Fossil Hunting Trips
The Isle of Wight is widely regarded as the best place in Europe to find dinosaur fossils. Although fossils can be found all over the United Kingdom and Europe, there are few places that members of the public can go to find their own fossilised dinosaur remains.
The Isle of Wight has two main areas where dinosaur bones can be found loose on the beach. The smallest area is Yaverland beach near Sandown with the main exposure approximately 100 metres long. The second area is approximately 6 miles long on the south-west coast of the Island and stretches from Atherfield to Compton. All the dinosaur fossils found on the Isle of Wight are from rocks of the Lower Cretaceous period and around 120 million years old.
Dinosaur fossils have been collected here since the 1850s officially, but the discovery of their large bones by locals goes back much further than this. To date there are over 20 different types of dinosaurs discovered on the Isle of Wight including:
Large herbivore and most common dinosaur found
Used to be called Iguanodon Atherfieldensis
Medium size herbivore
Small bipedal herbivore
Medium sized herbivore covered in spikes
Large herbivore with a long neck
Large herbivore with a long neck
Large fish-eating carnivore with a huge claw
Small carnivore related to T-Rex
Large carnivore and probably the main predator
Unfortunately several of these are only known from a single bone which might not be complete, making comparisons with other discoveries almost impossible. However as more fossils are discovered scientists are gradually piecing together their understanding of the variety of different types of dinosaurs that lived here 120 million years ago.
We don't just find dinosaur fossils on our fossil walks. The other fossils that can be found include, Fossil Wood and 'Fool's Gold' (Iron Pyrite), Crocodiles, Turtles, Pterosaurs, Fish, Sea Urchins, Fossil Mussels, Fossil Oysters, Brachiopods, Ammonites, Corals, Sponges, Quartz crystals, Gypsum Crystals and more!
Public Fossil Hunting Trips
Join one of our experienced, professional guides on a Fossil Hunting Trip to one of the Island’s beaches and discover your own fossils and keep all your finds. Our two hour trips start at one of five different locations on the south-west coast of the Isle of Wight. Locations include: Atherfield (Shepherds Chine), Grange Chine, Chilton Chine, Brook Chine and Compton Hanover Point Car Park (Shippards Chine).
We meet public groups before we go on to the beach and give them an overview of the different fossils that can be found there. We show examples of different fossils that you can hold before we lead the group across the beach to see what they can find. When you find fossils the guide will identify them for you and you can keep all the loose fossils you want to carry.
If the trip starts from Brook Chine, Compton or Chilton Chine then we aim to show the dinosaur foot-casts and footprints that are naturally exposed on those beaches. However these are protected and should not be removed or damaged to ensure they are available for everyone to enjoy.
|Public Fossil Hunting Trip Ticket||Price|
|Adults (18-64 years old)||£5.00|
|Senior (65+ years old)||£2.50|
|Children (5-17 years old)||£2.50|
|Children (0-4 years old)||FREE|
|Family Ticket (2x Adults & 2x Children)||£12.50|
|Grandparent’s Ticket (2x Seniors & 2x Children)||£7.50|
Private Fossil Hunting Trips
PLEASE NOTE LIMITED AVAILABILTY
If you want to go on a guided Fossil Hunting Trip, but don’t want to be with a group of strangers we can organise a private trip for you with one or more of our guides.
Whether you are a keen fossil hunter, or a complete novice, our guides will help you to discover your own fossils and identify them for you. Private trips are popular as an unusual birthday treat.
Prices start from £30 for up to six people.
Each additional person after this (i.e. seven or more) is an additional £5.00. Discounts for Large groups 10+ people.
We offer competitively priced trips for Schools and other Educational organisations. Our guides have experience leading trips from Primary pupils to Further Education level students and beyond.
We can also supply teachers with Information Packs, Risk Assessments, and provide trips tailored to meet your specific learning outcomes.
Children/Students: Prices start from £2.50 per child
Please contact us for more information.
Terms and Conditions apply.
Special Interest Groups
The Isle of Wight has a unique geological heritage, with fresh exposures of fossils from the Lower Cretaceous to the Pleistocene.
If you want to discover more about the Island's geology and fossils, our guides can arrange a trip specific to your needs or interests.
Prices start from £30
For more information about any of these Private Trips please contact us.