The 10 Best Places to go Metal Detecting
Who doesn't love a treasure hunt? If you know the best places to look, the possibilities of what you might find are endless!
But before you set off into the wilderness, metal detector in hand, it's important to check out the local law as you could find yourself in a spot of bother otherwise.
So to get you started, we have 10 suggestions of safe places to go metal detecting, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned professional.
1. Your Garden
The first port of call for any new detectorist should obviously be completing a thorough sweep of their own garden and land.
Spending some time scouring your own space, before venturing out into the wilderness, gives you the perfect opportunity to familiarise yourself with your new metal detector.
If you are totally new to hunting, you could always try burying a few coins, or old tins, or other metal trinkets you have lying around your home. Get used to listening carefully to the beeper sounds each time. If you put the time and effort into honing your skills, you’re more likely to hit the jackpot when you do actually go out and about.
Not only is it good for practising, you might actually come up trumps in your own garden. Most homes are built on land that has been used for another purpose previously. It could have been an old settlement, farmland or a building site. The old metal detecting adage goes ‘Where’s there’s people there’s treasure’ so never assume you won’t find anything.
Plus, our gardens are generally busy places where we run, dig, eat and relax. That means there are plenty of opportunities for something to drop- coins, jewellery or other precious objects if you are lucky!
2. Someone Else's Garden
Once you've got some practise in, why not offer your garden sweeping services to all of your friends and family too. They might be more than happy for you to practise, or they might even be desperate to find out what lies buried on their own doorsteps.
3. The Beach
One of the most appealing things about beach metal detecting in the UK is the open permit policy. This allows you to metal detect on all crown owned beaches without permission. Obviously privately owned beaches you will need to acquire permission from the land owner.
Many detectorists flock to the beach to go treasure hunting, and is it any wonder. Any populated area is likely to yield many finds, and the combination of slippery suncream hands and a lack of pockets in beach wear means that things are often dropped in the sand.
Experts report a fantastic phenomenon from Mother Nature, in that the sea seems to deposit objects of similar weights in the same area along a beaches high water mark. So if you strike gold once, chances are there will be more targets within a nearby radius.
Some of the biggest and best hoards of treasure have been found in farmer's fields. It is totally imperative though that you get permission from the land owner if wishing to scour a private field.
This is probably because over the years human activity has hummed around trading posts, burial grounds and training grounds.
A quick bit of research will show you which fields are the most likely to contain signs of historical activity. Look on old maps for things like deserted farmhouses and ancient meeting points to pinpoint a likely spot.
Plowed crop fields are particularly excellent areas to go metal detecting because the soil is recently dug and raised up to the surface. This can bring up all kinds of hidden metal objects that will be just waiting for you to find them.
5. Battle Sites
Especially if you are a history enthusiast, old battle sites can be an extremely exciting location to go hunting.
Check out the The Battlefields Trust to keep up to date with current best practise for searching and reporting finds.
Woodlands are popular places for dog walker, hikers, horse riders and those seeking picnic sports, and as mentioned before, the more people frequenting an area, the better the odds of finding dropped items.
When following footpaths in densely wooded areas we recommend always scanning right up to the edges of the path, even if it is the starter of the undergrowth. Over the years of a footpath being used it does tend to narrow so the forgotten finds could be a little wider than you first think to look.
7. The Park
Sticking with the mentality of where there are people there will be treasure, parks are obvious areas with very high footfalls.
You will definitely need permission for going digging in public parks, but scanning for loose change under the swings is somewhere you could probably start safely. As well as loose coins, why not do a public service along the way look out for litter in public parks!
8. Deserted Towns
Places that were once densely populated but now lie barren can bring up particularly interesting finds.
Many centuries-old, even millennia-old settlements have been deserted due to illness, the elements or wartime requirements.
These are the perfect sites for exploration. Expert coin hunters suggest scanning doorways, floorboards and searching out hollow walls where folk would stash money.
People often in a rush to move on may have left belongings behind them. You never know – and it’s all part of the fun.
Churches and burial grounds are some of the oldest buildings around, so if there is ever a place where you could unearth something interesting, this is one of them.
It goes without saying that you must be respectful in burial grounds and around gravestones, but slowly scanning under old trees and gates isn’t intrusive.
Successful detectorists have found many ancient coins in churchyards. And if you ask the churchwarden or priest first, maybe they’ll even bless your detector!
You never know your luck, you might follow in the footsteps of Derek McLennan who found £2million worth of Viking jewellery on church land in 2014. Read his story here.
10. Sport stadiums
Sporting events attract large crowds of people that sit, stand and sometimes even jump around with excitement! Coins and other valuables can easily fall from pockets. Thats why these are popular places for detectorists, so get there soon after an event for the best chance of making your millions!
So what are you waiting for- get out there and get hunting! And be sure to let us know your best finds :-)