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Fossil Hunting in Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight, although just a small island, is famously known as "Dinosaur Island", being the most richest place in the UK for Dinosaurs, and home to a handful of new species. It is often featured on the TV with a host of various documentaries. Apart from Dinosaurs, the Isle of Wight has a remarkable diversity spanning the whole of the Cretaceous period. Some locations such as Alum Bay and Whitecliff Bay, you can see the transition of these beds in vertical strata. There are younger Oligocene deposits in the north that yields mammal remains, crocodile remains.

The Early Oligocene beds at Hamstead are highly fossiliferious in mammal, crocodile, turtle, crustaceans and fish remains. Molluscs, Plants and Seeds can also be found simply lying on the foreshore.

The Early Oligocene beds at Yarmouth are highly fossiliferious in mammal, crocodile, turtle, crustaceans and fish remains. Molluscs, Plants and Seeds can also be found simply lying on the foreshore.

Whitecliff Bay is a geologists heaven, where else can you collect from the Upper Chalk, London Clay, Reading Clay, Bagshot Beds, Bracklesham Beds, Barton Clay, Fishbourne member, Cliff End Member, Totland Bay Member, plus much more.

Shepherds Chine is a superb location that yields some superb fish remains, lobsters, ammonites, brachiopods, bivalves and occasional reptile and dinosaur bones. During the right conditions, you could come back with some superb specimens.

Shanklin is a very good location on the Isle of Wight for Lower Greensand fossils, in particular, dinosaur remains and molluscs. When the Lower Greensand is exposed to air and left to dry, it becomes extremely hard. However, when fresh and, especially when exposed on the foreshore, it is like clay.

This famous location is well known for Dinosaur bones, Reptile and Fish remains, but you need the right conditions to have any luck, best collecting during the winter or spring high tides. Yaverland is often sadly over collected.

Brighstone Bay is famous for the partial Sauropod Skeleton found by Portsmouth University. Reptile and Dinosaur remains are often found along this costline. 'Barnes High' was also featured on the Live Television programme 'The Big Dig'.

Brook Bay is popular for finding dinosaur fragments along the shores. Here, many rolled fragments get caught up in the shingle and you can find these remains by simply searching along the foreshore. Reptile and larger bones are also found.

In a peaceful corner on the Isle of Wight, Rocken End is a less visited location with a small inland quarry is ideal for anyone interested in ammonites and mollosc's. It also makes an excellent day out for all the family.

Thorness Bay is a continuation of the Hamstead Beds, seen at Hamstead and Yarmouth, and the start of the famous Insect Beds of the Bembridge Marls seen at Gurnard. The beds are however much thinner and less productive.

The foreland at Bembridge consists of a quaternary cliff (known as the Bembridge Raised Beach), with Bembridge Limestone and Marls exposed on the foreshore as a wave cut platform, and rocks. This limestone is rich in Gastropods, brachiopods and other fossils.

Gurnard Bay is a classic location for finding insects. The insects are found in the Bembridge Marls (Eocene age), and over 200 species have been found. Today, the famous insect bed has become less productive, but specimens can still be found.

The huge cliffs of Culver Cliff can yield some superb sponges and large echinoids with occasional fish remains. However collecting from this location can be dangerious and difficult. Extreme Care must be taken at all times.

This small quarry along the B3395 near Bembridge yields Sponges and fish remains. There is lots of clean faces and scree to look through, although fossils are not common here.

Whilst most people remember Blackgang Chine for its popular theme park, the cliffs of Blackgang Chine which are slowly shrinking the theme park are also yielding some fossils. These include trace fossils and occasional but rare dinosaur bones.

Martin Simpson's fossil and gem shop, Island Gems, formerly at Blackgang and the Isle of Wight Pearl, is now situated on Godshill High Street, a well known and popular tourist destination on the Isle of Wight.

Our shop and online Shop, Island Gems, offers a wide variety of fossils, minerals, gemstones, crystals and jewellery with a rock and gem theme. You can also book our multi award winning Fossil Hunting Trips via our website.

Fossils are common
Fossils often found
Fossils are not common
Fossils rarely found
Site protected, no collecting permitted, or no access to beach


Cambrian / Pre Cambrian

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Fossil Resources

Beginners Guides to Fossil Hunting

Fossils collected direct from cliff face
Fossils collected from the foreshore
Fossils collected from the cliff and foreshore
Location is a quarry or pit
Fossils collected from a stream or river bed,
Fossils collected from a farm field
Fossils collected from road or railway cutting.
Fossils collected from hill or mountain scree slope.
Fossils collected from rock outcrops.
Fossils collected from lake or reservoir banks.
Samples taken back for processing microfossils.


The Chestnuts

The Chestnuts, 4 Hope Road, Shanklin, P037 6EA
tel; 01983 862162

Are you visiting The Isle of Wight Fossil Hunting? Why not stay with us at The Chestnuts Guest House in Shanklin. We are conveniently located just 2 minutes from the Beach and Town Centre and close to the Train Station. We have recently undergone a major refurbishment and offer clean, fresh, attractive accommodation with a contemporary look and feel at very competitive prices.

Why not visit our website on or telephone for further info on 01983 862162

Rock and Fossil Magazine, Deposits

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While we (UKGE/UK Fossils) try to ensure that the content of this location guide is accurate and up to date, we cannot and do not guarantee this. Nor can we be held liable for any loss or injury caused by or to a person visiting this site. Remember: this is only a location guide and the responsibility remains with the person or persons making the visit for their own personal safety and the safety of their possessions. That is, any visit to this location is of a personal nature and has not been arranged or directly suggested by UK Fossils. In addition, we recommend visitors get their own personal insurance cover. Please also remember to check tide times and rights of way (where relevant), and to behave in a responsible and safe manner at all times (for example, by keeping away from cliff faces and mud).
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