Fossil Hunting

One of the primary attractions of The World Heritage Jurassic Coast is its constant evolution, movement and destruction.  The combination of these elements results in the constant uncovering of fossils.  With a regular battering from the sea and prevailing winds, the shores can often be seen littered with fossil hunters, seasoned and new. 

Due to the high erosion rates, the beaches underlying the cliffs of Charmouth and Lyme Regis offer the best places to collect fossils.  There are a number of companies offering guided tours but it is easy enough to switch on your best ‘looking’ eyes, pick up a bucket and stroll along the shoreline at low tide.  The local fossil centre at Charmouth will be able to offer you advice on the best places to start your quest and what to look out for.  The site provides plenty of pictures of how the fossils look in situ as well as some excellent information regarding the geology.  If it is a guide you are after, the following will all be of excellent assistance in the Charmouth area;

Charmouth is approximately 40 minutes by car from The Esplanade and makes an excellent day trip from Weymouth when you couple it up with a spot of fossil hunting.

For hunting in Lyme Regis, approximately a 45 minute drive, the following links will help.

For a first-hand account of a recent reporter who joined a fossil hunting tour, the following article is extremely informative.

The fossil hunting trips above are aimed at the day tripper, the seasoned professional fossil hunters as well as academics.  Attendees often leave the tours laden with smaller hand held treasures.  However, the Dorset coast often spawns a monster.

Recent larger finds include an Ichthyosaur; see for further information.  More recently, in October 2009 the skeleton of a Pliosaur was found on the Dorset coastline.  The Pliosaur was a ferocious predator and the skull of the beast that was found measured a whopping 2.4m. and contain video footage of the fossils as well as providing much more detailed information on the massive beast. 

The Esplanade, Weymouth Seafront Slideshow: Rob’s trip to Weymouth was created with TripAdvisor TripWow!