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Fossil hunting on the Jurassic Coast

Swanage is nestled at the far eastern end of the Jurassic Coast, a world heritage site with many places to visit and things to do. None more so than fossil hunting, one of our families favourites days out.

Kimmeridge Bay and Lyme Bay (Charmouth & Lyme Regis), famous for their fossils, are all within easy reach of Millbrook Bed & Breakfast.

Kimmeridge Bay

Kimmeridge is only a 20-minute drive from Swanage, famous for its fossils and even has its own fossil museum ‘The Etches Collection’. It is also a great place for rock pooling and enjoying the sea, including a snorkelling safari which is in place from May to September each year, you can read more about this on the Dorset Wildlife Trust website.

No matter when you visit you can always be sure of finding fossils on the beach and embedded in the rock.

Although not necessarily something to shout about, it is also the location of the oldest pumping oil well in the UK and the nodding donkey can be seen on the western side of the bay pumping away, not something worthy of photographing but never the less a novelty sight.

There are not many Kimmeridge Bed and Breakfast options, it’s a beautiful village but is a little isolated, although we really do like Clavells Restaurant and is well worth a visit for lunch or dinner. If you are looking for somewhere to base yourself whilst exploring the Jurassic Coast, including Kimmeridge then we believe Millbrook Bed and Breakfast is the perfect spot.

Lyme Bay – Charmouth

Charmouth is about an hour and a quarters drive from Swanage, making it an ideal location for a day out, especially if you take in the lovely coastal road from Weymouth to Bridport via Abbotsbury and Burton Bradstock, this is ‘Broadchurch’ territory, it is also one of the best places in the world to find fossils.

Lyme Bay is much larger than Kimmeridge so you may need to walk that bit further but the beach (Chesil Beach) is littered with little belemnites, once you get your eye in you will find literally bucket loads, and of course ammonites, the logo of the Jurassic Coast. There is a really good visitor centre there, which is free to enter, and you can also book fossil hunting guided walks.

On our visit we stayed on the beach for a picnic and headed back to Swanage but to make a proper day out you could drive just a few miles further to the lovely town of Lyme Regis and enjoy the shops, restaurants and views it has to offer.

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