Ulrome is the nearest access to the beaches around Skipsea, which is another boulder clay location. Access is no longer possible at Skipsea, so fishermen come to Ulrome to catch their fish. The sea washes out fresh material daily with plenty of erratic rocks to look through on the beach.
♦ From the B1242, take the road to Ulrome and follow it through the village until you get to the sea.
♦ There are clay steps down to beach either on left side of the parking area or some metal steps along the sea wall to the right.
♦ The sea takes a long time to retreat from the sea wall area, so sometimes it is only possible to visit the left hand side by the clay steps.
♦ Note that access may change without notice, due to coastal erosion.
♦ Ref: TA 17528 57185
FIND FREQUENCY: ♦♦♦ -This location experiences extremely rapid erosion. The cliffs to the north side are much smaller, so less rocks are being washed out. To the south towards Skipsea, erosion rates are so severe that access is often not possible.
CHILDREN: ♦♦♦ -This location is not suitable for children, as the sea is far too powerful and often, even at low tides, it can still reach the base of the cliff.
ACCESS: ♦♦♦ – There is free parking at the top of the cliff, with easy access from steps onto the beach. Access to the south is often not possible due to the strength of the waves, but access to the north is often used by the fishermen.
TYPE: – You can find fossils in the scree, in the foreshore exposures and in the cliff face. The sea often washes out fresh material, so there is always plenty to look through. Often, especially after high tides, the sea will sieve the clay for you, taking all of the fine clay material away and dumping rocks and fossils along the foreshore, making it easy pickings for fossil hunters. The best fossils are found by splitting rocks.
The Holderness Coastline is famously known for its rapid erosion and, as such, the topic for many school projects in geography lessons. Attempts to slow down the rapid rate of erosion have failed and, in some cases, has made the situation much worse. Due to this erosion, access is only possible at some locations.
At Ulrome, the cliffs are currently being eroded faster than anywhere else along this coastline, so there are many more rocks to look through on the beach. These rapid erosion rates make this area an excellent place to collect fossils regularly, knowing that almost every time you visit, fresh material will be available to search through.
The fossils are erratics. In other words, they do not come from the actual deposits that they are found in. In fact, they were brought down during the last ice age, dragged from the north trapped in giant ice sheets and dumped along the Holderness Coastline. You can find almost anything from the Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks of Yorkshire and also a number of Carboniferous rocks. Fossils include ammonites, belemnites, echinoids, corals and molluscs (which are the most common), but you can also find reptile remains if you are luckily. While this makes it more exciting, you can never fully date these fossils, as it is impossible to tell exactly what bed they originally came from.
Search the scree, in the slipped material and on the foreshore for fossils. Often, the sea will do most of the work for you, acting like a giant sieve and dropping the fossils along the foreshore. However, they can be well hidden, trapped in the clay and under rocks. Some of the best fossils are inside the rocks, so it is ideal to take a hammer and safety glasses to break these rocks apart. Look for the signs of fossils. For example, there are a number of rocks full of worn ammonites on the outside. If you split these rocks using a splitting chisel, you will find many complete ammonites in excellent condition inside.
Ulrome is part of the Holderness Coastline and due to its rapid erosion rates, is often the subject for study in school geography lessons. Holderness is underlain by Cretaceous chalk from the Flamborough Chalk Formation (White Chalk Subgroup) but along this coastline, it is so deeply buried beneath the glacial deposits that it is never exposed on the beach. The chalk probably lies at around 60 to 70 feet (18 to 21 m) under the sand, gravel and clay beds and possibly deeper.
The cliffs are primarily Boulder Clay; deposits of till with erratics, deposited during the Devensian glaciation period (of Pleistocene age). Within these deposits, you will find many erratics and it is these that contain the Carboniferous, Jurassic and Cretaceous fossils.
Common sense when collecting at all locations should be used and knowledge of tide times is essential. The Holderness coastline, and especially the area at Ulrome, has strong currents. The sea often reaches the base of the cliff, so this area experiences rapid erosion. Only visit on a falling tide. Access can vary due to the erosion, so only access locations that are not only safe to get down to, but also safe to get back up again.
A pick is handy for the clay, but generally, all you need is a good eye. Remember to wrap your finds. A hammer and eye protection may also come in handy to break any rocks. Trainers or walking boots will be fine, unless you are visiting after exceptionally high tides, when the clay may be quite sticky.
There are no restrictions at this location, but you should always collect sensible and safely, please see our code of conduct below.
This location is on old MOD land, parking is free at the top of the cliff.