Beach Detecting

Silver (2) Silhouette

Hints & Tips on Beach and Surf Metal Detecting.


Before setting out, have a check at the information shown on the Web Links page . where you can obtain information on the following :-

1 ; The Crown Estate, for information on UK Beach Detecting and to obtain a Permit (if required ).

2 ; Tide Times, to check for the current tide conditions at specific locations throughout the UK.

3 ; UK Beach Webcams ; Where you can check the current "live" conditions of selected beaches.

4 ; Met Office ; What the weather's looking like in your area.


Research ;


Check out old Photographs or Postcards of crowds on the beaches streching right back to Victorian times. Here you can view where people congregated during the summer months.


                                                                                                                   Have a look for old footpaths / access points                 .                                                                                                                   leading to the beach.

old-ayr-beach Ayr-Beach (2)

Dry Sand Detecting ;


The "Dry Sand" area is the section of the beach above the High water mark ,sometimes refered to as the "Towel Line". This can be a productive areas to search especially for recent losses ie, modern coinage.

However, it is also an area full of junk items like Pull tabs, foil, bottle tops, cans, etc. and unfortunately many of these items show up in the same range on a detector as Gold or Silver jewellery and coins.



On some beaches this area is constantly

"Raked" in the summer months causing

the junk items to be mixed in even more with

the good finds.


Tip :  Drag your spade or scoop behind you

to create a line when detecting. This will let

you see where you've already been.


Beach entrance

Wet Sand Detecting ;


The "Wet Sand" area is the section of the beach between the High and Low water lines.

This can be a very productive area to search especially for older losses ie, Victorian / Pre-decimal coinage, Gold / Silver rings and assorted Jewellery.

It is also area of the beach that is constantly refreshed with targets due to areas of sand being stripped away by tidal movement and storms.


Look out for New Channels and Gulleys appearing in the wet sand area, and in places where shingle and pebbles have been exposed. These areas could have had two or three feet of sand removed, allowing you to search in areas that in normal conditions would be out of reach of both Multi frequency and Pulse Induction Detectors.


This is the area where the targets are found in

the "Black Sand" or Hardpack / Clay.



Tip :  To check that the Hardpack is within

Detecting depth, dig a couple of random holes

with your scoop or spade to see if you hit the

"Black Sand"

Alternatively, use a piece of steel rod and use as

a probe.




beach channel Ayr beach

     Beach View.

Sand Dune Erosion.


Check sand dunes after heavy storms or Spring Tides for the front of the Dune to be cut away . This can expose older, as well as modern finds, not only in the sand below the Dune but lodged in the "Cut" of the side wall.


There are many beaches around the UK where beach erosion has caused Roman and Medieval coins /

artefacts to be found.



A large amount of junk will also be found in this area

and as with Dry Sand Detecting , may require some form

of discrimination.


Tip ; If detecting the "Cut" face of the Dune

use a smaller search coil if available.

(It's easier on the arms )


Sand Dunes



Other areas worth searching ;





                                                                                                     Piers ;


                                                                                                              Built in Victorian times, and some nice finds

                                                                                                              can be made both around and under them.







                                                                                                      Water channels :  


                                                                                                              Streams running through the dry sand area of

                                                                                                              the beach can be very productive for all

                                                                                                              types of finds.                                                                                                                  





                                                                                                      Groynes ;  


                                                                                                              They are designed to help stop longshore drift

                                                                                                              which would normally move sand and

                                                                                                              material along the coastline,  Good finds can be        

                                                                                                              made in and around this area.






                                                                Beach Detecting Code & Ethics.      


                                                    Respect the Beach and leave it as you found it.


                                  Remove any Trash & Junk finds to avoid injury to other beach goers


                                                               Be an ambassador for the hobby


                                                   Please remember to backfill any holes  



groynes Beach-river pier Metals

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Coin Values

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Values of coins of England and Great Britain.






1000's of Metal Detecting, Instructional & Blog Videos.  


MDO-TV (Small) Beach view May 13 Wet Sand Beach Detecting Wet sand channel Trash

Trash Finds :-


"Keep your Beach and your                search area Clean".


Use you Trash bag and remove junk finds from the beach.


Remember, anything you leave will just be moved about the sands with the wind and tides, and will give you  more great signals to dig the next time you visit.


Clyde Coast Beach