LYME Regis has been voted the best place for fossil hunting by the BBC’s Countryfile Magazine.
The town has topped a list of the top 10 places to unearth fossils in the UK, with Herne Bay in Kent next on the list and Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex ranking third.
Also mentioned by the magazine was the popular Lyme Regis Fossil Festival, which draws tens of thousands of fossil enthusiasts to the town every year.
David Tucker, curator at Lyme Regis Museum, said the news is good for the town because it gets more people interested in fossil hunting, which is Lyme’s key story.
He added: “People have been searching for fossils in Lyme Regis for more than 200 years, but this has increased further in the last 20 years because of the development of digital technology – including now being able to watch animated dinosaurs on television.
“Lyme Regis is the home of the science of palaeontology and, frankly, I can’t think of anywhere better to go for fossils.
“Fossil hunting is so popular here because fossils can be found so easily on the beaches due to the level of coastal erosion.
“Fossils can also be found safely, provided people take notice of the cliff fall warning signs and so on.
“The Lyme Regis Museum itself is even situated on Victorian fossil hunter Mary Anning’s home.”
Recent fossil finds include an ichthyosaur skull from the Lower Jurassic rocks along Monmouth Beach in April last year.
Back in February, a fossil feast also hit the Jurassic Coast beaches in Lyme Regis after severe storms stripped coastlines in January.
Hundreds of fossil hunters descended onto the beaches during the breaks in the weather trying to snap up the next discovery.
The Countryfile news also comes after Lyme Regis received an unexpected tourism boost after being voted as having the second-best beach activity in the world back in March.
In a survey conducted by renowned travel website virtualtourist.com, fossil hunting on the beaches of Lyme Regis beat competition from Australia and Cuba to be named second, with snorkelling off the Philippines finishing first.
Countryfile's top 10 sites
Lyme Regis, Dorset
Herne Bay. Kent
Danes Dyke, Yorkshire
West Runton, Norfolk
Bracklesham Bay, Sussex
Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan