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Filey fossils and fossil collecting

Head to the north side of Filey, and head towards the “North Cliff Country Park”. The huge car park, complete with toilets and a café, used to be the site of the old “Bullins” at Filey.
Park at this cliff top, and you will find a path taking you along the Brigg cliff. Steps take you down to the beach, where you can access both the south and north sides.
You can find fossils both to the North and South of the Brigg.
The famous Filey Brigg makes this an ideal location for the family, Filey is also a seaside town with everything you need with lots to see and do.

GRID REF: TA 12523 81575

Ammonites, Belemnites, Molluscs, Plants
Fossil Collecting at Filey

Filey Brigg is a very famous foreshore platform that extends a long way out at low tide. Many walk along but many often to do realise that nearby superb plants and shells can be collected near the cliffs next to the Brigg.
Where is it


Filey yields plant remains along with bivalves. You can normally return with some good finds but will need to split rocks to have a good chance. You can also explore the Boulder Clay beds, south of the Brigg, which can yield a variety of fossils.

Suitable for Children


The famous Filey Brigg makes this an ideal location for the family, Filey is also a seaside town with everything you need with lots to see and do. The South cliff has a sandy beach, the north side and around the Brigg can be quite rocky, but an old concrete “Beach Path”, from the old Butlins holiday site is still present and can be used to walk along easily.

Good Access

The site has easy access, although it can be a steep walk down for older or young children. The country park has toilets and food. There are 'NO' restrictions to this location

Cliffs, Foreshore


Most of the fossils can be found within the rocks on the foreshore, or at the South cliff, sticking out of scree at the bottom of the cliffs.

No Restrictions

There are no restrictions at this site, hammering and collecting is permitted. However we ask that you follow our fossil code of conduct which can be found in the link below.

Common sense when collecting at all locations should be taken and knowledge of tide times should always be noted. This part of the coastline is very dangerous for tidal conditions; make sure you return before the tide turns. Keep away from the base of the cliffs, rock falls are very common. Hard Hats are recommended.

Tide Times


UK Tidal data is owned by Crown Copyright, and therefore sadly we are not allowed to display tide times without paying expensive annual contracts. However we sell them via our store, including FREE POSTAGE
Click here to buy a tide table

Last updated:  2010
last visited:  2010
Written by:  Alister and Alison Cruickshanks

Locations similar to Filey

In North Yorkshire, Reighton Gap and Cayton Bay also have Boulder Clay, but the best place for Boulder Clay fossils is the whole coastline South of Bridlington to Easington, known as the Holderness Coastline.


Due to the rapid erosion along that part of the coast, access is always changing. But locations of Mappleton, Easington, Tunstall, Ulrome, Withernsea and Tunstall are accessible.


If you enjoy collecting from Boulder Clay why not try the Suffolk Coast. There are plenty of locations to visit including, Happisburgh, Pakefield, Gisleham Quarry, or Corton.

Location Photos

Fossil Collecting
Your Reports

Search the foreshore for fossil bivalves around the Brigg and also, search the boulders. You can also find fossils in the scree slopes at the base of the cliff. The upper beds of the Hambleton Oolite can be seen at the South side of the Brigg, very fossiliferous limestone containing well preserved bivalves of Cardioceras and Perisphinctes.

At the North side, this tends to be less fossiliferous and mainly yields trace fossils in the Lower beds of the Hamleton Oolite beds and sandstones of the Passage Beds Member. Fossil plants can also be found just south of the Brigg. The South Cliff is Boulder Clay, and fossils such as belemnites, ammonites and brachiopods can be found loose in the clay. These are erratics , brought down by the last ice age from the North.

Geology Guide Jurassic, 155 mya

Filey Brigg itself is formed from calcareous sandstone of the Birdsall Calcareous Grit member, occasional Cardioceras can be found from the loose gravel and boulders on the South of the Brigg. The South cliff consists of Boulder Clay....[more]

Geology of Filey, south of the Brigg

More Guides

Ammonites from Filey
Belemnite from the Boulder Clay at Filey....[more]

A Hammer and splitting chisel are recommended at this location. A pick will also come in handy. Suitable footwear should also be worn. Any fossils should be wrapped well and placed carefully into containers, try not to rub fossils and treat as soon as possible.

Stone Tumblers
Test Sieves for Microfossils

If you are interested in fossil collecting, then you may also be interested in a stone tumbler (Lapidary). You can polish stones and rocks from the beach which will look fantastic polished using a stone tumbler.

You can polish rough rock and beach glass whilst collecting fossils, on those days where you come back empty handed. These are all high quality machines to give a professional finish to your samples. They can even be used for amber and fossils.

At most locations, you can find microfossils. You only need a small sample of the sand. You then need to wash it in water and sieve using a test sieve. Once the sand is processed, you can then view the contents using a microscope.

We have a wide range of microscopes for sale, you will need a Stereomicroscope for viewing microfossils. The best one we sell is the IMXZ, but a basic microscope will be fine. Once you have found microfossils, you will need to store these microfossils.

Test Sieves are used when searching for microfossils. Microfossils can be found in many locations, and all you need is a small amount of sample such as clays, sands and shales, or if you have acid, limestone, oolite or chalk.

Our UKGE Store sells Endecotts Test Sieves, which are the highest in accuracy and extremely durable and long lasting. These Test Sieves are fantastic for microfossils. Endecotts Test Sieves come in a variety of sizes, frame material and types, they are certificated to EU Standards.

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While we (UKGE/UK Fossils) try to ensure that the content of this location guide is accurate and up to date, we cannot and do not guarantee this. Nor can we be held liable for any loss or injury caused by or to a person visiting this site. Remember: this is only a location guide and the responsibility remains with the person or persons making the visit for their own personal safety and the safety of their possessions. That is, any visit to this location is of a personal nature and has not been arranged or directly suggested by UK Fossils. In addition, we recommend visitors get their own personal insurance cover. Please also remember to check tide times and rights of way (where relevant), and to behave in a responsible and safe manner at all times (for example, by keeping away from cliff faces and mud).
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