Seatown on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset is a lovely beach which reveals its delightful secrets to the patient observer. It is located to the west of Eype, and to the east of Charmouth from which it is separated by the prominent Golden Cap. You can arrive at Seatown by walking along the coastal path from either direction or via the road turning south from the middle of Chideock village. There is a car park and public conveniences. The Anchor Inn right on the beach serves excellent meals.
The soft crumbling cliffs at Seatown mean that many rock types are found as large boulders on the beach. They exhibit an amazing array of different colours, patterns and textures. Some contain beautiful crystals and others fossils. This is even more so for the enormous imported rocks that form the sea defence rip-rap or rock armour near the centre of the beach. Numerous intriguing tracks and trails can be found on the liquid mud that flows from the cliffs and over the shingle after very wet weather, providing evidence of the birds, and the many kinds of small invertebrates that live on the seashore but usually remain hidden from sight. The pebbles are bright and colourful.
The bedrock at the base of the cliffs and exposed low on the shore when the tide is out contains fossils such as belemnites. ammonites, and thousands upon thousands of trace fossils which are tunnels and burrows made by small marine invertebrates such as worms and crabs in ancient times. The soft rocks are also full of holes made in recent times by the marine bivalve molluscs known as piddocks (you can sometimes see their old shells still stuck in the holes or even live piddocks squirting water) as well as the smaller burrows of polychaete worms.
The repeated impact of the waves and the water draining down the shore have resulted in the erosion of these intertidal layers of rock to make interesting formations, carving the top layer into long fingers with sinuous narrow channels. Limpets scrape out circular home territories on the wet boulders; and colourful beds of kelp live on the rock further out to sea. In winter, stormy seas can result in massive waves crashing in a maelstrom of foam against the piled-high banks of pebbles. A great place to visit at any time of the year.
Please find below a list of all the posts that I have written about the beach at Seatown. Click on any title to view the post.
JURASSIC COAST BEACHES – SEATOWN