Lyme Regis Fossils
It was on these beaches that one of Lyme's most famous citizens, Mary Anning (1799-1847), discovered the first complete ichthyosaur to be found in England, and she was just 12-years-old at the time. Through her hard labour and scientific approach to recording her discoveries, Mary established herself as a renowned palaeontologist, and working with contemporaries Buckland, Conybeare and Henry de la Beche, played a pioneering role in developing our understanding of the earth.
The remains of complete ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs and other incredible sea creatures are found to this day by people of all ages.
The spiral shaped ammonite (a long extinct member of the mollusc family a bit like a nautilus) is more common, and with patience and a bit of luck you'll be able to find your own fossil in the rock pools or among the shingle.
You can also find fool’s gold (iron pyrites), ammonites and bullet-shaped belemnites or trace ammonites in the large boulders - those on Monmouth Beach to the west of Lyme and seen at low tides are particularly impressive, with some being one metre across.
Always consult tide tables before collecting. It is advisable that you go collecting on a falling tide. A particular hazard is the beach immediately east of Lyme Regis, which is cut off shortly after low tide. For further advice please contact the Lyme Regis Tourist Information Centre on 01297 442138.
The Jurassic Coast Trust is a membership organisation providing funding support for education and conservation projects along the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. The Trust provides advice and works with the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Team and partners to establish the site's needs.
Why not Visit...
Built on the site of Mary Anning's home, the museum tells the story of the town's remarkable fossils and much more. Museum entry is free for children. Why not book a place on one of our famous fossil walks?
Explore the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, stretching 95 miles (155km) from Swanage in the East to Exmouth in the West. It tells the story of 185 million years of the Earth's history. The site's unique value creates a 'walk through time' that includes the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. The varied geology also provides a spectacular laboratory of coastal change, and supports rare and important plants and animals. It is a place to be enjoyed, learnt from and looked after for future generations.
The cliffs around Lyme Regis constantly crumble and slip into the sea, revealing fossils from the ancient Jurassic past of 180 million years ago. Take a fossil hunting walk and discover the fossilised remains of giant ichthyosaur, plesiosaur, belemnites and ammonites that can be found on the beach.