Category: Wales – Southwest

The southwest of Wales is a fantastic area of geological interest. All the locations in this guide are SSSI, due to their importance, but fossils can be easily collected from foreshores, such as graptolites from Abereiddy. There are also some excellent sandy beaches, which are perfect for children, such as West Angle Bay. Marloes Sands is another stunning location managed by the National Trust, where corals, brachiopods and trilobites can all be found. The scenery of all locations in this part of Wales is truly stunning.

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Abereiddy Bay

Abereiddy is the best and easiest place in the UK to find graptolites. It is also an outstanding place where you can see and photograph in situ graptolites, crammed into the sloping bedrocks. Although this site is a SSSI (so hammering the bedrock is strictly prohibited), there is no reason why you would want to disturb the bedrock. The foreshore is full of rocks that can be picked up without tools and contain better specimens than those in the bedrock. Ordovician, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Fishguard is a similar location to Abereiddy Bay, where graptolites can be found in shales, wedged between the volcanic rocks in the cliffs. However, unlike Abereiddy Bay, there are far fewer sections where these can be found, and they are also much harder to find. Ordovician, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦

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Druidston Haven

Abundant graptolites can be found at Druidston Haven. Like much of the Pembrokeshire Coast, the site is a site of special scientific interest (SSSI), which means that, although loose pebbles and smaller rocks may be investigated and collected, large boulders and the cliffs must not be damaged. Ordovician and Carboniferous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Freshwater East

The bay at Freshwater East is a great location for the whole family. The sandy beach is ideal for children and, as it is so large, it is unlikely to become crowded even in the height of summer. Fossils are fairly abundant and are easy to find. Carboniferous, Devonian, Silurian, Ordovician, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Manorbier Bay

Some excellent geological features can be seen within Manorbier Bay and also from the clifftop path that leads southeast from the location. Crinoids and other fossils are abundant, and can be found in pebbles in the stream that crosses the sandy beach. Devonian, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦