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A Guided Fossil Hunting Walk in Charmouth

Posted on
January 21, 2020

Living on the Jurassic Coast, we have our favourite beaches for fossil hunting and although we have made some exciting finds, we have not really known or understood some of what we were looking at.

Last weekend we took part in a guided fossil hunting walk at Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre.

Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre

The two hour session started up at the Centre, where we got to explore some of the finds that have been made in this famous fossil hunting location and enjoy a 20 minute talk from one of the Centre Wardens, Ali.

Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre

Ali talked about the fossils of Charmouth, how and where to find fossils on the beach and showed us examples so we knew what we were looking for.

Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre

I was really impressed by how much knowledge the kids already had about fossils and Eliza proudly recited the poem “She sells sea shells” to the group, which is apparently based on Lyme Regis’ famous pioneering 19th Century paleontologist , Mary Anning.

The walks are timed perfectly to coincide with low tide and once the talk was finished, the group was given a safety briefing before heading out onto the beach with the wardens, Ali and Lester.

Charmouth Beach Fossil Walk

Our walk was the day after a rather large storm, so we were very hopeful that we would make some exciting finds, as the waves would have thrown up lots of shingle onto the beach and the rain would have shifted some from the cliffs.

Charmouth Beach Fossil Walk

We headed around 20 minutes along the beach, to an area where there was evidence of a cliff fall, with the kids collecting sea glass as we went.

Charmouth Beach Fossil Walk

Sebastian made the first discovery of the day with an ammonite and our finds came in thick and fast from there.

Charmouth Beach Fossil Walk

Sebastian was definitely the ammonite magnet, but we also found belemnites, coprolites, crinoids and trace worms.

Charmouth Beach Fossil Walk

Both our guides were amazing and on hand to help identify all our discoveries and break open the occasional rock with their specialist tools.

Charmouth Beach Fossil Walk

They positively encouraged us to ask lots of questions and show them finds that we were not sure of. Some of our finds were just rocks, but most were fossils in some form.

Charmouth Beach Fossil Walk

The great thing about fossil hunting in Charmouth, is that you can keep your finds and we came home with pockets full to the brim.

Charmouth Beach Fossil Walk

We stayed on the beach for a good couple of hours and I am confident that we can now visit other beaches and know where and what to look for.

Charmouth Beach Fossil Walk

The wardens also shared some of their favourite beaches for fossil hunting locally, with a few surprises. We have visited Ringstead Bay and Burton Bradstock before, but never found anything of interest so are now planning a return visit to see what we can find.

Charmouth Beach Fossil Walk

The other great thing about visiting a beach after a storm, is getting to see what has been washed up and the kids spend ages playing on a huge tree that was laying on the beach, roots and all.

Charmouth Beach Fossil Walk

Guided Fossil Hunting walks cost £8 per adult and £4 per child and are bookable at charmouth.org/chcc/. I would advise booking in advance as they get booked up quickly, especially during the school holidays.

Charmouth Beach Fossil Walk

There are also fossil walks that go from Lyme Regis and all over the Jurassic Coast.

Sunset-Charmouth

Have you been fossil hunting with the kids before?

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17 Comments
  1. Reply

    Sabina Green

    January 21, 2020

    My boys would love this, they love searching for fossils on the beach and have learnt about Mary Anning at school. What a beautiful place the Jurassic coast is! That seems like a good price for a guided tour.

  2. Reply

    michelle twin mum

    January 21, 2020

    It looks like you had a fabulous day for it and that is a great beach. So many wonderful finds, I bet your kids were over the moon. Mich x

  3. Reply

    Jon

    January 21, 2020

    Wow! This reminds me of growing up on the coast in Norfolk and doing things like this!

  4. Reply

    Heather

    January 22, 2020

    My daughters would love to go there! They are all about fossils right now!

  5. Reply

    Cristina Petrini

    January 22, 2020

    Certainly an original and different path that not only fascinates children, but certainly also makes adults learn a lot.

  6. Reply

    kumamonjeng

    January 22, 2020

    Seems like Sebastian has found so many treasure and I could see joy in his face.

  7. Reply

    Anosa

    January 22, 2020

    What an amazing adventure for the kids, I remember doing a similar walk years ago and we loved it.

  8. Reply

    Jenni

    January 22, 2020

    This sounds right up my street – I would love to go on a fossil hunting walk! I wonder where the nearest place to us is to do something like that.

  9. Reply

    Luna S

    January 22, 2020

    This looks like so much fun, this is something my family would love to do.

  10. Reply

    Catherine

    January 22, 2020

    I’ve never done this before but sounds like a really fun idea and the coast is absolutely gorgeous! Wonderful day out!

  11. Reply

    Ashley R

    January 22, 2020

    This is something my husband would love to do with our daughter. How neat.

  12. Reply

    Jess

    January 23, 2020

    How amazing is this!! I cannot beleive how much there is to see I find anything dealing with Jurassic to be fascinating so I would definitely love this!

  13. Reply

    Neha

    January 25, 2020

    Have heard a lot about the Coast and it looks amazing. What a fun activity to do- bet it’s so interesting for the kids too. Great way to be outdoors

  14. Reply

    Sarah Bailey

    January 28, 2020

    I love Charmouth! I can spend way to much money in the little shop and the museum upstairs is a nice place to have a nose (while grabbing a cuppa at the cafe).
    I’ve never done one of the guided fossil tours there but it sounds like it can be such a fun way to find your own fossils.

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KARA GUPPY
Bournemouth

Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog chelseamamma.co.uk