It is no surprise that one of the major draws to the Jurassic Coast is fossil hunting. A popular activity for all ages that sparks a day of adventure from complete beginners to expert collectors.

However, if you see someone walking along the shoreline looking between the pebbles and seashells with intent, they may be seeking something altogether different. Their quest may be the trash that is turned into treasure by the ocean, otherwise known as sea glass. Collecting sea glass has increased in popularity as a pastime in recent years, becoming a worldwide phenomenon.

You will sometimes hear of sea glass being referred to as Mermaids' tears. This charming name owes itself to the legend of a mermaid being banished to the sea by Neptune, after falling in love with a Ship's Captain. The story tells of the mermaid saving the life of the Captain during a treacherous storm by calming the seas. In doing so, the mermaid disobeyed Neptune and sealed her fate. Sea glass is said to be her tears washing ashore until she can return to the surface and reunite with her true love.

You will Sea glass is glass that has been 'recycled' by the sea. Glass bottles, shards and other rubbish that ends up in the ocean go through a process, a metamorphosis, travelling through waves and experiencing abrasive interactions with sand and salt that give the sea glass its frosted look. The transformation can take several years, but the sea glass then washes up on a beach, waiting to discover a new destiny.

Popular places in England among sea glass hunters include Charmouth Beach and Lulworth Cove. Both located on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset. Both places are beautiful to visit and regularly cited online as ideal locations for sea glass hauls.

There are many reasons why people collect sea glass and keep their own collections. Some people have even turned their passion for this pursuit into a business. For instance, there are a number of jewellery makers that utilise sea glass in their pieces. You will even find a handful of festivals in the United States that are centred around sea glass, such as the International Sea Glass Festival that is held annually in New England.

There are a plethora of jewellery makers along the south coast of the UK incorporating sea glass. Jules, of Sea and Solder based in Dorset (*who also provided the images in this blog) produces hand crafted sea glass jewellery. Jules says she has found some of her best pieces on Dorset beaches when she hasn't even been hunting for it. Her top tips for when is optimal to find sea glass, is a sunny day, when there is low tide and there has been a recent storm. She attributes the worldwide rise in interest in sea glass to the growing understanding of the health benefits of being outdoors, particularly with mental wellbeing.

Could collecting sea glass be your new hobby or even business in 2023? Get started in finding your own treasures. Look at our places to stay and who knows, maybe you'll find a new path.




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