Lyme Regis Fossils
Click to see Lyme Regis pictures, more Dorset or our England
A fossil-fuelled beach, the Ammonite Pavement, immediately west of Lyme Regis, Dorset, England. The town's harbour wall - The Cobb - is visible in the distance.
Lyme Regis, an old-fashioned beach resort just two miles off the A35 road on Dorset's south coast is the Jurassic Coast's prime fossil town, with fossil shops, tours, and beaches on both sides scattered with 195 million-year-old fossils embedded in rocks that regularly topple off crumbling cliffs. The Philpot Museum in Lyme Regis displays many superb local finds, as do the Lyme Regis Museum and the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre.
Lyme Regis shops sell fossils and organise walking tours of nearby fossil-rich areas.
A Coroniceras ammonite immediately west of Lyme Regis on a limestone beach. Ammonites are the most common fossil found here, with 20 species ranging from a thumbnail to a dustbin lid. Locally they are known as snakestones.
A fossil hunter at work with a hammer on Ammonite Pavement rocks.
There are no laws controlling fossil collection, though special finds are encouraged to be registered with the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre. Some of the bigger finds in the area include a Plesiosaur (thought to be the same species as the Loch Ness Monster), a Scelidosaurus (a 4m long plant eater; remains found on Black Ven) and most famously a well-intact Ichthyosaur (dolphin-like creature) skeleton found by a 12 year-old girl near Black Ven and now in the Natural History Museum.
The start of the Lyme Regis Undercliff Reserve looking west towards the Ammonite Pavement and Sunstones sector, then on to Axmouth town.
East of Lyme Regis towards Charmouth is Broad Ledge - site of ichthyosaur finds, Black Ven beach - where belemnites, ammonites, crinoids, gryphea and vertebrae are to be found. Further west is the River Char, with mammoth remains and Stone Barrow hiding small golden ammonites and belemnites.
- beware rock falls
- hunt fossils when the tide is going out unless you fancy a swim home
- tell someone where you are going
- do not hammer or dig into cliffs, look between fallen boulders or pebbles on the beach.
Corfe Castle | Kimmeridge | Studland | Studland beaches
Weymouth | Lyme Regis | Bournemouth | Sandbanks
England Pictures and guides: Dorset | Devon | South-West Coast Path | Dorset Beaches
UK Tourist Map | England