This is PART 3 of my “Travelling to Seaham for Sea Glass Hunting”. The first two blogs cover the flight over and traveling up to Seaham from Gatwick Airport, as well as where to stay and eat in Seaham.
Once you get there, the fun begins. There is a specific area of Seaham Beach which is best for finding sea glass. 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).
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.
If you have a car and can park at the official Seaham Beach entrance 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. Keep in mind that there are exceptions. We found some beautiful glass over by Seaham Marina Harbour, but there wasn’t nearly as much there. Plus we looked right after a storm went through.
We would usually get to the beach just as it started getting light, about an hour before sunrise. Be sure to bring some sort of digging tools. We had a small rake and a small shovel. You would be amazed the things you can find just below the surface.
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. 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.
We found not only light, frosty colored 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. The sun is sometimes not bright enough to really see the colors. 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. I have some of the black glass pieces for sale on my soulshells.com website, but I have more in my collection. If you are interested in buying an loose sea glass, please contact me for details and I can send pictures of what I have.