When I go on fossil hunting trips, I tend to try and avoid knowing too much about the location. That probably seems nonsensical, but I can buy and sell fossils all day, and the real fun is in the hunt and finding one of your own.
I spent a few hours walking between Charmouth and Lyme Regis, spotting Ammonites and sea glass, and man-made refuse from the cliff collapse a few years back which unearthed parts of a tip.
Honestly – it is worth a trip for stunning views and a bit of beach combing – the area around Charmouth and Lyme Regis is beautiful too; albeit a bit hilly if you’re walking back to the campsite with your fossil finds…
I can’t say I found much of interest – I wasn’t looking too deeply, and the few pieces I did find I gave to the parents of the more disappointed looking kids.
Overall – if you’re looking for some Ammonites, you’d be hard pressed to not find a few water worn specimens during your trip. There are also plenty of bivalves, pyrite nodules, septarian nodules, and Crinoids lying around, as well as Belemnite rostrums. I did find a particularly nice Crinoid specimen but unfortunately, it seems to have fallen out of my bag at some point.
I think you’d be hard pressed to find another UK beach where almost everyone is carrying a hammer – I would recommend one for the nodules littering the beach floor.
There is ample parking at Charmouth (even for a hot bank holiday weekend) which costs £4 per day as of August 2020 – there is also a small fossil shop almost on the beach which sells specimens suitable for all price ranges.
I wasn’t especially willing to visit the museums, unfortunately, as I visited during the Coronavirus pandemic and the queues were extremely long. Next time!
Please note, hammering on the clay or bedrock is not allowed, and is not safe – the cliffs can be extremely dangerous and prone to collapse. I would recommend steering clear of the cliffs where possible.