HIKING WITH KIDS – Fossil hunting on the Causeway Coast

Enjoying the view through ‘mad-man’s window’

With a budding palaeontologist in the family and a sunny Sunday forecast we decided to pack up a picnic and take a trip around the Causeway Coast in search of fossils.

Whitebay – the perfect spot to look for fossils!

My husband hails from this beautiful coastal area of Northern Ireland, and after a hectic week driving all over the country with his work this is his go-to happy place where he can take a deep breath, look out over the sea and refocus his mind.

Deep breath – and relax!

Our 3 energetic boys love nothing more than climbing over rocks and having a good old get-dirty session, so with that all in mind we headed for Whitebay – a quiet spot along the coast, where there are plenty of good boulders to navigate and it is also an area where the rocks are rich with fossils.

We got lucky! We had some great finds and our middle child, the dinosaur lover, was in awe. He was quite happy to spend a few hours looking through his magnifying glass at the rocks with prints and pieces of fossil in them. His enthusiasm was also rather contagious and we all had a great time seeing who could find the best fossil!

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After lunch, we meandered on around the spectacular coast road, admiring the clear view across to the mountains in Scotland and talking about taking a trip over there for some hiking. We then stopped at Layd Church ruins and graveyard – a friend brought us here last year for the first time and we were totally astonished at how peaceful and beautiful it was, not to mention the view out across the sea!

Layd church ruins and graveyard

We spent some time wandering about there, chatting and learning more about the Church ruins before taking a walk around the cliff path which offers the most stunning views. We also took a mental note of some of the little coves we want to go back to explore further. There were so many!

The drive home was quiet and relaxing, with everyone tired from the sea air. Cheeks were rosy red from the exertion and everyone was happy. We had spent a really interesting day out in the most beautiful area without spending a penny. We had learned new things, spent quality time together and got some good exercise.


I would highly recommend fossil hunting to anyone with a budding archaeologist in the family – I found my own curiosity piqued too! Great fun! And you never know what you might discover!

The find of the day – a Belemnite (between 65-140 million years old! Wow!)

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