Category: Yorkshire

The Yorkshire coast is probably the second most popular area in the UK for fossil hunting. The same Jurassic fossils, famously found along Dorset’s Heritage Coastline, can be found here. Some of the most popular and, in some cases, commercialised fossil areas are Whitby, Port Mulgrave and Robin Hood’s Bay. However, in spite of this, there are still lots to be found and reptile remains are frequently being found here. Yorkshire is also well known for its Jurassic plant remains, which are in outstanding condition. Also of interest is the Cretaceous location of Speeton, where the Speeton Clay is similar to the Gault Clay of Folkestone.

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Cayton Bay

Cayton Bay yields ammonites and some superb gastropods, bivalves and brachiopods from the Oxford Clay. These are best found on extreme low tides on the foreshore. This location is best during scouring conditions. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Reighton

Reighton Sands is an ideal location to stop by when walking to the popular nearby Speeton Cliffs. It has Kimmeridge Clay rich in ammonites and shells, but this is often covered up and requires scouring tides. Instead, the boulder clay yields a variety of erratic fossils of Jurassic, Cretaceous and Carboniferous age. Jurassic, Erratics (Jurassic, Cretaceous, Carboniferous), Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Speeton

The highly productive Speeton Clay yields ammonites, fish, shells and crustaceans. This location is similar to the famous Folkestone Beds. Speeton is also an excellent location for all the family, but can be very sticky in winter months. Cretaceous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Filey

Filey Brigg is a very famous foreshore platform that extends a long way out at low tide. Many walk along the Brigg, but often do not realise that superb plants and shells can be collected near the cliffs next to it. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Boggle Hole

Boggle Hole is to the southern end of Robin Hood’s Bay and is a site of special scientific interest (SSSI). Foreshore exposures of siliceous shales yield a range of trace fossils and, during scouring conditions, some superb ammonites can be found. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦

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Gristhorpe

This is a very good location if you are into plant remains. The Gristhorpe Plant Bed yields some of the best specimens in Yorkshire. There is a wide variety of plants too, but ammonites and shells can also be found at this location. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Crook Ness

The Long Nab Member exposed at Crook Ness yields the occasional plant remains or brachiopod. However, fossils are not easy to find and this location is overgrown in places, but is ideal for an alternative day out (but not recommended if time is limited). Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦

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Whitby

This is a very popular location, but is sometimes difficult to access due to tide conditions. Whitby yields many ammonites, reptiles and shells, and is also famous for jet, which is the fossilised wood of monkey trees and used in jewellery. However, you can encounter a lot of competition at Whitby in your search for fossils. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Saltwick Bay

Saltwick Bay yields many ammonites, reptiles and shells, and is also famous for jet, which is a type of lignite and considered to be a minor gemstone and popular for jewellery. Ammonites are often found in nodules, which are easy to split and found along the foreshore. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Staithes

Ammonites are quite common at Staithes and they are also easy to prepare. In addition, you do not need to walk far to find them. They can be found in nodules along the foreshore or within ledges ready to be picked out. It is a popular location. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Robin Hoods Bay

This is one of the first places many people come to along the Yorkshire Coast, but most come back with nothing, unless they know where and what to look for. The middle of the bay consists of boulder clay, but either side can be quite productive. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Hayburn Wyke

Hayburn Wyke is a superb location in Yorkshire for finding fossil plants. There are not many people who are aware of this location, due to it being missed out from the highly popular Yorkshire Geological Guide published by the Geologists’ Association. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Scalby Ness

Scalby Ness is another good location for collecting plant remains. It is not as highly productive as other Yorkshire locations, due to the limited area. However, you can still find some very good plant remains from the boulders on the foreshore. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Ravenscar

It is quite a long walk down to the beach, but ammonites are well preserved and often found at this location. They can be found both at the north and south end of Ravenscar, but unfortunately, there is very little beach material and cliff falls are rare. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦

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Cloughton Wyke

Cloughton Wyke is an excellent location for finding plant remains. The beds are rich in a variety of flora and collecting is fairly easy. Bivalves can also be found here, along with trace fossils, such as ripple marks and burrows. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Port Mulgrave

Once a thriving community with locally mined ironstone shipped from its own harbour, Port Mulgrave is now closed, but highly productive for a wide range of ammonites, along with reptile remains and more. It is one of the best locations for collecting in Yorkshire. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Kettleness

Kettleness is the most productive location in Yorkshire for reptile remains. These are common and can be found loose or in nodules. Kettleness is also very popular for ammonites, which are similar to those from Port Mulgrave. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Sandsend

You can find reptile remains on the foreshore, along with many ammonites and shells. One of the problems is that the foreshore is extremely slippery and there are very few rocks to search through. It can also be covered with algae. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦