Category: N.Ireland and Ireland

There are a few coastal sites in Northern Ireland that yield fossils. One is Ten kilometres northwest of Ballycastle in Co. Antrim is White Park Bay yielding Mesozoic fossils including ammonites, belemnites and Gryphaea. We have also included a few non UK sites from Ireland, including Waterford, Hook Head peninsula, which is remarkable for the abundant, beautifully preserved Carboniferous fossils. Another, t

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Malahide Beach (Non-UK)

To the east of Malahide town centre is a small beach on which it is easy to find loose carboniferous fossils and limestone pebbles containing beautifully preserved crinoids, bryozoans, bivalves, corals and brachiopods. The pebbles are washed out from exposures along the local coastline, including foreshore platforms found between Malahide and nearby Portmarnock.Carboniferous, Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Portmarnock Beach (Non-UK)

North of Portmarnock, on the east coast of Ireland to the east of Dublin, is a short stretch of coastline with abundant exposures of Carboniferous rocks in foreshore platforms, containing beautifully preserved crinoids, bryozoans, bivalves, corals and brachiopods. The cliffs and platforms are protected, but many pebbles are washed out from the exposures along the coastline between Malahide and nearby Portmarnock.Carboniferous, Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Hook Head (Non-UK)

Southeast of Waterford and southwest of Wexford is the Hook Head peninsula, which is remarkable for the abundant, beautifully preserved Carboniferous fossils, at its furthest reach by the Hook Lighthouse. The outcrops around Hook Head consist of abundant exposures of Lower Carboniferous rocks in foreshore platforms, containing beautifully preserved crinoids, bryozoans, bivalves, corals and brachiopods. The cliffs and platforms are protected, but many loose fragments can be found containing significant numbers of jumbled fossils of all types, with superbly preserved detail.Carboniferous, Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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White Park Bay

Ten kilometres northwest of Ballycastle in Co. Antrim is White Park Bay. Successive layers of rock yield Mesozoic fossils including ammonites, belemnites and Gryphaea. However, the cliffs and platforms are protected, but many loose blocks containing fossils and some washed out fossils can be found. The beach is also known as one of the few places in the world to have “singing sand” – when conditions are right, the extremely fine sand vibrates to make a humming noise. The location is also known as a historic manufacturing hub for flint axes and arrow heads, due to the abundance of flint nodules found in the cliffs, with artefacts dating back as far as 8,000 BC. The landscape also features passage tombs looking out over the sea, where, on a clear day, the coast of Scotland can be seen.Cretaceous, Jurassic, Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦