Skip to content

Best places to find fossils

A child on a beach holds a large spiral shaped ammonite fossil
A child holds a fossil found on the Yorkshire Coast | © National Trust Images/Ian Shaw

Some of the coastal spots in our care are well known for their ancient finds, from ammonites to dinosaur bones. Discover the best places we look after in the UK to find fossils.

Birling Gap, East Sussex
Birling Gap, near Eastbourne, is part of the world-famous Seven Sisters chalk cliffs, one of the longest stretches of undeveloped coastline on the south coast. The South Downs's chalk cliffs are continually eroding, making it a top spot for finding Cretaceous fossils.Visit Birling Gap
Blakeney National Nature Reserve, Norfolk
Bones and fossils are often washed up on the strand at Blakeney Point, and you may even be able to spot grey seals along the coastline. Remember to check tide times before you visit to make sure you’re not cut off by rising and high tides. Please respect the areas fenced off to protect nesting birds.Visit Blakeney National Nature Reserve
Compton Bay, Isle of Wight
Sometimes referred to as ‘Dinosaur Island’, the Isle of Wight is a rich source of fossils. Compton Bay is a good place to start your hunt, particularly at low tide. Look out for fossils among loose gravel and stones. Just east of  Compton Bay car park at Hanover Point there's also a three-toed iguanodon dinosaur foot cast at the base of the cliffs.Visit Compton Bay
Yorkshire Coast
Rocks from the Jurassic period are visible in the dramatic cliffs and bays on the Yorkshire Coast. Staithes, Runswick, Robin Hood’s Bay, Boggle Hole and Saltburn are all good spots to go hunting for fossils.Visit the Yorkshire Coast
Visitors on the beach at Bucks Mills, North Devon

Coast and beaches

From wild cliffs and open seas to tranquil beaches and hidden coves, there are endless beautiful places along the coastline we look after to explore.

You might also be interested in

Visitors on the beach at Compton Bay and Downs, Isle of Wight

Fossil hunting and geology at Compton Bay and Downs 

Go fossil hunting and discover history on a gigantic scale, with dinosaur footprints, fossilised oyster shells, ammonites, flint made from ancient sponges and modern-day shipwrecks

Common seals and sandwich terns at Blakeney Point, Norfolk

Where to go seal watching 

Find the best places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to spot seals in the wild. Whether you're on a coastal walk or boat trip, there are plenty of places to see both grey and common seals as they come ashore to give birth.

A view of St Michael's Mount from the water on a sunny spring day, Cornwall

Top islands to visit 

Whether you're looking for a rugged family adventure or a quiet day trip with stunning views, here are your top picks for islands to escape to.

Souter Lighthouse and The Leas, Tyne & Wear

Lighthouses to visit 

Fancy visiting a lighthouse? Find out where to go and get ready to discover some fascinating coastal buildings and their interesting histories.