Postcard geology

Discovering Geology — Maps and resources

BGS staff share some of their favourite sites of geological interest near our offices and around the UK.

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Alabaster at Penarth Head

Alabaster from Penarth in Wales is a decorative stone used inside many buildings in the area. Find out more about its origin.

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Ballard Down headland from Swanage

Ballard Down, Dorset

To the north of the Swanage Bay is a prominent headland, which is a major Cretaceous Chalk Group exposure called Ballard Down.

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BGS Wales office, Cardiff

Learn more about the interesting geological stories waiting to be unearthed just a stone’s throw from our Welsh office.

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Binny Craig, West Lothian

Binny Craig, West Lothian

Binny Craig is possibly West Lothian’s most prominent natural landmark. The craggy knoll, formed from an igneous intrusion, offers spectacular views from the summit.

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View looking northeast from near the summit of Caerketton Hill

Caerketton Hill, Pentland Regional Park

To the south-west of Edinburgh, the Pentland Hills rise above the surroundings forming an iconic ancient volcanic landscape carved by recent glacial history

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A sheep with big curly horns stands in front of her lamb. They are surrounded by grey boulders and lots of purple heather.

Edale and Kinder Scout, Derbyshire

Take a walk from Edale to Kinder Scout in the Peak District of Derbyshire, the highest point in the East Midlands.

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Geology of Arthur’s Seat

A short walk around Holyrood Park provides an insight into the geological history of area from the Carboniferous Period to now.

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The Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. Hexagonal blocks of brownish grey rock in the foregroud, with seain the biddle ground and a high cliffs of basailt columns and green grass in the background.

The Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast

The Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast form Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site, formed 60 million years ago.

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Ham Hill, Somerset

The distinctive, warm honey-coloured building stone known as Hamstone, quarried from Ham Hill in Somerset, has a long history of use dating back as far as Roman times.

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A steep furnicular railway track rises up some cliffs behind some red brick buildings

Hastings, East Sussex

Hastings lies on the south-east coast of the UK with spectacular cliffs, expansive beaches and a wealth of fossils to find.

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Holbeck Hall Landslide - BGS

Holbeck Hall landslide, Scarborough

A series of active landslides stretch several kilometres in the cliffs to the south of Scarborough.

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Howell Quarry

Holwell Nature Reserve

Holwell Nature Reserve can be found near Melton Mowbray. Most of the rocks exposed are composed of sedimentary rocks from the Jurassic.

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A dry stone wall in the foreground with mountains in the background

Isle of Arran, Scotland

The geology of the north-east Isle of Arran, off the west coast of Scotland.

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Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset

Investigating the famous Jurassic Kimmeridge Clay Formation at its namesake bay.

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Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, Dorset

A geological stroll along the Dorset coast from Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door.

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Close up of Maharaja's well head

Maharaja’s Well

The story of the Maharaja’s Well is not just cultural but is intimately bound up with the geology of the Chilterns Hills.

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Mam Tor, Derbyshire

Mam Tor, in the Peak District of Derbyshire, is an iconic hill formed from rocks that date to the Carboniferous, when Britain sat near the equator and enjoyed tropical weather conditions.

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Crossbedding in the entrance to Park Tunnel, Nottingham Castle.

Nottingham Castle

Nottingham Castle sits atop an outcrop of the Sherwood Sandstone Group, which also hosts the myriad tunnels and caves for which the city is known.

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The Ningbo lions Highfields Park

Nottingham University Park

The grounds of Nottingham University have a number of interesting features set in extensive parkland.

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A curved, steep side of a hill showing interbedded, horizontal rocks. The top of the hill and another hill behind it are flat.

Pen y Fan, South Wales

Walking in the Brecon Beacons National Park in South Wales.

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Radyr Stone Quarry

Radyr Stone was produced from a number of quarries in Cardiff. Take a geological walk to see a quarry and spot the stone’s use in the city.

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Reykjanes peninsular in Iceland

Reykjanes peninsula

Andrew McKenzie shares his experience of visiting the Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland and witnessing some spectacular volcanic activity.

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Normanton Church, Rutland

Rutland Water

Rutland Water was recently in the media when one of the longest and most complete Ichthyosaur fossils was discovered on the edge of Rutland water.

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Seaton Cliffs Nature Trail

Seaton Cliffs Nature Trail, Arbroath

The Seaton Cliffs Nature Trail boasts over 40 landmarks, consisting of caves, coves and bays, spectacular views over the North Sea and ideal habitat for a variety of wildlife.

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Scarborough Castle headland

Scarborough

The Yorkshire coastal town of Scarborough sits on rocks from the Jurassic.

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Lathkill Dale looking east

Upper Lathkill Dale and Ricklow Quarry

Ricklow Quarry is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and contains some of the best outcrops of Gigantoproductus fossils in the UK

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A yellow cliff with diagonal striations and a cave. A brick wall sit on top and there are gravestones in the grass at its base.

Urban geology in central Nottingham

A band of Permo-Triassic sandstone runs across Nottingham city centre, with particularly good exposure in the old Rock Cemetery.

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Discovering Geology

Discovering Geology introduces a range of geoscience topics to school-age students and learners of all ages.

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Maps and resources

Download and print free educational resources.

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Colour in Geology map

Maps

Explore or download a range of free-to-view, BGS maps to help you explore the rocks around you and learn more about geological time and climate change.

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