The Jurassic Coast - A must for any budding Paleontologist

18th April is World Heritage Day, and the breathtaking Jurassic Coast is part of the UK World Heritage, and I'm so pleased we made that our holiday destination for Easter.

Golden Gap Jurassic Coast

At the end of last year, we went fossil hunting on our local coast at Beachy Head.  My son loved it so much, we moved along to Birling Gap a few months later.  Because that coastline had a massive cliff fall in 2018, we are very cliff aware, and make sure we never break the rocks near the cliff edge.

So, after seeing how much fun the family were having to look for fossils, we decided to make a holiday of it.

The Jurassic coast which runs through the county of Dorset is a 3 hours drive away from us, that's nothing really is it!   So we booked a week away on the Coast of the Golden Gap and set about hunting fossils in a different type of clay and rock.

We packed so much in but it didn't feel tiresome at all!

Monday
We arrived at our Lodge at 4pm and within the hour we had walked down to the coast looking for fossils and getting a feel for the holiday park.  That evening my son found his first ammonite.... of the week!

Tuesday
We drove 4 miles up the road to Charmouth beach.  This is such a lovely place!  There is a cafe, toilets and a museum.  The museum has many fossils on display, and many are found on that very beach!

There are great fossils to be found here.  We're no experts so we tend to crack open all sorts of stones, but we stay away from the clay and cliffs, but to my horror, a lot of people don't!  We saw whole families working their way up the cliffs in the hunt for that one magnificent find!

All our finds are magnificent as far as my 7-year-old is concerned.

Ammonite fossil at Charmouth Museum

Crystal lines inside Charmouth rocks

Wednesday
We drove 7 miles to Lyme Regis and the fantastic Monmouth beach! This is a busy seaside resort, with cafes, souvenir shops, fossil shops, a museum and a sandy and rocky beach!

Lyme Regis is beautiful.

Monmouth beach is famously known as the ammonite graveyard.  We assumed it was due to the ammonites which are so readily available in the rocks, clay and in the cliffs. 

We visited when the tide was going out, as all our fossil hunts are governed by the tide.  As the tide was starting to come in we were thinking about going back and then we found the Ammonite Graveyard.

Large Ammonites resting on Monmouth beach

Ammonite flooring in Lyme Regis



Thursday
We spent the morning at Sidmouth donkey sanctuary.  A wonderful place who allows free entry to their grounds, where you get to see many of their donkeys out in the paddocks enjoying their new safe lives.

A complete contrast to smashing our rocks, but one that was very much needed and appreciated.


The afternoon was spent back on our own beach at Golden Gap, taking in the view of the Golden Gap Cliff and making the most of the bright, dry evening.


Friday - Home day
Time to go home!  The week has flown by and it only felt five minutes ago we were unpacking.  We had to leave our lodge by 10am, so we stopped off at Dorchester Dinosaur Museum on the way back.

A small building but packed with so much, it really did finish off the holiday lovely.
Mammouth Tusk


As you can see, we had a really fun-packed, stone smashing, roarsome week away.   I could have spent another week on the beach breaking up rocks and hunting for fossils, and I never thought I'd say that!

I thought after day two I'd be sneaking off to the spa or hiding away with a book.

If' you've got a dinosaur or fossil mad child, or you're one yourself.  I highly recommend a stay on the Jurassic Coast.

You won't be disappointed.








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