Where to go in Devon?
Ladram Bay – This picturesque spot benefits from a gorgeous backdrop of rich red stacks standing tall on the edge of the coastline. Like the other Jurassic Coast spots on this list, it’s also great for fossil hunting too!
Seaton Hole – These cliff-sheltered rock pools are lesser known than others, and a steep access path means that even when busy it’s not crowded with people.
Ness Cove, Shaldon – This hidden gem is accessed through an original smugglers tunnel, helping to set the scene for an adventurous day out from the off!
Maer Rocks, Exmouth – Head along the eastern end of the seafront to the RNLI station and enjoy some rock pool exploration with the benefit of Exmouth’s lovely sandy beach and nearby facilities.
Jacobs Ladder, Sidmouth – Another great spot with Connaught Gardens just above to continue your day of wildlife investigation.
Coryton Cove, Dawlish – Secluded rock pools, brightly coloured beach huts and even known for dolphin spotting.
Wembury – There’s a wide variety of creatures to see here, including the more rare cushion starfish and beadlet anemones. It’s so good that Bill Oddie voted Wembury as his top rockpooling spot in the whole of the UK!
Try This… Rockpool Rambles
The seas around our stunning coastlines are amongst some of the most wildlife-rich habitats in the world. Rockpooling provides an interesting opportunity to get a glimpse of this undiscovered world – and all you’ve got to do is wait until the tide goes out.
How and when to go rockpooling?
Rockpooling doesn’t have to cost a penny. It can be enjoyed all year round too – spring tides are particularly good for revealing the very best pools! All you need is a beach bucket or a similar open-topped container (clear containers are particularly good for examining creatures up close). Grippy shoes are also recommended as rock pools can be slippery.
Before choosing your destination, be sure to check the tide times. The Met Office beach and tide times site is great for this. You want to visit close to low tide so you can maximise access to the rock pools furthest out into the sea.
• Watch Your Shadows – Avoid casting your shadow over the pools as this will scare away creatures inside. Instead, approach from the side that is furthest from the sun’s position.
• Set a Tidal Alarm – Time flies when you’re having fun, and that tide will start coming back in sooner than you’ll realise. Set an alarm on your phone to let you know when it’s time to get back in land.
• Fill Your Container – A seawater filled container helps to mimic the rockpool environment and avoid scaring any rockpool inhabitants.
• Get Stuck In! – Inspect under rocks, sift through seaweed and investigate all the rocky crevices to make sure you don’t miss anything.
The Devon Wildlife Trust, Marine Centres, National Trust and local authorities all host rockpooling events throughout spring and summer. See their websites to find events near you if you’d like a guided tour.
What creatures can I find?
Crabs, shrimps, snails, limpets and blennies are most commonly found. Lucky highlights can include larger crabs, hermit crabs, prawns, squat lobsters and starfish.
Always remember to carefully return creatures where you found them.
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This manageable there and back route offers easy walking and wheeling along the eastern side of the reservoir and to the dams, plus additional access to the wildlife trail in the Burrator Arboretum