Norfolk Passport

Top 5 | Fossil hunts

Though north Norfolk is infamous for its beautiful beaches, their bounty as fossil-hunting playgrounds are lesser known to those outside the world of palaeontology. The highly fossiliferous beaches and cliffs have supplied many visitors with souvenirs from their Norfolk trip, with specific areas being fossil-hunting hotspots.

West Runton

If it's prehistoric gems you’re after, West Runton is a goldmine. The most famous discovery here is the West Runton mammoth, found by beach walkers in 1990, and now its remains can be seen across various Norfolk museums. This fossilized creature is the largest, nearly complete mammoth skeleton on record, putting West Runton on the map as a fossil hotspot.

Aside from mammoths, more miniature mammal and fish remains are common, and plenty can be found along the freshwater beds. Impressive chalk can be seen if the tide is right, and for those who need information and guidance, Seaview Cafe exhibits local fossils, and knowledgeable fossil-hunting experts can often be found in wooden huts by the café.

If mammoth fossils interest you, why not stay in a room designed around them? Double room 4 at Byfords, Holt has a theme centred around Norfolk’s natural history. With quirky touches based on discoveries made in Norfolk, such as the mammoth tusks painted onto the feature wall, a fossil-hunting trip in north Norfolk would not be complete without staying in accommodation to match.

Save 10% on stays at Byfords with a Norfolk Passport. Click here to find out more.

East Runton

Displaying chalk transported from the ice age, East Runton is also a popular spot for those looking for older fossils. Mammal bones are commonly found here, though usually in smaller fragments, with the best place to look being amongst the rock and shingle instead of the cliffs. Less crowded than many other Norfolk beaches, East Runton is an excellent place for a more peaceful fossil-hunting excursion.


A geological attraction due to its red rock and chalky cliffs, Hunstanton is a popular coastal town at the very top of Norfolk. With the dramatic cliffs expanding over the western shore, Hunstanton is perfect for those more interested in rock and chalk formation. Large rocks cover parts of the beach, and fossil hunters are frequently found using chisels to discover the next hidden gem. These discoveries mainly consist of marine fossils like sponges and worm tubes, with the occasional tooth or skeleton appearing.


Rated highly in Norfolk fossil-hunter communities, Overstrand is a fantastic collecting location, with low tide exposing highly fossiliferous chalk. This abundance of chalk yields different fossils, predominantly sponges and molluscs. Note that this beach is not ideal for children due to access issues; therefore, see the following location if you plan to bring the kids along.


Slightly less authentic but with a bucket-load of extra fun, unearth treasures in X-Tinction Fossil Dig at ROARR! This dinosaur-themed park is one of Norfolk’s best family days out, with 85 acres packed with attractions. Forget the North Norfolk coast - if it’s dinosaur bones you’re looking for, this is the place to go.