Rocks up close

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.

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Ammonites in limestone, Lyme Regis

Ammonites in Jurassic limestone, Lyme Regis, Dorset

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Serpentine rocks, The Lizard

Devonian serpentine (serpentinite), The Lizard, Cornwall

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Roseroot and granite, Kintra

Roseroot in Devonian granite, Kintra, Isle of Mull

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Oxidised gabbro, St. David's Head

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

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Limestone pavement a, Thwaite Scar

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

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Quartz porphyry and granite, Cleiteadh nan Sgarbh

Palaeogene quartz porphyry and granite, Cleiteadh nan Sgarbh, Arran

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Eroded chalk, Thornwick Bay

Eroded Cretaceous chalk and flint, Thornwick Bay, East Yorkshire

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Granite heart, Mangersta beach

Devonian granite heart, Mangersta beach, Isle of Lewis

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Balanced boulder, Stickle Ghyll

Ordovician andesite, Stickle Ghyll, Great Langdale, Cumbria

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Limpets and channel wrack, Bamburgh

Limpets and channel wrack on Permian dolerite, Bamburgh, Northumberland

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Old red sandstone, Pease Bay

Devonian Old Red Sandstone, Pease Bay, Berwickshire

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Fossilised limestone, Mupe Bay

Fossilised Jurassic Portland limestone, Mupe Bay, Dorset

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Hart's tongue fern, The Burren

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

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Black basalt and pale quartz sand, White Rocks Beach

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

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Banded quartzite, Portknockie

Precambrian/Cambrian iron-banded quartzite, Portknockie, Moray

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Coal pebble and magnesian limestone, Blackhall beach

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

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Sandstone contours, Cleiteadh nan Sgarbh

Permian sandstone contours, Cleiteadh nan Sgarbh, Arran

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Quartz in killas, Millook Haven

Quartz veining in Carboniferous killas, Millook Haven, Cornwall

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Fir clubmoss, Wasdale Fell

Fir clubmoss in andesite, Wasdale Fell, Cumbria

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Eroded sandstone, Elgol

Sea spray eroded Jurassic sandstone, Elgol, Isle of Skye

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Sculpted granite, Gable Beck

Ordovician water sculpted granite, Gable Beck, Cumbria

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Pebbles and rocky shore, Lavernock Point

Jurassic limestone, Lavernock Point, Glamorgan

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Radioactive rocks, Littleham Cove

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

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Limestone and calcite, Skrinkle haven

Carboniferous limestone with calcite veins, Skrinkle Haven, Permbrokeshire

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Limestone pavement b, Thwaite Scar

Carboniferous limestone pavement, Thwaite Scar, North Yorkshire

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Chalk and shingle, Alum Bay

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

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Orange sea lichen on dolerite, Holy Island

Orange sea lichen on Permian dolerite, Holy Island, Northumberland

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Shingle on shale, Jet Wyke

Shingle on Jurassic shale, Jet Wyke, North Yorkshire

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Sandstone and silver sand, Laig Bay

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

Devonian granite and thrift, Kintra, Isle of Mull

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Flint in chalk, White Rocks Beach

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

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Permian sandstone, Merkland Point

Permian New Red Sandstone, Merkland Point, Arran

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Bllackberry, ivy and sticky bud, The Burren

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

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