Instagram is fuelling flood of US tourists trudging UK fields in a bid to find ...

Metal detecting tourists from the US are paying thousands of pounds to join treasure hunting tours in Britain in the search for ancient artefacts.

Hundreds of detectorists are flocking the UK every year to take part in organised group trips led by specialist operators in an industry fuelled by Instagram.

Posts on social media of Roman coins and medieval artefacts attract hundreds of likes on social media and have helped provide a surge in visitor numbers scouring the country's muddy fields and beaches.

The BBC comedy series Detectorists, starring Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones, and reports of huge finds like the 14,865 coin Hoxne Hoard has also helped drive the popularity of metal detecting.

Chris Langston (centre, alongside two clients) launched Metal Detecting Holidays in 2017 that operates in Shropshire

Chris Langston (centre, alongside two clients) launched Metal Detecting Holidays in 2017 that operates in Shropshire

An 1841 Queen Victoria Silver Groat

Queen Mary Silver Hammered Groat from 1553 to 1554

An 1841 Queen Victoria Silver Groat (left) and Queen Mary Silver Hammered Groat from 1553 to 1554. (right). Both posts received hundreds of likes on Instagram

Chris Langston, 45, launched Metal Detecting Holidays in 2017 that operates in Shropshire.

Guests pay £1,499, excluding flights, for a 12 day tour. They stay in a house in the village of Whittington, near Shrewsbury and scour 500 acres of land that lies close to a 12th century castle and a Roman road.

He told The Times: 'I've been detecting for six or seven years and realised I wanted to make a business out of it — give Americans their bucket-list holiday of a lifetime. 

'My business partner has the accommodation and land that could make it happen.'

Mr Langston holds a Roman silver coin, dating from 77 to 78AD

A carved stone owl that were discovered during a trip

Mr Langston holds a Roman silver coin, dating from 77 to 78AD (left) and a carved stone owl (right) that were discovered during a trip

An English medieval copper badge, depicting St George slaying the dragon and dating to around 1400 to 1550

An English medieval copper badge, depicting St George slaying the dragon and dating to around 1400 to 1550

He told the paper that 60 per cent of Metal Detecting Holidays clients are from the US, but he also gets visitors from Australia and Canada.

Two of Britain's greatest finds

The Hoxne Hoard: 

In November 1992 metal detecting enthusiast Eric Lawes stumbled upon the largest hoard of late 4th century Roman silver and gold ever discovered in the UK.

The

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