Lots of Huge Fossils on Kilve Beach!
The beach at Kilve is a bit of a local secret, we love sharing local knowledge with our guests although I wonder if I should be writing a blog about it, too late now! Kilve beach is really unusual looking, when we first moved to Somerset I saw it in the winter and found it terribly ugly, but over the years I've grown quite fond of it - and now we know where to find the fossils we visit regularly with our children and the dogs. Unlike the Devon and Dorset Jurassic coast where you'll find small ammonites(if you're lucky) and everyone seems to be using hammers - the fossils at Kilve are huge, you don't need a hammer and you won't be putting them in your pocket, but leaving them there for the next visitors to find. I like collecting smaller stones and I use them in art projects, there are so many interesting rocks and pebbles on this beach!
We highly recommend walking in sturdy trainers or walking boots, the stones are like boulders so take care of your ankles whilst you fossil hunt. If you're staying with us during your trip, ask us when you're here where we go, as some part of the beach have more fossils than others. It's never busy at Kilve - even on a Sunday in August - take a picnic and there are beaches on the headland amount the wild flowers and the views towards Wales are beautiful and you'll spy a bit of Hinkley Power Station too which is interesting.
West Somerset Beaches
Kilve beach car park is privately owned and there's a camera which clocks your number plate when you drive in, so please buy a ticket as soon as you get there, don't linger or buy it when you leave - you'll get a fine in the post, so buy a ticket as soon as you arrive! There's a tea room next to the tea room - varying reviews on TripAdvisor so maybe read that before you go - we just get ice creams to take away and bring a picnic with us. There's a small river by the car park with shade - our dogs love it here! There's a footpath running along the low cliff above the beach so if you have the energy, do walk some of it- it's really pretty.
If sandy beaches are more your scene, as you travel along the West Somerset coast, the rocky beaches become sandy beaches! Blue Anchor is about 20 minutes from us and a combination of sand and pebble, Dunster beach has sand and so does Minehead. The south Devon beaches are an hour's drive from us and also beautiful - but much busier, we tend to avoid the busy beaches in July and August and leave them for a September trip.
Jurassic Coast & Charmouth Beach
Charmouth Beach is very famous for fossils, it's where Mary Anning lived and found the amazing Ichthyosaur skeletons on display at the the Natural History Museum. Apparently she's the subject of the tongue twister - "she sells sea shells on the sea shore"!
We went Charmouth at October Half Term with the children, and left fairly quickly as it was so crowded with all the families hammering away, we didn't really enjoy it - but there is a really good visitor centre in the car park who have some amazing displays - we had to queue to get in but it was worth it as they were amazing. So if you're heading down to Charmouth - about 1 hr from us, we do suggest to go early in the morning to avoid the crowds. Their website says they do fossil hunting walks which is probably a good idea if you don't want to come home empty handed. Lyme Regis is next door and a really pretty place to visit and the bay is perfect for swimming. Again we avoid this place in the summer - too crowded and parking is a pain, but lovely at the start and end of the summer and the winter when the crowds have pottered off!