Just a short stroll from Newlands you'll find Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre, home to some of the most amazing fossil collections. The Centre is free to enter and provides a great day out for the all the family to explore the Jurassic Coast. The guided fossil hunting beach walks offer a perfect way to discover the incredible coastline.
About the Centre
In the summer (1st April - 3rd November) the Centre is open seven days a week from 10:30am to 4:30pm. During the winter months (4th November - 31st March) opening is restricted to Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. Facilities at the centre include hands on displays, marine tanks and a video microscope. The Centre is also equipped with disabled access.
A short film on ‘The Jurassic Coast and Finding fossils at Charmouth’ is available to view in the Theatre at a small cost of £1 for adults and just 50p for children. There is also an onsite shop full of books, toys and souvenirs.
History of the Centre
The origins of Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre date back to 1985 when it was originally founded. Since then, the organisation has continued to attract interest, now with three wardens and a growing team of volunteers in support. As a charitable trust, the centre are largely reliant on this help to undertake a number of roles. The Fine Foundation and the Heritage Lottery Fund have supported the development, as have kind donations visitors. A staggering 100,000 visitors are welcomed through the centre's doors each year.
Attenborough's Sea Dragon
The star of the BBC documentary ‘Attenborough and the Sea Dragon’ known as the ichthyosaur is on display at the Centre. On loan to the Centre for a year, this is a rare chance to see this unique fossil up close.
Guided Fossil hunting walks
Throughout the year the centre run guided fossil hunting and rockpooling walks along the local coastline. The Centre's education programme includes activities for primary and secondary school groups. Visit the official website for full details.
Getting to Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre
If travelling by car from the West, take the A30 to Honiton. From here take the A35 and then follow signs to Charmouth - there is a pay & display car park directly outside the centre. Bus services run to Charmouth from Axminster to Dorchester (X51) and Axminster to Weymouth (X53). The nearest town with a train station is Axminster.
The Centre requires just a short drive or walk from our West Dorset holiday park – making it the perfect convenience on your fossil finding adventure.