I am very proud resident of Dorset and often sing the praises of the history and beauty of our Jurassic Coast, taking the kids on fossil hunts to places like Kimmeridge Bay, Charmouth and Lyme Regis.
Another local place that we enjoy visiting is the Isle of Wight, which has been declared the dinosaur capital of Britain in a map compiled by the Natural History Museum, beating the Jurassic Coast as the richest area for dinosaur fossil finds.
Fossil hunting is a brilliant excuse for getting the kids out in the fresh air and you don’t have to be a scientist or explorer to find them as several significant discoveries have been made in recent years by leisure hunters, including a six-year-old boy (2007), a nine-year-old girl (2013) and a mother-of-two (2016).
To mark the 75th anniversary of the Council for British Archaeology, Red Funnel and GO Outdoors have launched a guide to fossil hunting on the IOW to celebrate the rare finds that have nestled in the island for millions of years. The guide is designed to create a sense of adventure and excitement for both those living on the island and tourists, helping them to experience the UK’s captivating prehistory first-hand.
The guide details the near-to-complete skeletons of dinosaurs discovered on the Isle of Wight, with illustrations based on what is known of the dinosaurs’ bone structures from excavations. Of course, what their skin really looked like remains a guess – some scientists argue that most of them had feathers!
The guide also includes preparation tips, a recommended kit list, the best locations for fossil hunting, information of legalities and a list of guided fossil walks. It also gives a real insight into the types of fossils that can be found including: crocodiles, turtles, reptiles, pterosaurs, shellfish and various mammals and the best beaches to find them.
The majority of dinosaur fossils are found along the south-west coast at Hanover Point, Chilton Chine, Brighstone Bay and Yaverland.
Once you have tried your hand at fossil hunting, the Isle of Wight has lots of fabulous attractions to visit, including one of our favourite theme parks – Blackgang Chine, home to a number of animatronic dinosaurs that are sure to fascinate the kids……….just beware of the T-Rex!!
Red Funnel is the original Isle of Wight ferry company, with roots tracing back to 1820. Based in the UK port of Southampton, Red Funnel carries 2.3m
passengers and over 800,000 vehicles on its ferry route between Southampton and East Cowes and 1.1m passengers between Southampton and West Cowes on its Red Jet Hi-Speed service.
In addition to ferry travel, Red Funnel is the only cross-Solent operator to offer ferry-inclusive holiday accommodation, attraction tickets, festival and event tickets and activity packages.
Have you visited the Isle of Wight before?