Where To Find Rock Pools In The UK

Rock pools are shallow areas of water left behind at low tide. They are generally found on rocky shores, where you can find small areas of water that appear to be separate from other bodies of water.

There are plenty of different sea creatures to be found living in a rock pool. These range from the common prawn, long spined sea scorpion, to a starfish and a common crab. When you’re next at the beach, why not visit one of these great beaches listed below to discover some rock pools for yourself.

Don’t forget to also check out the best places to go crabbing in the UK, another low cost family activity.

rock pool

You can go rock pooling at any time of the year, but the best time of the year is when the water is warmer. Finding a rock pool any time between late Spring and early Autumn is the prime time to discover sea creatures.

Always check tide times before you visit, as some beaches can be submerged at high tide, and you can get caught out if you’re not prepared.

What To Wear Rockpooling

It’s a good idea to wear wellies, or waterproof shoes when exploring rock pools. Flip flops aren’t always recommended as you can slip on the wet rocks. 

crab in a rock pool

What To Take Rockpooling

You don’t need very much equipment at all to enjoy rock pooling. A lot of people take a net with them, but it’s actually a good idea to use your hands to cup the creatures and transfer them between the rock pool and a bucket.

Taking a bucket with you filled with some water is a must to be able to let the creatures stay in their habitats whilst you enjoy looking at them.

Perhaps you’d like to take a notebook and pencil to record your findings, or even a camera for some snapshots.

rock pools

Rock Pools In Cornwall

Helford Passage

TR11 5LB

Helford Passage beach is on the north shore of Helford river. There are some of the best rock pools in Cornwall to be discovered just below the Ferryboat Inn.

Polzeath Beach

PL27 6SP

On this stunning beach in Cornwall, you’ll find rock pools during low tide. There are even organised rock pooling sessions organised by the Marine Conservation Group.

Port Isaac Beach

PL29 3RQ

Port Isaac beach in Cornwall is famous for the TV show Doc Martin. There are some great rock pools around the harbour that are perfect for spending some time trying to find your treasures.

rock pools

Rock Pools In Cumbria

St Bees Beach

CA27 0ES

Along St Bees beach in Cumbria, you’ll find shallow areas of water creating great rock pools. You can discover some anemones, whelks and periwinkles, as well as some common shore crabs.

There is plenty of parking around St Bees beach including along Beach road, CA27 OEY.

Rock Pools In Devon

Combe Martin Beaches

EX34 0DJ

There is a large car park above the beach with public toilets and beach access. The rock pools can be found along the edges of the rock and shingle.

rock pool on a beach

Goodrington Sands

TQ4 6LN

You’ll find a sandy stretch of beach with rock pools to explore at Goodrington Sands in Devon. The nearby Seashore Centre has plenty of great information about the rock pools, so pay a visit to them as well. 

Wembury Beach

Plymouth PL9 0HR

Whilst the car parking at Wembury is accessed via narrow lanes, you’ll be rewarded with some amazing rock pools. Rock pooling at Wembury is a popular place in Devon, attracting big crowds during the peak season.

You can find limpets, anemones, shore crabs, pipefish, sea scorpions and spiny starfish in the rock pools at low tide.

rock pool

Rock Pools In Dorset

Charmouth Beach

DT6 6LS

Charmouth Beach is separated by the river Char. The area is a great location for rock pools along the Dorset coast.

The beach is mainly made up of shingle making the rock pool areas accessible. The perfect Summer weather activity to include paddling in the sea.

Monmouth Beach

In the seaside town of Lyme Regis in Dorset is Monmouth Beach. This is a very popular place to go rock pooling with lots of limpets to be found. Did you know that limestone is a great place for limpets to attach themselves to?

Rock Pools In Durham

Seaham Beach

SR7 7AF

Parking is available for Seaham Beach at the above postcode. On the sandy beach, there are also plenty of rocky areas, perfect for rock pools. This beach is also a great place for hunting for sea glass. This is also a dog friendly beach with no restrictions, so perfect for exploring with the whole family.

Rock Pools In East Sussex

Birling Gap

BN20 0AB

Rock pooling at Birling Gap is a popular family activity. The visitor centre has everything you need to complete your outside adventures, including rock pooling. With toilets, refreshments, and plenty of car parking, there’s no excuse not to visit for a fun family day out. 

Kimmeridge Bay

Hope Gap

Seaford, East Sussex, BN25 4AR

Parking is available at South Hill Barn car park when you visit Hope Gap. This stretch of beach is great for rock pools when the tide goes out. 

Seven Sisters Country Park

BN25 4AD

Seven Sisters have their name from the seven cliffs in East Sussex. Haven Brow is the name of one of the cliffs, and at the base of Haven Brow you’ll find some great rock pools.

shallow water

Rock Pools On The Isle Of Wight

St Helens Duver

Node’s Point is one of the best places on the Isle of Wight for rock pooling. Situated on the end of the beach at St Helens Duver, you’ll find plenty of whelks, limpets, barnacles and periwinkles.

Rock Pools In Kent

Louisa Bay

The Parade, Broadstairs, Kent, CT10 1NB

Just around the corner from Viking Bay you’ll find a popular beach in the town of Broadstairs in Kent. This stretch of sandy beach is a good place for rock pooling.

Samphire Hoe

Dover CT17 9FL

The Samphire Hoe nature reserve was created at the same time as the Euro Tunnel was built, at the foot of the White Cliffs of Dover in Kent. As well as the abundance of wildlife and nature you can discover at Samphire Hoe, there’s also some great places for rock pooling.

Doniford Bay Beach

Rock Pools In Norfolk

Sheringham Seafront

NR26 8BW

When the tide is high, Sheringham beach will all but disappear. When the tide is low, you’ll discover plenty of rock pools to entertain everyone.

Rock Pools In Northumberland

Cresswell Beach

Morpeth NE61 5EH

There are plenty of rock pools to discover at Cresswell Foreshore. You’ll find public parking to the north of the village, with the beach accessible from the car park. 

rock pool

Rock Pools In Somerset

Doniford Bay Beach

Located right next to the Haven Holidays Doniford Bay Park, the beach is a haven for rock pooling. The tide goes out for a long way, exposing rocky flats with plenty of creatures waiting to be discovered. 

Rock Pools In Tyne And Wear

Seaburn Beach

SR6 8AB

There are great sand dunes and rock pools to be found at Seaburn Beach in Sunderland. the best rock pools can be found at the northern tip of Seaburn beach.

Rock Pools In Yorkshire

Flamborough Headland

YO15 1AR

You’ll discover plenty of anemones, periwinkles and piddocks in the rock pools at Flamborough Head. Parking is available in the public car park at North Landing.

crab in rock pool

Robin Hoods Bay

At high tide, you won’t even be able to see Robin Hood’s Bay, but at low tide you are treated to some great rock pools. There are two public car parks in the village to the dog friendly beach.

Saltburn

TS12 1HQ

During low tide, there are plenty of rock pools waiting to be explored. You may find creatures including crabs, periwinkles, starfish and sea anemones. 

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