Fossil Hunting at Cocklawburn

From September 12 10:00 am until 1:00 pm

Monday 12th September 10:00 am to 1:00pm. The walk is run as part of the Northumberland Coast AONB series of geo-diversity walks

Walk summary: Cocklawburn Beach is not only a stunnigly beautiful beach but it also contains a wealth of fossilised ancient life preserved within the layers of rock mapped out across the beach. When these layers of rocks were laid down about 350 million years ago this was a large shallow basin which over hundreds of thousands of years alternated between deltaic sands, mud and swamp and shallow tropical sea. In these tropical seas there lived a wide variety of sea creatures including crinoids, brachipods, corals, orthocones, fish and trilobites, and their shells and bones in their millions sank to the bottom of the sea to form lime rich layers. Over time these were turned into the hard limestone layers which delimit Cocklawburn Beach and the remains of the sea creatures can easily be found if you know where to look. This walk will take you out onto the limetone shelves and elsewhere in search of fossils along with an explanation of what they were and how they lived.   

Do I need to book? This event has to be booked in advance. The walk costs £10 for each adult (children free). The walk will be limted to 20 people. To book a place on this walk please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name and telephone number and I will send you bank details for Northumbrian Earth. Once you have made the payment I will confrm your place. If you aren't able to come on the walk for whatever reason please let me know, send me your bank details and I will refund the cost of the walk. Refunds will only be given if you get in touch prior to the walk.

Where do we meet? We meet south of Cocklawburn Beach by the car parking area where the ice-cream van usually parks south of the first bay of Cocklawburn Beach. As the road drops down to Cocklawburn Beach there is a parking area on your right, go past this and the road bends around to the left towards the sea. There is then another parking area on your left as the road swings around to the right - this is where we will meet. Grid reference NU027486

How long is the walk? This walk will be approximately 4 km and will involve some scrambling across rocks on the foreshore. Strong boots are recommended and some may find walking poles helpful.

What else do I need to know? Full details will be sent out on email to everyone who books.  


01668 216066

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Interesting items

  • In Praise of Pentagonal

    In Praise of Pentagonal

    A sharp eyed walk along the beach at Cocklawburn or on Lindisfarne and with a bit of luck you may find a small disc, shaped like a tiny petrified polo mint.

  • Where has Hadrian’s Wall Gone?

    Where has Hadrian’s Wall Gone?

    Before I answer that question, here is a little bit of background information from a manuscript fragment recently discovered in an obscure roman outpost at Ecclesia Novum-Oppidum near to the Fluvium Collegium (surprisingly close to where I live!) and published in the journal Falsus Nuntium. 

  • Northumberland Coast Rocks!

    Northumberland Coast Rocks!

    This project, which was completed during 2015 organised by the Howick Heritage Group and supported with HLF funding, delivered a book, some educational work with a local first and middle school and a series of walks and talks. In this section of geo-diversity resources you can have a look at the presentation given for the walks and talks as well as much of the material which was used in the educational work including lesson plans, activities and exercises.  There is also a handy guide to fossils to be found on the beach at Seahouses (and elsewhere on the coast).


  • "Ian Kille is an absolute authority on the geology of Northumberland. His knowledge is unmatched, his presentation is perfect and his enthusiasm is unbridled. Ian has lead a series of walks for us along the Northumberland Coast AONB over the last two years and every walk has been immensely enjoyable, thoroughly entertaining and incredibly educational. He is able to explain complex geological sequences across enormous timescales to young and old alike and has piqued a geological interest in many that has kept the audience coming back for all of his walks."

    Jessica Turner
    Historic and Built Environment Officer
    Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership


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