1. Southerness, Dumfries & Galloway


Tiny shells are a speciality of this sandy stretch of the Solway Firth, easily accessible from the RSPB Mersehead reserve.

2. Runswick Bay, North Yorkshire

Excellent fossil hunting helped this site near Whitby win the Marine Conservation Society’s ‘Best Beach for Beachcombing in England’ award in 2007.

3. Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire

One of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park’s superb spots for beachcombing. Sand dunes and pines line its landward side.

4. Herne Bay, Kent

Fossilised shark’s teeth mingle with shingle on a popular pebbly town beach. Here you can share ice creams with natural history.

5. Woolacombe, North Devon

Barricane Beach is famous for cowries and other warm-water shells from the Caribbean, brought here on big tides.

6. Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall


An intricate landscape of caves, coves, and sand and pebble beaches. Marine life can drift on the Gulf Stream from the Caribbean to land up here.


Carys MatthewsGroup Digital Editor

Carys is the Group Digital Editor of countryfile.com and discoverwildlife.com. Carys can often be found trail running, bike-packing, wild swimming or hiking in the British countryside.