Runswick Bay, Yorkshire

Posted on Updated on


May 4


10:00 am - 01:00 pm

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UK Fossils


Runswick Bay

Runswick Bay, TS13 5JG

Runswick Bay, England, GB, TS13 5JG

Find beautiful ammonites and fossil shells on our guided fossil hunt. It can be a very productive location when the conditions are right, yielding a wide range of ammonite species. Most fossils are found on the foreshore.

* Suitable for children 5+ (All children must be acompanied by a paying adult).
* HARD HATS (No Cycle Helmets), and HIGH VISIBILITY VESTS or jacket essential. We do not provide these, but you can add these when ordering if needed.

The Early to Late Liassic rocks at Runswick Bay, coupled with ease of access, foreshore collecting and a high frequency of finds, make this a good location for families trying their hand at fossil collection.

Undoubtedly, the coast of North Yorkshire and surrounding the town of Whitby, is a mecca for Jurassic marine fossil collectors. Although any section of coast from Staithes to Ravenscar will offer much the same fauna, especially well-­preserved ammonites at Runswick Bay (including the common Dactylioceras tenuicostatum), about 9 miles from Whitby, is a site well-suited to families.

Dactylioceras tenuicostatum found by Tracey JonesDactylioceras tenuicostatum found by Tracey Jones

Access to the beach is easy, with car parking close by. Head east, once on the beach and search among the rocks and beach rubble that occurs all the way to Kettleness. Take care to watch the tide, as there is a danger of being cut off! The secret is to find the hard, ovate or spherical shaped nodules, which contain very well preserved ammonites. These nodules erode because of the sea’s action upon them and the keel of the ammonite within can often be seen.

Sometimes, the nodules can be found in situ protruding from fallen blocks of shale on the beach and can simply be collected from the bedrock.

Typical nodule found at Runswick Bay, in this case containing a good-­‐sized ammoniteTypical nodule found at Runswick Bay, in this case containing a good sized ammonite.

The nodules need to be ‘cracked’ open, using a geological hammer. This is a relatively easy task and a well-­aimed blow should provide a nice specimen and the negative impression too. Ammonites are the most common fossil found in the nodules here but other fossils can also be found at Runswick Bay, including the large oyster, Gryphaea, various molluscs and belemnites. Remains of Pleistocene mammals, such as mammoth or bison from the North Sea are also often found here, washed up on rough tides.

Please download and read the PPE POLICY Document

We try to keep most events to a 11am till 4pm schedule, but final times may vary depending on tide times and working around quarries. We will always advice start time and where to meet well in advance of the event. 

Please note, many of our locations will not have toilet facilities, water, or other amenities. 

Fossil guide to this location:


Can my child less than 4 attend the event?

We strongly advice against taking children under 4, but if the event allows children and leaders agree, then this is possible providing they are under your responsibility and care, and do not use tools or equipment. Please contact us on 01502 725205 (Mon-Fri 8am-3pm) for more information.

Can I book over the phone?

Yes, you can, and we can take card payment, however a waiver must be signed before we can accept your booking. The waiver can be emailed or posted out, but must be returned within one week of the booking. Contact us on: 01502 725205 (Mon-Fri 8am-3pm).

Can I pay on the day?

Sorry, we do not allow anyone to pay on the day, as we cannot provide pre-preparation details on risk assessment, and due to health and safety, places are limited.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

This will greatly help us and speed things up, but leaders will have a list of those attending on the day.

Is my registration ticket transferrable?

Please contact us and we normally try to accommodate this.

I have a question not listed?

Please contact us on 01502 725205 (Mon-Fri 8am-3pm).

What happens if I can’t make it on time or get to the venue?

You need to contact us urgently. If this is within a few days of the event, call us on 01502 725205 (Mon-Fri 8am till 4pm), if it is on the day or a couple of days before, contact the leader in the final confirmation email detailing where to meet and times. We cannot guarenete we can wait for you, but where possible, we will try.

Are toilets nearby?

Most events will not have access to toilets. The best places to find fossils are mostly areas away from built up areas, and tend to be quite remote. There are a few exceptions where toilets are close by, but it is best to presume they won’t be available.

Will my friend’s hammer and chisels from their tool box be okay to bring?

No tools are allowed on this site due it’s designation as a SSSI, and in any case, are not needed as fossils can be found loose in the scree.

What happens if the event is cancelled?

We try very hard to avoid having to cancel, but if an event needs to be cancelled due to adverse weather conditions or unforeseen circansances, we will notify you immediately, and you will be offered an alternative hunt or date or a refund.

Can I bring my dog/pet?

UKAFH does not permit members to bring dogs or pets, unless under exceptional circumstances such as guide dogs. Some members may suffer from Cynophobia, or allergies. In addition, we need to ensure the safety of all members. Many beaches also do not permit dogs.

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