Blocks of shale packed with Carboniferous brachiopods and more can be collected at Beadnell. The location is a great one to explore. It has excellent access and is also suitable for children.


♦ You can reach Beadnell on the B1340. Park on Harbour Road just south of the large field by the sea or in the spaces at the north of the village, just past the post office.
♦ If you are coming from the parking area near the post office, walk south along Harbour Road until you have passed a large field. Walk along the southern side of this field and down the bank to access the beach.
♦ There are plenty of areas to explore, but this route will take you to the most productive.
♦ Ref: 55.55074°N, 1.62513°W


FIND FREQUENCY: ♦♦♦ – Brachiopods, corals, crinoids and trace fossils can all be found. Indeed, fossils are common, but are restricted to certain areas of the beach.
CHILDREN: ♦♦♦♦♦ – The walk from the post office to the beach is short and there are no large obstacles to overcome.
ACCESS: ♦♦♦♦♦ – It is a short walk from the parking area near the post office. You have to descend a small bank to get onto the beach, but fossils can be found within a few tens of metres.
TYPE: – Fossils are collected on the foreshore, where tilted layers of rock protrude from the beach.


The sloping strata on the foreshore contain varying numbers of fossils. The harder limestones contain pieces of crinoid stem and corals, while some layers of shale are packed with well preserved brachiopods and other fossils. Collecting should be limited to loose blocks.

To the north of the field referred to above, the beach is flatter and sandy containing pebbles with pieces of crinoid stem and corals.

This location has an extensive area of foreshore to investigate. Therefore, allow a good few hours to hunt.

Large crinoid pieces


The rocks here are marine Carboniferous (330myrs old) of Visean age, which is part of the Brigantian stage. Beadnell was once a mining village, with the Beadnell Coal being excavated here.


Many brachiopods on shale


As with all fossil hunting locations, you should tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to be back. However, this location is fairly hazard free – there is little chance of getting cut off by the tide and there are no large boulders to climb over. However, wear sturdy waterproof boots.


A good eye is mostly all you need, but a pick will prove very useful for the shale. Wear hiking boots, as this is a foreshore location.


This site is a site of special scientific interest (SSSI). This means you can visit the site, but hammering the bedrock is not permitted. For full information about the reasons for the status of the site and restrictions, download the PDF from Natural England.

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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