Next time you’re on a British beach keep your eyes peeled and your metal detector at the ready, you might discover real treasure!
Jewels from wrecks, ancient fossils, even much-coveted whale sick have all been discovered on beaches across the UK, so who’s to say you won’t strike gold too?
To help you on your way, here’s our list of Britain’s best treasure beaches:
Anglesey, Wales: gold divers kept this quiet for years before finally revealing their secret – that a Victorian steam clipper called the Royal Charter, laden with booty from the Australian gold rush, had sunk off the Anglesey coast close to the village of Moelfre. So far treasure hunters have found gold dust, nuggets, coins and artefacts, and say there is more still to be discovered.
Silloth, Cumbria: a silver Viking jug handle thought to be more than 2,000 years old was discovered by a man with a metal detector on this Cumbrian beach. The striking handle is in the form of a stylised snake’s head and dates back to between the first and fourth centuries.
Westward Ho!, Devon: when the tide creeps back from the beach at Westward Ho! a shipwreck is revealed from its watery hiding place – who knows what else is waiting to be discovered? The oak rafters that poke from the sands are from The Sally, which ran ashore in 1769.
Hastings, East Sussex: search the shingle beaches along the East Sussex coastline and you might discover Amber. Known locally as ‘Hastings Firestorm Amber’ because of their unique colourings, the dull resin deposits have been polished by the sea for over 40 million years to produce a mesmerising finish. The best time to search is after storms when new exposures can occur.
Morecambe, Lancashire: a dog walker discovered a lump of smelly, hardened whale vomit on a Morecambe beach, only to find out it’s a key ingredient of perfume and his piece is worth £100,000. The whale sick is ambergris, an ingredient used by perfume makers to help fragrances last longer. And this isn’t an isolated find – a boy in Bournemouth sniffed out a piece worth £40,000 only 12-months earlier.
Runswick Bay, Whitby: a past-winner of Britain’s best-beach for beachcombing, Runswick Bay is overlooked by dramatic cliffs of Yorkshire’s Dinosaur Coast that give up a continual supply of ancient fossils and semi-precious jet and iron stones.
Geo-cache treasure hunts, across the coast: geo-caching brings treasure hunting into the modern age by encouraging people to search for hidden caches using a handheld GPS. The prize for finding a treasure is the chance to include a message in the accompanying log book and to takeaway one of the trinkets that other hunters have left to swap. Geocaches are hidden on beaches across the UK, with directions for finding them available online.
Ready to go treasure hunting? Base yourself at one of these fabulous holiday parks across the UK.
Why not add a comment to tell us about the treasures you have found on Britain’s beaches.