Were you one of the anticipated 8 million viewers who tuned in to watch the ‘Attenborough and the Sea Dragon’ documentary which featured on prime-time TV last Sunday?
If you were, I am sure you are now all fired up and ready to turn fossil hunter, to uncover your own hidden treasures which tell stories of the past along our stunning Jurassic Coastline.
Whilst watching at home, I excitedly followed David Attenborough, Chris Moore and his team as they uncovered a remarkable 200-million-year-old fossil – the bones of an ichthyosaur, a giant sea dragon – right here on Monmouth Beach in Lyme Regis.
David Attenborough didn’t disappoint in bringing this ancient creature’s story to life and in doing so brought the imagery of the stunning World Heritage Site into the homes of everyone who waited with bated breath to find out what happened to this magnificent creature.
What Sir David Attenborough didn’t tell you is that you and your family, your friends, your children, your school group or your community group can go and see the actual Sea Dragon at the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre, from this Sunday 14 January, until January 2019, for free! Please check the centre’s website for their opening dates and times.
Whilst you are there, do take the opportunity to explore the Heritage Coast Centre to see their other amazing fossil collections, and find out how to safely discover your own fossils on the beach.
Charmouth is a full day out for everyone; why not explore the National Trust Golden Cap Estate on the walking trail, made up of rolling hills, pastoral fields, sunken lanes, ancient hedgerows and dramatic coastline. A shorter, circular woodland walk suitable for all abilities is the Langdon Hill walk, which takes you through Scots pine and larch with spectacular views and year-round wildlife highlights. Keep an eagle eye out for buzzards and ravens soaring overhead too.
After you have worked up an appetite, drop by Felicity’s Farm Shop on the A35 between Charmouth and Bridport, here you will discover quality fruit, vegetables, dairy products, breads, meats and seafood to revive you for another days’ adventures!
Finally, if you are looking for somewhere to stay, Hensleigh House is a family-run ‘private hotel’ providing Bed and Breakfast in Charmouth, situated just 300 metres from the famous tranquil beach and its fossils. With a consistent ‘excellent’ Trip Advisor rating, it is the perfect stop-over for a weekend of exploring.
Written by Lucy Culkin- JCT Programme Manager