How To Rockpool Safely: A rockpool experience and a how to guide

looking in rock pools



We rocked up on Wembury beach and wow! The sights, smells and sounds were the perfect blend of British seaside and summer. On the entrance to the beach you can find all of the facilities that make a family day slightly less chaotic. The car park was £5 (free for National Trust members), toilets, cafe and a marine centre full of activities.

We deliberately arrived at exactly 1 hour before low tide giving us plenty of time for exploring the shallows of the warm rock pools. Surprisingly we were actually on time for something. Our 2 and half year old leapt out of the car with excitement as he saw the natural playground that awaited.

Mum and son on beach
Getting ready to rockpool


We kitted up in appropriate footwear and headed for the rock pools. The crystal clear rock pools were arranged in all shapes and sizes, the perfect territory to begin the hunt. Our toddler was amazed as we began to search under the rocks in as many crooks and crannies as we could muster. The sheer joy and yelps of glee as we found fishes, crabs, shrimps and snails egged us on to continue the search.

We wanted to leave no stone unturned, but knew we were on a limited schedule with the tide on the turn. The search continued, we were carefully collecting single sea creatures in our clear bucket and returning them gently to their families. Now, we know you shouldn’t have favourites, but one little hermit crab attracted our attention. As we eagerly watched her leave her shell as if she was about to perform on stage and scuttle to the side of the bucket. She completed her performance by waving hello with her pincers. We proceeded to name the crab “plum, plum” toddlers choice, I’m guessing he’d been inspired by our morning snack. In hindsight naming a crab is a terrible idea, as returning Plum Plum back to her home became a hard life lesson for a 2 year old. It took some persuasion and finally plum plum was gently reunited with her family.

Dad and children rockpooling
Dad, children and Plum Plum


Once our clothes were drenched and our curiosity satisfied we left the water with a promise of a cafe visit. We had been whisked away from the everyday and I felt like I’d been on a mini break and all for the cost of a coffee (optional). Oh, ok and cake (not optional)!

How can I go?

  • Decide on a location: with so many places to choose from this could be your hardest task. If you are struggling pop over to our facebook page and ask the people local to you.
  • Check out the tide at your location. You want to go about an hour before low tide. This gives you a good 3 hour window when the pools are most exposed.
  • Check out the weather and dress appropriately. Appropriate clothing can make or break a day out.
  • Take a clear bucket (no nets as they can harm wildlife). A clear bucket lets you properly see your catch.
  • Pack and wear appropriate non slip footwear.
  • Follow the seashore code.
  • Get stuck in whatever age you are. The kids shouldn’t have all the fun.
Hermit Crab
Hermit Crab

Risk Assessment

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