Seaham is a small town on the North Sea coast in County Durham. You will find it just to the south of Sunderland and east of Durham.
Formerly known as 'Seaham Harbour', the population is around 22,000.
Movie trivia: The town provided locations for the 2000 film Billy Elliot, as well as the opening scene of Alien 3 in 1992.
Seaham's Sea Glass History
Until 1921, Seaham boasted the largest glass-bottle works in Britain.
Londonderry Bottleworks produced up to 20,000 hand-blown bottles each day and S.S. Oakwell known as the "bottleboat" would leave Seaham harbour to deliver its cargo to warehouses in Rotherhithe, returning via Antwerp with silver sand.
The vessel sank in 1917 after hitting a German mine at Robin Hood's Bay, claiming four lives.
The factory itself was put out of business by competition from more efficient continental producers.
Where Does Seaham Sea Glass Come From?
By 1872, John Candlish's Londonderry Bottle Company had six glasshouses at Seaham. At the end of the day, any discarded and waste glass was dumped into the North Sea.
After many years of 'surf tumbling' the glass is washed up on Seaham beaches with every tide. Some of the glass is more than a hundred years old, polished smooth by Mother Nature.
So Much Sea Glass!
Of all the beaches I have combed for sea glass, Seaham has the most plentiful supply by a long way.
As always, clear and green glass is the most common but I have also found yellow, blue, aqua, turquoise, red and some mixed colors.
I'm used to picking up every piece of sea glass I can find, but at Seaham you soon start to leave the smaller pieces and concentrate on the better stuff instead.
There is lots of glass in plain sight, but here's my favorite trick; find a pile of shingle, take of the top layer and reveal dozens of glass shards underneath.
These will often be small, but you will also find larger pieces and some rare colors too.
What to do with Seaham Sea Glass
Most collectors will display their sea glass in vases or jars, but Gavin Hardy has made a fantastic business from his findings.
He makes beautiful sea glass jewelry which you can buy from his shop in the town center, or through his website.
Gavin was recently featured in BBC's Countryfile TV show and since then, business has gone through the roof!
One of his rare finds was this huge green lump.
If it's not the biggest piece of sea glass I'll ever hold in my lifetime, I'll be amazed!
Getting to Seaham
There is a train station in the town and good public transport links, but the easiest way to travel to Seaham - especially during winter months - is by car.
I have found that Seaham Hall Beach is a great spot with plenty of parking and, more importantly, sea glass! If you're using GPS, the post code is: SR7 7AD.
These steps take you from the car park down to the beach. This isn't a problem on the way down, but after a few hours of stooping to pick up sea treasure they can be quite a challenge!
Update: February 2017
WOW! we were fortunate enough to visit Seaham for a third time and it was amazing AGAIN!
Take a look at our recent photos of all the beautiful pieces of sea glass that we found.
We also visited Gavin Hardy from Seaham Waves. I bought a beautiful pair of sea glass earrings - as pretty as you'd expect fro one of the best sea glass jewelry makers in the world.