I have been down to Hartland Quay twice now, once with university on a field trip, and again with my partner for a geoliday. It was his first time there, and I hoped it would blow his mind – the rocks here truly are spectacular.
The rocks here are Carboniferous in age, and this location is well known for the structural geology goodness it contains. The cliffs here show vertical chevron folds; the cliff has been concertinaed and folded up, squeezed by the huge forces of the Variscan Orogeny [PDF]. The pictures truly do not do it justice; the drive down the narrow road to the car park is the first part of the fun, the rocks the second, and then the pub is third.
Be sure to visit when the tide is going out! High tide cuts it all off and you won’t be able to get anywhere near the rocks. We got there at high tide and so went for a long walk (4 or 5 miles) and by the time we got back, the tide had gone out (and we’d worked up an appetite).
|Looking along the axis of a plunging chevron fold (plunges towards the camera)|