Fossil Hunting at Kimmeridge Bay

Kimmeridge Bay

Despite living in Dorset for 17 years I have never visited Kimmeridge Bay, which is situated on the Isle of Purbeck, approximately 4 miles from Corfe Castle.

Isaac and Eliza have both been desperate to go fossil hunting since we went to the Fossil Festival in Lyme Regis earlier in the year and I have been told that Kimmeridge Bay is an ideal location for a spot of fossil hunting.

We set off just after lunch on Sunday afternoon and found ourselves heading along some narrow country roads to get there.  I assumed, wrongly, that the car park was a National Trust one, but it is situated on a private estate and cost £5 per car to park.

It was worth it though – the view was spectacular.

Kimmeridge Bay

It was a short walk to the beach, down some narrow steps and across a wooden bridge, complete with tank traps and an ammo shelter!  If you are visiting with young children you won’t be able to take a buggy / pram down so I would advise you take baby in a carrier like we have.

Kimmeridge Bay

The kids couldn’t wait to get exploring.  There are hard bands of limestone within the Kimmeridge Clay that create a series of rocky ledges that run out to sea. As a result, the Bay boasts some of the most accessible marine wildlife in the UK and t he stone ledges make it easy to view life on the shore an in the shallow waters.

Kimmeridge Bay

The ledges were a little slippery in places as had a fine coating of slippery seaweed on them, but there was lots to see. We found Limpets, Barnacles, fish, crabs and even caught a shrimp!

Kimmeridge Bay

The older kids weren’t interested in rockpooling and were busy having a skimming stones competition.  Isaac and Eliza soon joined in and it morphed into who could make the biggest splash!

Kimmeridge Bay

Hubby and Kian decided they wanted to walk up to Clavell Tower at the top of the hill so they set off whilst I stayed on the beach with the others.  The four storey, circular tower stands high on the cliff overlooking Kimmeridge Bay. Built in 1830 its location has captivated many including writers like Hardy and PD James and you can even stay in it now.

Clavell Tower

I couldn’t tear the little ones away from throwing stones until I found our first ammonite and then the fossil hunting began.

Kimmeridge Bay

I have to admit navigating the beach was quite tough as it is very uneven, but that all added to the fun.  At one point I left Eliza and Isaac with the teen so I could quench my thirst for a bit of geology – the rocks at Kimmeridge Bay were once the floor of a deep, tropical sea rich in pre-historic life. They formed in the Jurassic period, 155 million years ago.

The cliffs and foreshore contain a very thick sequence of Kimmeridge Clay. The rock layers are like the pages in a book and the fossils they contain tell a story on each page. Each rock layer provides a window allowing us to look back through geological time. The sequence of rocks here provides such an excellent record of this part of the Jurassic that geologists have adopted Kimmeridgian as the term for rocks of this age all around the world.

Kimmeridge Bay

Callan taught Isaac and Eliza a joke, which they both thought was highly amusing…….

Kimmeridge Bay


By now it was time to start heading back to the car, stopping for some more photo’s on the way.

Kimmeridge Bay

We will definitely be back to Kimmeridge Bay – but this time with our wet suits and snorkels to see what we can find under the water – they even do glass bottom Kayak tours which look amazing!

One more thing……….never leave your phone with my daughter as she will take numerous selfies’.  I had no choice but to do this:

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

A postcard with love Mumonthebrink family fun travel adventure

24 thoughts on “Fossil Hunting at Kimmeridge Bay

  1. I would love to take a trip in a glass bottom kayak; I think it must be an amazing experience.
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  2. lori says:

    We still haven’t been fossil hunting and I know F is desperate to do it! I must try and make time to go down to the Jurassic coast and have some fun. x
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  3. It looks like you live in such a beautiful area x x
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  4. wendy says:

    Great photos Kara
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  5. Shell Louise says:

    I love that photo bomb picture!
    It’s mind blowing to think the rocks have been there for so long. I’d love to visit there, it must be fascinating.
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  6. Globalmouse says:

    My oldest is desperate to go fossil hunting – he really wants to find his own fossil! But the main thing that came through from this post is what a lovely family you have. I love how they have little groups who go off and do things but then you all come back together again. It’s so nice to see everyone happy to be together – I hope mine grow up to be like this too!
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  7. What a fabulous way to teach evolution to kids! I need to see if there is something similar near us. J would love it.
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  8. Bex Smith says:

    Sounds like a lovely day. I remember fossil hunting when I was younger and really enjoyed it 🙂
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  9. Astrid says:

    This sure sounds like a great experience. Fossil-hunting seems great to me. I used to be into geology a bit in elementary school.
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  10. I’ve never heard of Kimmeridge Bay but it looks like a beautiful place.
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  11. Oh I love the sea viewed joke ROFL. Your collages are simply stunning and all of your tips are so thoughtful xx
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  12. Fossil hunting is really fun and this looks like a lovely beach to visit.
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  13. Polly says:

    looks like a fun day out! fossil hunting is on our summer bucket list!
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  14. Julie says:

    I’ve never been fossil hunting before!!! I’m cracking up at the last photo, gotta love a photo bombing moment!!! x

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  15. jenny says:

    Sounds like a wonderful place to visit and hunt for fossils.
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  16. Lucie Aiston says:

    How beautiful is this place!! I absolutely adore your photos!! Especially the Photo Bomb at the end! HA! 😉 xx
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  17. Louisa says:

    An absolutely stunning location. Fossil hunting is on our too-do list for the summer.I remember going to Lyme Regis to do it as a child, it seemed like a huge adventure.
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  18. Fossil hunting is an ace way to explore the seaside. We love going to the beach, in fact it is where we are off tonight after dinner. My boys will adore that joke!
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  19. That beach looks beautiful. Well worth the parking fee x
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  20. lisa prince says:

    what a lovely day it looks like you have had , used ot love fossil hunting x

  21. Our children would love to explore there and do a spot of fossil hunting. What a interesting and picturesque place to take the family. Love the joke and photo bomb, thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.
    Coombe Mill – Fiona recently posted…The Rabbit and the SquirrelMy Profile

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