Where can you take part in a guided fossil hunting tour on the Jurassic Coast?

The Magic of Jurassic Coast

The Jurassic Coast is a world-renowned stretch of coastline spanning 95 miles, with rocks recording 185 million years of Earth's history. From Orcombe Point in East Devon to Old Harry Rocks in Dorset, this coast presents an almost continuous geological walk through time, involving rocks from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Here, you will not just take a walk; you will travel through time, you will discover.

This UNESCO World Heritage site is not only known for its breathtaking scenery, but it also offers a unique opportunity to engage in a thrilling activity - fossil hunting. Fossil hunting on the Jurassic Coast can give you a tangible connection to the past, a feeling of being part of an ancient world that once was. It is no wonder then that thousands of people flock to the coast each year, with baskets and tools in hand, ready to unearth treasures from the past.

Lyme Regis: The Heart of Fossil Hunting

One of the jewels of Jurassic Coast, Lyme Regis, is particularly known for its abundance of fossils. This picturesque seaside town in Dorset, commonly referred to as the 'Pearl of Dorset', has become a haven for fossil enthusiasts around the world. The town's fame in the world of paleontology can be attributed, in part, to the work of Mary Anning, a local fossil collector, dealer, and paleontologist who made significant discoveries in the marine fossil beds at Lyme Regis around the early 19th century.

Lyme Regis offers guided fossil hunting tours, where an expert guide will take you through a safe and educational walk along the beach. These tours are suitable for both beginners and seasoned hunters, and they provide an excellent opportunity to find well-preserved fossils. During these tours, you will learn how and where to find fossils, understand the best times for fossil hunting, and discover the correct and safe ways of collecting fossils.

Charmouth Beach: The Gateway to the Jurassic Coast

Another prime location for fossil hunting on the Jurassic Coast is Charmouth Beach. It's a stone's throw away from Lyme Regis and equally rich in fossil deposits. The beach is known for its abundance of ammonites and belemnites, ancient extinct creatures related to modern squids.

Guided fossil walks at Charmouth Beach are run by the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre. The center's team of knowledgeable wardens provides insight into the geology of the area and the types of fossils that can be found. These tours are an excellent way to learn about scientific importance of the coast, as well as a chance to explore and find your own fossils.

The Etches Collection Museum: A Glimpse into the Past

Apart from physical hunting, another way to immerse yourself in the world of fossils is by visiting The Etches Collection museum located in the village of Kimmeridge, Dorset. This museum houses a world-renowned collection of Jurassic marine fossils, all found by just one man, Dr. Steve Etches, over a period of 30 years.

Though not a hunting ground, the museum offers guided tours that let you explore the Jurassic Coastline in a different light. These tours provide the chance to learn about the prehistoric marine life that once lived here, from tiny microfossils to giant marine reptiles, all through the eyes of a passionate and dedicated fossil hunter.

Guided Walks by Jurassic Coast Guides

For a more comprehensive experience, Jurassic Coast Guides offer personalized walking tours across the entire coast. These guides are expert geologists who will take you on an informative and enjoyable journey through the deep time. Whether you are an enthusiastic fossil hunter, a student, a photographer, or someone who simply enjoys a good walk, they can tailor the tour to suit your interests.

Walking with a Jurassic Coast Guide, you will discover hidden gems, learn the stories behind the landscape, and gain a deeper understanding of the world's first natural heritage site. From fossil hunting to understanding the formation of the coast, these tours offer a complete Jurassic Coast experience.

Remember, wherever you decide to take your fossil hunting tour on the Jurassic Coast, one thing is certain - you are about to embark on a journey of discovery, connecting with the past in a way you never thought possible.

Unearthing History with Fossil Events in Lyme Regis Museum

If you fancy expanding your fossil hunting journey beyond the beaches, Lyme Regis Museum is yet another treasure trove worth exploring. This museum, located in Lyme Regis, is situated on the site of the home of the town's legendary fossil hunter, Mary Anning.

The museum holds regular fossil events, all designed to enrich your understanding of the Jurassic Coast and its geology. These events are led by expert guides who are well-versed in the fascinating history of the coast's paleontology and can provide in-depth information about the fossils discovered along the coast.

On top of that, the Lyme Regis Museum hosts regular fossil hunting walk events. This is a fantastic way for beginners and seasoned hunters alike to dive deeper into the world of fossils, equipping them with useful knowledge and practical tips for fossil hunting. During these walks, you will not only discover fossils but also learn about the ancient creatures that once crawled, swam, and flew in the area now known as the Jurassic Coast.

But the museum is not only about fossils. It also offers insights into the local history, geology, and literary figures connected to Lyme Regis. There is a café serving delicious food and drink for when you fancy a break from your fossil hunting exploits, making this a perfect day out for anyone interested in the riches of the Jurassic Coast.

The Black Ven: A Remarkable Fossil Hunting Walk

Further along the coastline from Lyme Regis is the Black Ven, a section of the cliff between Lyme Regis and Charmouth. This area is famed for its remarkable fossil finds. Thanks to constant erosion, the Black Ven regularly reveals a variety of fossils, including ammonites, belemnites, and the occasional marine reptile.

Guided tours of the Black Ven allow fossil hunting enthusiasts to explore this spectacular section of the Jurassic Coast, led by dedicated and knowledgeable guides. These expert guides will explain the fascinating geology of the cliffs and help you spot and identify fossils. They also offer safety advice, ensuring that everyone has a fun and safe experience while fossil hunting.

A fossil hunting walk along the Black Ven not only offers the chance to discover fossils but also provides stunning views of the Jurassic Coast. This unique landscape is dog-friendly, making it a great day out for the whole family.

Conclusion: The Never-Ending Allure of the Jurassic Coast

In conclusion, whether you choose Lyme Regis, Charmouth Beach, The Etches Collection Museum, or the Black Ven for your fossil hunting adventure, the Jurassic Coast offers something for everyone. With expert guides to lead the way, you'll not only discover fossils but also gain a deeper understanding of the history and geology of our planet.

Fossil hunting on the Jurassic Coast is not merely a pastime. It's an opportunity to connect with the ancient world, to unravel the mysteries of time, and to understand our place in the grand scheme of things. So grab your tools, put on your hunter's hat, and embark on a journey of discovery along the world's first natural heritage site – the Jurassic Coast.