Monday 9 November 2020


I'm very lucky in that as well as living close to the sea I've also had the opportunity to visit and spend time on beaches across the world. I love how each beach is different, and as soon as you step onto the sand or the pebbles you are face to face with the unique features of that part of the coast. For example, on my local beaches near Worthing you can hardly move for mermaid's purses (egg cases for sharks and skates) and cuttlefish, but it's unusual to find an intact shell more interesting than the slipper limpet. In contrast, on our recent holiday to Hunstanton the beaches were thick with razor shells, which I've never seen down here. 

I particularly love to find sea glass, but I've found that beaches either have it or they don't - Barcelona beach was a particular hot spot, perhaps because it's in the middle of the city, as well as beaches on the Isle of Wight. I'm also desperate to find some sea pottery, but I've had no luck yet!

Pebbles and stones on a sandy beach with waves coming in
Despite spending a lot of time hunting for treasures I feel that I'm not very good at it, perhaps I'm still developing my eye. I'd love to find a fossil, or even some interesting things like on the Lego beaches in Cornwall. Luckily I don't tend to see much rubbish washed up by the sea. 

I'm a bit squeamish when it comes to finding parts of dead crab, although I was relieved to read recently (see my book recommendation below) that they are more likely to be crab moults rather than actual dead crabs. We did pick up this interesting 'skull' which was later identified by my wildlife expert friend as a herring gull pelvis. 

Child holding a skeleton piece found on the beach

I think that most people, even those that don't live by the sea, have some kind of receptacle in their home where they keep shells and stones that they've collected. I have several vases and bowls scattered throughout the house with no kind of order to them. One day I'll get around to doing something crafty with everything! Here is just a small selection of my Hunstanton bits and pieces, I found such a lovely variety.

Collection of shells and stones found while beachcombing

When we got back from holiday I bought this brilliant book - Beachcombing and the Strandline (affiliate link) - which is an excellent read if you are interested in the things that wash up on beaches. It doesn't just cover the things that should be there like shells and seaweed, it also helps you to identify pieces of beach rubbish like security seals and tags from the fishing industry and pieces of lobster and crab traps. Although it's focussed on British beaches there's also a section on the more exotic finds from around the world that occasionally wash up, and it also has information on common marine wildlife. 

Beachcombing book and shells on display in a large wine glass

Now I'm all inspired to jump in the car and head down to the beach again!

1 comment:

  1. We have that book :)
    Take the kids to Bracklesham 2 hours before low tide, you may find shark's teeth.


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