more here.
At Pirates Cove, there are a collection of Corallian cliffs where you can find a whole host of interesting fossils because of how soft the rock is. The cove is located in Wyke Regis and is a quieter choice to the others but isn’t too far from the town of Portland, so you’ll still have plenty of other attractions to visit.
There are lots of different kinds of fossil to find on the British coast, but the most likely spotted are ammonites, the reason these are the ones that are commonly found is that they are the most widely recognised of all the fossil shapes. Fun fact – they originally had tentacles! It has also been reported that people have found small bones, teeth and belemnites, which look like bullet-shaped rocks, they might not look like much now, but 34 million years ago they looked more like squids!