Where is a good place to go detecting? | Beginners Guide | Part Three





An excellent place for you to start searching is your own back garden. This can be a great opportunity to understand how your detector works. There are a few factors you need to take into consideration for what you may find. If you live in a modern property, the land your house sits on was more than likely once a building site. Therefore you will most defiantly find lots of junk i.e. nails, ring-pulls, silver paper and scraps of metal. If you live in an older house or have permission to access an older house then you may find thing of greater worth. Other common items include lost rings or jewellery.




Once you have checked the local bye-laws that there are no restrictions, parks can offer a good opportunity for detecting. The age of the park can determine what you may expect to find. We would not advise detecting in well keep or manicured parks for obvious reasons, also keep off games pitches. Old trees can be a good search spots as they were once more than likely sat beneath or even picnicked under. Be careful to set your discrimination levels as there is bound to be lots of silver paper and pull-tabs to find!

Ploughed fields 


Ploughed fields are a stable favourite site to detect. This is due to them being continuously tuned over, bringing new finds to the surface. However, there is a risk that your finds will be damaged from the type of machinery used and long term exposure to agriculture chemicals.

Pasture fields


Pasture fields can often yield finds that are in better condition due to fewer disturbances. Providing there is no live-stock in the pasture you can detect pretty much any time of the year. However once a pasture has been detected thoroughly, unless farmers disturb the soil, it is unlikely that there will be further discoveries.

Woodland & footpaths


Detecting in woodland areas can quite often lead to the identification of ammunition from battles that once besieged the woodlands, including shotgun caps and bullets or game shooting. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t find jewellery, coins or other items that people have lost whilst walking through. Footpaths are great places to detect during the crop season (whilst ploughed fields are inaccessible). Particularly well used footpaths will undoubtedly yield coins and other lost objects. Unfortunately you will also find lots of rubbish… Just remember to take it with you or you will find it again on your return visit!



Throughout history rivers have been the highways for transport and navigation. There are defiantly lots of treasures to be found from their thousands of years of use. Good places to detect are river banks that have eroded/deposited and adjacent open space such as fields. You may even stumble across a previously unknown settlement. Detecting on the River Thames requires a permit which has to be acquired from the Port of London Authority.




Beaches are good locations to detect all year round and can be produce lots of finds. Jewellery and contemporary money is a common find as many holiday makers or beach goers lose their lose change and jewellery when they go swimming. The best time to detect is when the tide is out. You should start at the waters edge and then move inland as the tide returns.


Do not detect

SSSI’s – Sites of Special Scientific Interest

Scheduled sites

Site research books:

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