In celebration of my latest publication “Shore to Summit: A Photographic Guide to the Geology of Britain and Ireland” and my obsession with rocks in general, here is a porfolio of some of my favourite close encounters with the geology of England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.  Far from being a grey and lifeless substance rock comes in all colours and supports a wide range of animal and plant life.

Hopefully this selection goes some way towards demonstrating the extraordinary variety of rocks to be found within our small islands.

Ammonites in limestone, Lyme Regis

Ammonites in Jurassic limestone, Lyme Regis, Dorset

Serpentine rocks, The Lizard

Devonian serpentine (serpentinite), The Lizard, Cornwall

Roseroot and granite, Kintra

Roseroot in Devonian granite, Kintra, Isle of Mull

Oxidised gabbro, St. David's Head

Oxidised Ordovician gabbro, St. David’s Head, Pembrokeshire

Limestone pavement a, Thwaite Scar

Blue moor grass in Carboniferous limestone pavement, Thwaite Scar, North Yorkshire

Quartz porphyry and granite, Cleiteadh nan Sgarbh

Palaeogene quartz porphyry and granite, Cleiteadh nan Sgarbh, Arran

Eroded chalk, Thornwick Bay

Eroded Cretaceous chalk and flint, Thornwick Bay, East Yorkshire

Granite heart, Mangersta beach

Devonian granite heart, Mangersta beach, Isle of Lewis

Balanced boulder, Stickle Ghyll

Ordovician andesite, Stickle Ghyll, Great Langdale, Cumbria

Limpets and channel wrack, Bamburgh

Limpets and channel wrack on Permian dolerite, Bamburgh, Northumberland

Old red sandstone, Pease Bay

Devonian Old Red Sandstone, Pease Bay, Berwickshire

Fossilised limestone, Mupe Bay

Fossilised Jurassic Portland limestone, Mupe Bay, Dorset

Hart's tongue fern, The Burren

Hart’s tongue fern in Carboniferous limestone pavement, The Burren, County Clare

Black basalt and pale quartz sand, White Rocks Beach

Palaeogene basalt & Quaternary quartz sand, White Rocks Beach, County Antrim

Banded quartzite, Portknockie

Precambrian/Cambrian iron-banded quartzite, Portknockie, Moray

Coal pebble and magnesian limestone, Blackhall beach

Carboniferous coal pebble and Permian magnesian limestone, Blackhall beach, County Durham

Sandstone contours, Cleiteadh nan Sgarbh

Permian sandstone contours, Cleiteadh nan Sgarbh, Arran

Quartz in killas, Millook Haven

Quartz veining in Carboniferous killas, Millook Haven, Cornwall

Fir clubmoss, Wasdale Fell

Fir clubmoss in andesite, Wasdale Fell, Cumbria

Eroded sandstone, Elgol

Sea spray eroded Jurassic sandstone, Elgol, Isle of Skye

Sculpted granite, Gable Beck

Ordovician water sculpted granite, Gable Beck, Cumbria

Pebbles and rocky shore, Lavernock Point

Jurassic limestone, Lavernock Point, Glamorgan

Radioactive rocks, Littleham Cove

Permo-Triassic mudstone with radioactive ore, Littleham Cove, Devon

Limestone and calcite, Skrinkle haven

Carboniferous limestone with calcite veins, Skrinkle Haven, Permbrokeshire

Limestone pavement b, Thwaite Scar

Carboniferous limestone pavement, Thwaite Scar, North Yorkshire

Chalk and shingle, Alum Bay

Cretaceous chalk and shingle pebbles, Alum Bay, Isle of Wight

Orange sea lichen on dolerite, Holy Island

Orange sea lichen on Permian dolerite, Holy Island, Northumberland

Shingle on shale, Jet Wyke

Shingle on Jurassic shale, Jet Wyke, North Yorkshire

Sandstone and silver sand, Laig Bay

Jurassic sandstone and Quaternary quartz/basalt sand, Laig Bay, Eigg

Granite and thrift, Kintra

Devonian granite and thrift, Kintra, Isle of Mull

Flint in chalk, White Rocks Beach

Flint in part metamorphosed Cretaceous chalk, White Rocks Beach, County Antrim

Permian sandstone, Merkland Point

Permian New Red Sandstone, Merkland Point, Arran

Bllackberry, ivy and sticky bud, The Burren

Blackberry, ivy and sticky bud in Carboniferous limestone pavement, The Burren, County Clare