An explorer's guide to the islands of Britain

Fossil hunting Isle of Wight

One of the richest places in the UK for dinosaur remains, the Isle of Wight is known as ‘Dinosaur Island’. There are several top spots for finding fossils of all different sorts. Along the south coast large dinosaur foot casts can be seen at Compton Bay, where they are scattered along the coast slightly east of Hannover Point and Fossil Forest. Rocken End, west of Niton, is a quiet and stunning location and is a good place to find ammonites and other molluscs either on the foreshore or in the small inland quarry and makes for an excellent day out for all the family. On the north coast between Yarmouth and Hamstead, at the base of Bouldner Cliff, the foreshore and cliffs are great for finding fossils of mammal, crocodile, turtle, crustaceans, fish, molluscs, plants and seeds – look out for the giant fossilised oysters here too. The Isle of Wight also has some remarkable geology at locations such as Alum Bay with its multi-coloured sand cliffs.

Whilst you are on the Isle of Wight why not try:

Walk to the Isle of Wight’s highpoint on St Boniface Down

Enjoy a swim and crab pasty at Steephill Cove

The Needles and Tennyson Down circular walk

Watch an Isle of Wight sunset

Circular walk St Catherine’s Oratory

Look for the Milky Way

Spot a sea eagle

Go fossil hunting

Go rock pooling at Bembridge

Go star gazing

Ride The Needles chairlift

Other islands nearby:

Brownsea Island

Hayling Island

Portsea Island

Thorney Island

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