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Fossils and Rock Pools at Kimmeridge Bay

Kimmeridge bay is located on the beautiful Isle of Purbeck between Swanage and West Lulworth and looks out toward the English Channel. The village of Kimmeridge itself is tiny and most people visit for it's beach which is backed by Jurassic Shale cliffs which form a small part of the Jurassic Coast of Dorset. The beach at Kimmeridge is very popular with fossil hunters young and old alike because of the high quantity of fossils the cliffs contain.

This is definitely not a beach for bathing and has been the location of many shipwrecks over the years but it is excellent at low tide for mooching around in rock pools, admiring the scenery and of course looking for fossils. A word of caution though as the cliffs are extremely unstable and prone to sudden rock falls and crumbles, if you plan to gather fossils exercise extreme care, avoid the area of the beach at the base of the cliffs and keep children under strict supervision. In any case it's generally unnecessary to look for fossils near the cliffs as you'll have much better luck if you look in the shingle area along the foreshore.

There are plenty of paths along the coast if you fancy a stroll and just above the bay is the Folly a small tower that was built in the 19th century by the Rev. John Richards as a summer house. It was this folly at Kimmeridge that inspired a P.D. James's novel The Black Tower.

There is very little free parking at Kimmeridge but there is a large privately managed car parking area just above the beach.