Hours of beach side fun searching for ammonites and more on Exmoor’s Jurassic coastline
Found off the A39, just a 30-minute drive from our cottages, Kilve Beach offers the chance to enjoy stunning scenery and perhaps to spot fossils lying among the pebbles on the shore. This activity is perfect for families, as there’s plenty of pay and display parking, a grassy cliff top for picnics, a public toilet and the beach is dog friendly 365 days of the year!
By guest Ella Watt
Kilve Beach is a Scientific Site of Interest and it’s easy to see why. It combines beautiful coastal walking with an amazing fossil record just waiting to be explored. As well as the fossils, you’ll also find some stunning natural seaside rock formations that look like man-made paths and cliffs with colourful layers of soil laid down over thousands of years.
We visited on a sunny and windy March morning. Although there were a few cars in the car park, we had the beach to ourselves, giving us plenty of space and time to look closely for fossils. A short walk across a field to the cliffs, the views out to Somerset and across to Wales are spectacular.
The rocky beach can be tough underfoot, but it was worth it as we found a fossil within minutes. This one was an ammonite, but we also found several imprints of small skeletons, probably of marine reptiles. Photographed and admired, we left them where we found them. It is amazing to think these creatures lived millions of years ago
The beach and cliffs are the best places to find fossils, but you won’t want to miss exploring the amazing naturally formed pathways that you can see in the photos.
You’ll find rock pools at Kilve beach too, providing fun for the kids and grown-ups alike. Do leave the tiny creatures where you found them though. When you’ve had enough, head back to the car for your picnic or treat yourself to a cream tea at the nearby Chantry Tea Gardens, which is what we did.
We also took the opportunity to do a litter pick while walking on the beach. Within a few minutes we have two bags full of plastic bottles, fishing line and aluminium cans. Having enjoyed the rugged coastline, we all felt we couldn’t leave the rubbish we spotted there. If you can take just two minutes to pick it up, you’d be amazed at the difference it makes.
My top tips for a fun outing fossil hunting on Kilve Beach:
✔ It’s a rocky beach so wear sturdy, comfortable shoes and take your time
✔ Photograph your fossil finds and share them, but do leave them at the beach
✔ Take care near the cliffs as you’ll see they are decaying gradually
✔ Plan your trip around tide times so there’s plenty of beach to enjoy
✔ Make sure you have change for the RingGo car park. The first machine takes coins
✔ From Minehead head to Kilve on the A39, turn left after the post office and follow the lane
✔ On the way back we stopped at The Little Honesty Stall, just a few minutes away. Loved it!
Make one of our four luxury holiday cottages your base while you explore the Exmoor coast and beyond, and you will come home to a cosy cottage, wood burning stove and hot tub. Check out our live availability and pricing and don’t forget to book direct for the best rates.