A beach on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast has been named the world’s best beach to visit in winter.
Popular with fossil hunters, Charmouth has been named number one of nine beaches recommended by travel guide publisher Lonely Planet.
Second is Reynisfjara Beach in Vik, Iceland, followed by Plage de la Conche des Baleines on Ile de Ré, France.
Geologist Saskia Elliott said: “This is one of my favorite beaches in Dorset so it’s great to be recognized.”
Ms Elliott, a geological and environmental consultant at Broadstone, said: “These amazing cliffs are constantly weathered by small, or sometimes quite large, landslides, and fossils fall down so that anyone with a sharp eye can find something.” From ammonites to belemnites, Or even an ichthyosaur if you’re really lucky. ”
Charmouth has been home to many important discoveries of fossilized creatures previously unknown to science, as well as numerous rescues of people stuck in the mud and trapped by the tide.
In 2017, local fossil hunters Lizzie Hingley and Paul Turner discovered a two-metre-long fossilized crocodile-like creature that scientists later confirmed was a new genus.
Ms Hingley said Charmouth offered “everything a curious person needs to spend several hours walking through stunning scenery searching the foreshore”.
She said: “Fossils are often found during stormy weather, which is why beaches come to life during the winter.”
But it adds: “Remember to be careful of rocks and rocks on the coast. Don’t dig into cliff faces.”
The list also includes beaches in Ireland, Norway, New Zealand, the United States, Canada and South Korea.