They say that the best things in life are free and if you’ve ever had the pleasure of taking your kids on a rock pooling adventure, you’ll probably agree! Endless hours of beach holiday fun, any time of year, this is one of life’s simple delights and there’s really no better way for the younger members of the family (and adults for that matter) to get to grips with their inner ecologist.

Like a treasure hunt where the prizes range from crabs in crevices to mini eco-systems, molluscs and starfish of every colour of the rainbow, all along the Devon and Cornwall coastline you’ll find opportunity for adventure, with rock pools of every size and shape offering a veritable trove of marine life just waiting to be discovered.

Of course, before setting out to explore, it’s always a good idea to check the tides (tide guides are usually available online or from local tourist information centres) as well as familiarize yourself with the area to make sure that the habitats of the local sea life are respected and that things are left as they were when you found them.

rockpooling luxury coastal

Widemouth Bay

With its long beach and open bay, Widemouth is one of north Cornwall’s best beaches and is a popular spot for families as well as surfers. Low tide is when the magic happens though as hundreds of rock pools become exposed and ready to explore.

Preston Sands

Standing on the northern end of the promenade above Preston Sands at high tide, its hard to imagine what lies beneath the water’s surface but when the tide subsides you’ll be rewarded with a maze of rocky outcrops that give rise to some of the best rockpools in Torbay.

Wembury Beach

One of the top spots in the UK for rock pooling. Low tide exposes zillions of pools where you’ll discover such delights as limpets, pipe fish, sea scorpions, shore crabs, anemones, spiny star fish and sucker fish.


Backed by enormous dunes and boasting stunning views of St Ives Bay and Godrevy Lighthouse, Gwithian is an incredibly special place. At low tide a plethora of pools ranging from those that are ankle deep to ones you can’t see the bottom of are exposed, all teeming with life for both adults and children to delight in.

Hope Cove

Situated in an Area of Oustanding Beauty, Hope Cove near Salcombe in South Hams in Devon is made up of two sandy beaches. At low tide Bigbury Bay’s rocky coastline exposes a wealth of rock pools where intrepid explorers will discover hermit crab, shrimp, periwinkles and small fish.

Exmouth beach in Devon with its two-mile sandy st

Maer Rocks

retch has long been a family-friendly go-to for water sports lovers of all ages. However, if rock pools are what you’re after, you’ll need to head South East where you’ll find Maer Nature Reserve and Maer Rocks. Along with a fabulous sandy beach, it offers a seemingly endless mosaic of rockpools that are perfect for providing hours of fascination and discovery.

ocean 1, newquay

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