Part 3 of Traveling to Seaham for Sea Glass Hunting
In this article, we’ll tell you exactly where to find sea glass on Seaham Beach. The first two blogs covered the flight over and traveling up to Seaham from Gatwick Airport, as well as where to stay and eat in Seaham.
When planning your trip, keep the tides in mind. We planned for low tide in the mornings. There will be fewer people coming as the tide comes in, and you can get there very early before the crowds. The best sea glass shows up after a storm. But unless you live locally, it is difficult to plan around the weather.
Seaham Beach Official Entrance
There is a specific area of Seaham Beach which is best for finding sea glass. Once you get there, the fun begins. There are several points of entry as you walk along the road above the cliffs. There are both stairs and ramps (I preferred the ramps with my bad knees). But the picture above is of the official Seaham Beach Entrance. That will put you on the beach at the beginning of the best area for looking. Keep in mind that the best areas can shift with time and tides.
If you have a car and can park in the parking lot by Tonia’s Cafe, that is perfect. There is a set of stairs right near the parking lot that lead to the best part of the beach. There is an outcropping of a cliff which is where we marked the beginning of the best area. We found some beautiful glass over by Seaham Marina Harbour too, but there wasn’t nearly as much there. Plus we looked right after a storm went through.
Here is the path to the stairs, and a picture of what the stairs are like, so you can be prepared.
When to Get to the Beach
We would usually get to the beach just as it started getting light, about an hour before sunrise. There is almost nobody around and it’s such a peaceful walk. However, at sunrise, it will become more crowded. We sometimes saw flashlights bobbing of the diehard hunters on the beach below as we made our way down. And if you can time is as the tide is still going out, that is best, then you can continue to find good sea glass as the water continues to recede.
Items to Bring Sea Glass Hunting
Be sure to bring some sort of digging tools. We had a small rake and shovel. You would be amazed the things you can find just below the surface, and it’s too hard to dig with your hands. We also brought fingerless gloves, so our hands would stay warm, but we could still easily pick up any glass we found. I would recommend a small collapsible bucket that can fit in your suitcase, yet is large enough to keep a day’s worth of seaglass in it. Waterproof jacket and pants are also advisable. If you have to sit on the beach, you definitely want to stay dry. We were there in the fall, and it got quite windy and cold. Bring a backpack for storing your gear and glass, so your hands can stay free to climb the stairs back up to the road. And of course bring your mobile phone or a small flashlight, to check the glass colors while you’re on the beach. You don’t want to lug a bunch of dark stones back thinking you have glass.
Where on Seaham Beach to Find the Best Sea Glass
The patterns of rocks and pebbles on the beach can vary widely with the weather and the seasons. Sometimes the beach is covered in rocks, and sometimes it’s just rows of rocks with sand in between. Regardless of the arrangement, you want to be looking in the rocks and pebbles. Rarely, would we find a piece just sitting on the sand.
You should walk from the outcropping north, all the way to where the beach curves towards the sea, and there are large rocks in the water. There is less sea glass at the very northern end, but it’s beautiful there with some caves and “waterfalls”. We really enjoyed that part and did find a little sea glass there. I also brought a bath mat to sit on when my feet got tired. The bath mat has that rubber bottom to prevent moisture from coming through and the fuzzy top was very comfortable…better than a towel.
Searching at Seaham Harbour Marina Beach
We also spent some of our days searching at the Seaham Harbour Marina Beach. It’s closer to town and easier to get to. There is a ramp and stairs to get down and the beach is much smaller. I found some of my nicest sea glass pieces there, but there usually isn’t much.
You can see from the pictures above that this beach is much smaller. Be careful if the weather is rough, because the water comes up fast with large, violent waves. Sometimes there is a large ridge of sand that you have to climb down on the beach.
What Types of Sea Glass We Found
We found not only light, frosty rounded sea glass, but also what is referred to as “black glass”. Those are harder to find because they look just like black pebbles. For roughly every 100 pieces of black pebbles I picked up, about 20 pieces were actually black sea glass. The best way to tell if a piece is sea glass, is by holding it up to the flashlight of your mobile phone. We always had our phones with us for this purpose. Sometimes you can’t see well enough just holding a piece up to the light. We found some spectacular black glass, from deep red, to purple and blue! You have to really look at the surface and texture to tell the difference between the rocks and the glass. It is not so easy to find these and even harder to sell them. So we found it more enjoyable to stick to the lighter colors.
I hope you found this helpful in planning an adventure for sea glass hunting in Seaham, England. If you are interested in buying an loose sea glass, please contact me for details and I can send pictures of what I have. I haven’t gotten as much up on the website as I want because it sells so fast and takes forever to list. For more seaglass info, visit our Seaglass Video page.