Lyme Regis is known as the “fossil capital of Britain,” and for good reason. Located on the Jurassic Coast, this charming coastal town offers fossil hunters of all levels an unparalleled opportunity to discover a wide variety of fossils from different geological periods. Whether you are a seasoned fossil hunter or a beginner, there are plenty of reasons why Lyme Regis should be at the top of your list for fossil hunting destinations in the UK and Europe.
Why Lyme Regis is the Best Place to Go Fossil Hunting in the UK and Europe?
- Rich Geological History
The geology of the area around Lyme Regis is incredibly rich, with rocks dating back over 185 million years. The area is known for its distinctive cliffs, which contain a variety of rock types and geological formations.
The most famous of these formations is the Blue Lias, a type of limestone that contains a wide variety of fossils from the early Jurassic period. Other notable formations include the Charmouth Mudstone and the Black Ven Marl.
- Wide Variety of Fossils
One of the reasons why Lyme Regis is so popular among fossil hunters is the wide variety of fossils that can be found in the area. From ammonites and belemnites to ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs, the area around Lyme Regis is home to a huge variety of fossils from different geological periods. Whether you are interested in marine reptiles or prehistoric plants, there is something for everyone to discover in Lyme Regis.
Lyme Regis is a popular tourist destination and is easily accessible by car or public transportation. The town itself is small and easy to navigate, and there are plenty of accommodation options available for visitors. Additionally, there are several tour companies and independent guides in the area who offer guided fossil hunting trips, making it easy for beginners to get started and for experienced hunters to explore new areas.
- Community of Fossil Hunters
vibrant community of fossil hunters, with many locals and visitors alike coming together to share their finds and knowledge. There are several fossil hunting clubs and societies in the area, as well as annual events such as the Fossil Festival, which celebrates the town’s rich geological history.
Types of Fossils Found in Lyme Regis
Ammonites are perhaps the most common type of fossil found in Lyme Regis. These extinct marine mollusks were abundant in the seas around the area during the Jurassic period, and their distinctive spiral shells are easily recognizable. There are several different species of ammonites that can be found in the area, including the famous ammonite species, Ammonites bifrons.
Belemnites are another common type of fossil found in Lyme Regis. These extinct marine animals were related to squid and octopuses and are known for their long, torpedo-shaped shells. Belemnites were abundant in the seas around the area during the Jurassic period and can be found in a variety of sizes.
Ichthyosaurs were large marine reptiles that lived during the early Jurassic period. These creatures were well-adapted to life in the water and had streamlined bodies and powerful tails. Fossils of ichthyosaurs are relatively common in the area around Lyme Regis, and several well-preserved skeletons have been discovered in recent years.
Plesiosaurs were another type of marine reptile that lived during the Jurassic period. These creatures had long necks and small heads, and their bodies were adapted for swimming. Fossils of plesiosaurs have been found in the area around Lyme Regis, although they are less common than fossils of ichthyosaurs.
- Make sure you check the tides before you go fossil hunting or you could be cut off!
- Make sure you do not go too near the cliff due to landfalls
- Make sure you wear and use the right equipment and you should seek a fossil guide for the best advice
- Make sure you leave the coast in an acceptable state