Fossil Hunting in Lyme Regis

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Lyme Regis is a coastal town in Dorset, not too far from where we were camping, on the Jurassic Coast.  No dinosaurs wandering up and down here, however the Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage Site because of the amount of fossils found in its cliffs and beaches.

The idea that we may somehow manage to unearth an 180 million year old fossil while rummaging through the stones on the beach was too good an opportunity to miss, even if we knew deep down we wouldn’t find anything so we set off for a day of exploration.

For anyone driving to Lyme Regis we would recommend you use the Park and Ride service outside of town.  We certainly didn’t!  We also drove past the next car park too as it looked like a further walk into town.  That’s when we discovered that the narrow streets of Lyme Regis combined with the traffic passing through can get incredibly stressful.  We did get very lucky though with the small car park by the beach having just one space left when we arrived.  We would use the Park and Ride next time and let the shuttle bus driver deal with the stress!

When we arrived the tide was quite high, but we found a spot of beach and began rummaging through the rocks looking for anything remotely fossil-like!  After a while we walked towards town more and relaxed on the pebble beach, letting the kids splash more in the sea (or collect seaweed for us!).

Once the tide had gone back out we headed towards our first spot on the beach, where rock-pools had formed and scores of people were out on their own little fossil hunt.  We joined them for a while until our Son became concerned for the welfare of the sheer number of sea snails that were becoming unavoidable under foot.   We listened to his concerns and headed into the town where shops sold fossils that had been found in the region and looked through the impressive collection with the children instead.

We didn’t find fossils in Lyme Regis (aside from the shop), however the kids had fun looking and learned a lot about the process of fossilisation!

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