It’s hard to imagine the shiny rocks of Kimmerdige Bay as the floor of a deep and tropical sea that teemed with prehistoric creatures, but that’s how it started out an impressive 155 million years ago. Look up to the cliffs and you’ll see layers of rock that tell so much with their fossils that the term ‘Kimmeridgian’ has been adopted to describe rocks from the same period all over the globe.
It may not be the beach you’ll come to for sunbathing and games on the sand, but Kimmerdige Bay has historic status and belongs to the Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve owned by Dorset Wildlife Trust. Don some sturdy shoes as the rocks can be slippery and enjoy searching for some of the many reptile fossils to be found along this rugged little bay, but please note that there’s strictly no hammering and visitors can only take loose fossils home with them from the beach.
The shingle along the shore is the best area for fossils, but please check the tide times carefully as there is a risk of being cut off along the bay. If you’re adept at exploring life under the water then this is a great spot to snorkel, look out for the rich marine life that still calls this area home.