This interactive map will show you the UK’s best spots for finding fossils

By Nilima Marshall, Press Association

See yourself as an amateur explorer? Maybe an interactive map with popular fossil locations is exactly what you need.

Created by palaeontologist Martin Simpson – also known as the Fossil Man – and British hotel chain Premier Inn, the Fossil Finder Map plots the best spots in the UK to unearth fossils dating back millions of years.

Fossil Finder Map (Premier Inn)

The map shows places where relic-hunting enthusiasts are likely to find ancient specimens such as ammonites (ancient creatures resembling a squid), brachiopods (molluscs that were particularly abundant during the Palaeozoic Era around 248 million years ago) or even dinosaur bones from the Jurassic (201-145 million years ago), Cretaceous (145-66 million years ago) and Carboniferous (358-298 million years ago) periods.

Fossil-hunting spots include Lyme Regis in Dorset where famous collector and paleontologist Mary Anning found the first Ichthyosaurus (large marine reptiles that lived 112.03 million years ago) skeleton, the first complete Plesiosaurus (marine reptile that roamed the seas around 66 million years ago) and first British Dimorphodon (flying reptiles that existed around 189.6 million years ago) in the early 19th century.

Whitby is great for hunting ammonites (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Dinosaur fans will also be pleased to see the Compton Bay in the Isle Of Wight on the interactive map where, according to Mr Simpson, bones of the Iguanodon dinosaur (a three-toed vegetarian reptile that lived 93.9 million years ago) are regularly found.

Other popular locations include Whitby in North Yorkshire – which is great for scouting ammonites, Warden Point in Isle of Sheppey – which is especially good for finding sharks’ teeth, and Speeton in Yorkshire – which is famous for lobster fossils known as the Speeton shrimp.