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Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre, Bridport

#1 of 8 in Museums in Bridport
Natural History Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
The Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre is based in the upstairs floor of a long-disused cement factory on the foreshore of Charmouth in Dorset, England.

The centre operates as an independent registered charity within the larger framework of the UNESCO Dorset and East Devon Coast World Heritage Site, known as the "Jurassic Coast". The Jurassic Coast stretches over a distance of 155 kilometres (96 mi), from Orcombe Point near Exmouth, in the west, to Old Harry Rocks, in the east. The coastal exposures along the coastline provide a continuous sequence of Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous rock formations spanning approximately 185 million years of the Earth's history. The localities along the Jurassic Coast includes a large range of important fossil zones.

Entry to the centre and all of its displays is free and, as such, the centre is dependent upon money generated from walks and events as well as charitable donations from the public. It has also received Heritage Lottery Fund grants. The centre was set up in 1985 by local residents, in response to concerns about damage being done to the cliffs by fossil hunters. The role of the centre has always been primarily as an educator and it has undergone several phases of expansion as the demand from the public and from school groups has risen.
In 2014 a grant from the Primary Science Teaching Trust enabled the provision of a classroom and resources designed to help local children achieve the requirements of the National Curriculum.
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Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre reviews

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756 reviews
  • Absolutely fantastic! We went on a private fossil hunting walk for our son’s 7th birthday with Dan who was superb... We found so many fossils and now have the knowledge to be able to hunt for...  more »
  • Interesting site and information. Staff were helpful and engaging with our teenage daughter who is very interested in fossils, what a great find. We will definitely be back again soon.  more »
  • We went on a private fossil hunting walk and it was amazing! Dan was brilliant, informative and enthusiastic which was perfect for my son (and me!) We had a good haul of belemnites, ammonites and...  more »
  • Beautiful scenery. Amazing walks and a lovely coastline. Beach very busy on sunny days but found parking without a problem. Pay and display but cheaper if after 2pm. Dogs not allowed on beach during summer months. Much to the disappointment of my little hound who loves to swim. Can't wait to return. So much more to explore.
  • We did the guided fossil tour during the school summer holidays - it was brilliant and my two (3 and 5) had a fab time. There were loads of staff and volunteers to help out who were really knowledgeable and helpful. The centre itself is great and really informative and the staff/volunteers were excellent.
  • Amazing and beautiful place. Ample parking and a little cafe serving food and drink. The beach and views are stunning. Unfortunately on this visit we didn't find any fossils, but I know lots of people who have, and fully intend to revisit soon.
  • Some fantastic fossils in this small centre. Lots of hands on activities for children. It was lovely to see them so excited going from one exhibit to another.
  • Nice beach with amenities nearby. Gently sloping beach means little ones can safely play in the sea. Great for fossil hunting. Cafe and shops on the beach with parking for 300 cars nearby.

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