FOSSIL HUNT - Lyme Regis, Dorset

Saturday, February 3, 2018 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM (BST) More Information →

Lyme Regis is the most commercial fossil town in the UK, with fossil shops, museums, fossil tours and much, much more – there is no other town like it. The famous beach of Lyme Regis yields large numbers of fossils and people flock here by their thousands to try their luck. The town has a number of fossil shops and includes a museum. There are regular trips, showing you where to find fossils and providing general information. The town has had a lot of money spend on making it one of the most beautiful towns in Dorset. Even the lamp posts in Lyme Regis are shaped like ammonites.

* Suitable for children 6+ (All children must be acompanied by a paying adult).
* HARD HATS (No Cycle Helmets), and HIGH VISIBILITY VESTS or jacket essential.

Please download and read the RISK ASSESSMENT Document

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:

The site is part of the Jurassic World Heritage Coastline, a SSSI and private land. No hammering the cliff is allowed and digging is strictly forbidden. Damage has already been caused to the heritage site by people using power tools. This is strictly against SSSI rules and any attempt to ignore them may result in prosecution. Do not attempt to dig into the cliffs, as this is extremely dangerous and cliff falls at Church Cliffs frequently occur. Keep well away from the base of the cliff.

The best place to collect fossils is within the soft clay between the hard limestone ledges. Not all the shale beds will contain fossils, but some contain fish fragments and occasionally small, complete fish. Some of the best beds are exposed below beach level after scouring has taken place. This also makes collecting less dangerous than searching in the shale within the cliff face.

There is such a vast variety of fossils at Lyme Regis that one can almost expect to find anything. However, competition to make the best finds is very high, so you will find very little during the summer season. The best months are during the winter and spring, when there are gales and extremely high tides.

The beach at Church Cliffs can be littered with wonderful, large moulds and impressions of ammonites. These are both too heavy for collectors to bring back and too worn to make such an effort worthwhile. For that reason, they have been left on the beach for everyone to see and enjoy. Please do not destroy them – they are a fine example of Lyme Regis’ fantastic Jurassic heritage. Cliff falls do yield complete ammonites, which can be seen all around Lyme Regis and Charmouth, in shops, museums, gardens, walls and as parts of houses.

There are also a number of shells to be found in the hard limestone, some of which are quite large. These are very difficult to collect and it is best to leave them for everyone else to see and enjoy. A range of ammonites and shells can also be found within other hard layers, but, most interesting is the Fish Bed, which continues to Chippel Bay. Complete fishes can be found, especially small fish in the shales.

Flatstones at Lyme Regis can contain well-preserved ammonites and insects, but these are unfortunately rare and only a small percentage contains fossils. In the past, several complete fish have been found in these nodules, in perfect condition.

There are also a wide range of rocks lying on the beach, some of which contain fossils and others contain the fossil casts. Usually these can simply be picked up from along the beach. You are just as likely to find fossils along the tide line and foreshore at high tide, as you are on the uppermost part of the beach.

There is such a vast variety of fossils at Charmouth to be found that one almost can expect to find anything. However, competition to make the best finds is very high, so you will find very little during the summer season. The best months are during the winter and spring, when there are gales and extremely high tides.


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 toliets. 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 toliets are close by, but it is best to presume they wont be available.

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

No, standard tools are made from inferior metal which splinter very easily against rocks. This is both dangerous to yourself and others, and flying metal can cause eye injuries or penetrate the skin. ONLY hammers specifically made for geological use can be used. We offer some to add to your order if you dont have any.

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 conditons or unforeseen circansances, we will notify you immediately, and you will be offered an alternative hunt or date or a refund.