Sea Glass Treasure Hunting at Ryhope Beach (near Seaham)

Ryhope Beach

Ryhope Beach - also known as Ryhope Village Dene - is just north of Seaham Hall Beach in County Durham. It is mostly shingle with sand near the waters edge and large tide pools.

Within minutes of arrival, I started to find large pieces of sea glass among the rocks. There was not multi-colored sea glass as at Seaham on this particular day, but plenty of aged pieces.

My best find was the large bottle stopper top shown below.​

Ryhope Dene beach sea glass.

Big pretty sea glass baubles.

If you have some extra time while visiting the area, then Ryhope is an interesting beach to spend an hour or so. Really though, Seaham is where you should spend the vast majority of your time.

Where does Ryhope's sea glass come from?​

Most of the jewel-like pieces of sea glass are from the Londonderry Bottleworks Factory (Candlish Bottle Works) founded in 1853 by John Candlish and located in Seaham. The factory turned out up to 20,000 hand-blown bottles and bottle stoppers a day in many colors, but was forced to close its doors in 1921.

At the end of each day, any excess molten glass or broken pieces were thrown over the cliffs into the sea below, only to be transformed into the sand-polished sea glass gems we love today.

Almost a century after the bottleworks factory closed the only evidence of the factory is the incredible sea glass and an occasional wave-worn brick with the Londonderry stamp on it.

Wave tumbled sea glass bauble resting on Ryhope Dene beach.


How to get to Ryhope Beach

There are two ways to get to Ryhope Beach.

The first is to park in the large, free car park at Seaham near Tonia's Café and walk. Head down to the beach, turn left (north) and, around 0.4 miles later, you will arrive at Ryhope. You'll know you're there when you see the large rock below.

Try to set out a good two hours before low tide so that you will have time to hunt along the way!

Stack rock at Ryhope Dene beach.

The second way to get there is to drive to Ryhope itself.

Park near Robson Place and walk through the tunnel which goes under the A1018 and railway line. The walking path takes you right down to Ryhope Beach and, if you're lucky, you'll be able to take one of the parking spots right near the tunnel entrance.

Foot path to Ryhope Dene beach.

Foot path to Ryhope beach.

Long foot path to Ryhope beach.
Stairs to Ryhope beach.

Note: There are no amenities at Ryhope Beach. Tonia's Café at Seaham has great coffee and food or you can visit Costa Coffee in the town centre for a quick loo stop.

Oh... and while you're in Seaham​, be sure to visit Gavin at Seaham Waves. He has an amazing collection of Seaham multis and makes beautiful sea glass jewelry with it!



I have been gathering sea glass for many years. I can never resist a stroll along the beach and the opportunity to add some more beach treasure to my collection!


  1. Great read Jonna. I didn’t even know about this particular beach despite being a regular visitor to Seaham!

Leave a Response

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.