West Dorset is famous for so much, be it the variety of beaches, the summertime sun and its selection of eateries - but in the winter it attracts a different type of tourism.

Winter is the best season for fossil hunting in west Dorset as there are quieter beaches and more fossils.

The rough weather causes higher rates of erosion which washes fossils out of soft clays and sees enthusiasts from all over the world flock to the beaches.

Dèvi Hall and her family hail from Key Largo in Florida and fell in love with the county through their love of fossils on their recent visit to Dorset.

A software developer, Dèvi said she had been fascinated by fossils.

She said: “My journey into the world of fossils began during my tenure as a science teacher at a local middle school. It was here where I developed a deep appreciation for rocks and geology."

Her husband, Joe Hall, grew up in Key Largo, which has a diverse connection to fossils.

Devi said: “My husband grew up surrounded by the fossilised reef system, witnessing coral and brachiopod fossils everywhere."

She added that his love for metal detecting, treasure hunting and fossil finding naturally evolved from this background.

Devi added that her husband is the proud owner of two fishing boats in their hometown - the Sailors Choice and the Anglers Choice.

Having heard about the wonders of the Jurassic Coast, Dèvi and John decided to take their twin nine-year-old children, Asha and Ajay, to explore the area after visiting family in Portugal.

Devi said: “This presented itself as the perfect opportunity to discover the unique beauty of Dorset.”

The family stayed in Hensleigh House in Charmouth, which left a mark on the family.

Devi said: “Charmouth and Lyme Regis really left a lasting impression on us with the charming atmosphere and picturesque surroundings.

“Further along, the breath-taking beauty of Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove captivated us so much that it prompted us to extend our day from two days to a delightful five.”

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

The family carried out a number of hunting sessions, braving the cold winter weather, and picked up a large haul- including numerous pyrite ammonites, an abundance of belemnites and some vertebrae.

A noteworthy find on the last day in Lyme was made by Joe, a set of three articulated vertebrae and ribs that belong to an Ichthyosaur- wedged between two rocks.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

“We had never been in cold weather like that before- but honestly we would do it again in a heartbeat,” Dèvi joked.

The Hall family tried out and enjoyed a number of culinary British delights during their stay at Hensleigh House.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

Dèvi said: “The full English breakfasts featuring sausages, back bacon, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, toast and beans was a particular favourite.

“Our afternoons were punctuated with the pleasure of cream tea, complete with scones, clotted cream, and jam."

Kippers and freshy baked croissants added to the Hall family’s experience.

Dèvi and her family have plans to visit the county again soon to attend a fossil festival in June and they will also look to see more of north England and fossil finds in Yorkshire.

Despite fossil hunting being a popular pastime in the county, it is advised that anyone wishing to do so should always check the tides before heading out to the beach, and to plan ahead for rock falls.