Collecting seashells on Newquay’s beaches is a great way to spend a few hours, a day or your whole holiday. Beaches take on a new excitement once you start looking at collecting seashells as reminders of your holidays. But it’s so much better if you know where they are from and what they are called. There really are some beautiful shells on Newquay’s beaches, to be found in the rockpools and on the sand.
Because of the world’s sea currents, the UK is a hotspot for seashells. If you look back in history you’ll realise that most of the detailed studies and collections of shells were started by British collectors in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Some beaches in Cornwall, such as Porthcurno on the south coast, are created from millions of finely ground up shells, which is what makes the sea a turquoise colour. You’ll often see sea urchins for sale that have been found by local fishermen, there are certainly boxes of these for sale along the harbourside at Mevagissey, Portloe, Charlestown and Mousehole.
“British Seashells: A Guide for Collectors and Beachcombers (Remember When)”
by Paul Chambers is great for identifying what you’ve found when collecting seashells – and is a book you can enjoy for life as you start to explore other beaches around the county, or around the country.
Using original Victorian prints, by collectable artist George Sowerby, marine biologist and author Paul Chambers has produced the first comprehensive guide to shells for over a century. The original prints are intricately detailed (much better than photographs which lack the exact detail of these drawings) and are a selling point in themselves but will be complemented by informative but accessible text, including families and to show what’s edible, dangerous or belongs to mollusc families and in what part of the country they can be discovered. A delightful study by the leading expert and a must for anyone interested in learning more about shells – or who just enjoys beachcombing with the family.
And the good news is it’s also available in a Kindle format, making it much easier to take to the beach with you. Compare the formats here and take a look inside: British Seashells, A Collectors’ Guide
Once you’ve collected your shells, you can keep them in a jar on your windowsill, or turn them into sea shell art, stick shells onto the edges of mirrors, or make windchimes from them for your garden or balcony.
Book length: 240 pages
Images © seashells, marc berry reid