Whitesands Bay

This popular location among holiday makers has an expansive sandy beach with Cambrian shales outcropping on its north side. There are few fossils to be found, but the beach is an excellent place to take the family.


♦ Whitesands Bay is easy to find and is reached by the B4583 from St David’s.
♦ There is a large pay and display car park adjacent to the beach and, on very busy days, an overflow car park is opened about two kilometres away.
♦ From the car park, access the beach and walk left. You will soon come across outcrops of Cambrian shale. The fossil hunting area is from here to the hillock.
♦ Ref: 51.89651°N, 5.29642°W


FIND FREQUENCY: ♦ – In an hour of searching, expect to find only one or two fossils.
CHILDREN: ♦♦♦♦♦ – This is an excellent location for families. The beach has EU Standard Blue Flag cleanliness status and is patrolled by lifeguards. There is a car park next to the beach, which offers easy access. Onsite facilities are also provided.
ACCESS: ♦♦♦♦ – A car park is located immediately adjacent to the beach. From here, there is an easy walk of about a hundred meters to reach the fossil hunting area.
TYPE: – This location consists of low cliffs and a foreshore on which fossils can be found.


Brachiopods (Lingulella davisii) are occasionally found in loose blocks of shale. Look out for dark patches in the rocks, as this fossil tends to be preserved in a black colour. However, fossils are few and far between. If you find a couple of specimens, you have done well. Look over all of the loose shale blocks between the car park and the small hillock.

Fossiliferous rocks seem to be more abundant along the southern part of this section, but nowhere are they found in any abundance. If a piece of fossiliferous rock is found, it is worth breaking it open to see whether there are any more fossils within.

Brachiopod - Lingulella davisi 2

The geology at this site is Upper Cambrian in age, consisting of rocks from the Menevian Group of sedimentary mudstones formed approximately 508-502 Mya. They are aged as the Merioneth Series, with deposition in shallow water.
The Lingula Flags Formation, which are interbedded, pale siliceous and feldspathic siltstones and greenish grey to buff micaceous mudstones, occur with locally abundant Lingulella davisii.
The low cliffs at this location are composed of nearly perpendicular Cambrian strata with glacial till resting on their tops.
Whitesands Bay.jpg

Finely bedded shales


This is a largely safe location. Common sense should suffice here.


Most fossils can be collected without the need for tools, but a hammer can be used to break apart any fossils found in the loose rocks and boulders.


This site is an SSSI. This Special Site of Scientific Interest, means you can visit the site, but hammering the bedrock is not permitted.

It is important to follow our ‘Code of Conduct’ when collecting fossils or visiting any site. Please also read our ‘Terms and Conditions


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