Seaham Hall Beach – Seaham, England - Atlas Obscura

Seaham Hall Beach

For decades, a bottle factory dumped their waste into these waters—now it's considered the best sea glass beach in England. 

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From 1850 to 1921, the seaside town of Seaham in northern England was home to Londonderry Bottleworks, reportedly the biggest bottle-making factory in Great Britain. For those 70 years, waste from the bottleworks, which produced everything from fizzy drink bottles to delicate hand-blown perfume flasks, was regularly dumped over the cliff into the sea.

As a result, Seaham Hall Beach (also known as the North Beach or Glass Beach) is the richest source of sea glass in England. The waves toss a fresh supply of colored glass on shore each day, strewing the beach with the common amber, blue, white, and green pebbles as well as rarer types like red glass, milk glass, and multicolored pieces. Whether you choose to sift through the shingle, dig in the sand, or just walk along the shore and keep your eyes peeled for something shiny, you will find some interesting stuff.

Know Before You Go

The best time to visit is at low tide for the most collection space, or as the tide is going out to see what it brought to shore. Do not take glass from the beach as it is illegal under the Coastal Protection Act.

From Seaham Hall Beach car park,  follow the steps down and onto the beach in the left. You may see a line of beachcombers sifting through the gravel in search of the glass. 

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June 3, 2021

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