What are the best locations in Devon for rock pooling with kids?

Rock pooling is an enjoyable, educational pastime, and Devon, with its dramatic coastlines, is the perfect destination for this kind of family adventure. This English county is blessed with a variety of beaches that feature fascinating tidal pools during low tide, offering the opportunity to explore a myriad of sea creatures in their natural environment. The shores of both North and South Devon offer excellent rock pooling locations.

Wembury, South Devon

When you're scouting for the best rock pooling locations in Devon, Wembury beach in South Devon should top your list. With its expansive rock formations and myriad of pools, it's a haven for mini-explorers and their parents. Nestled within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the beach boasts a fantastic view over the Yealm Estuary and the Great Mew Stone.

Wembury Marine Centre, situated near the beach, offers rockpool safaris during the summer months, where you'll have the chance to spot sea anemones, crabs, and starfish. For the more adventurous, you could find rare creatures like the colourful sea slug or a spiny starfish.

Children will love the opportunity to find such a diverse range of sea creatures, and even adults will be fascinated by the underwater world that opens at low tide. Wembury also offers some great walks along the coast if you want to stretch your legs after a session of rock pooling.

Westward Ho!, North Devon

If you head to the northern coastline of Devon, you'll find the uniquely named beach of Westward Ho!. Known for its long sandy beach and rock formations, this is another excellent spot for rock pooling with kids.

At low tide, the sea recedes to reveal an extensive sandy plain dotted with many rock pools. Kids will be thrilled to find a variety of sea creatures, from small fishes to different types of crabs. Westward Ho! is also known for its 'fairy' pools, shallow pools warmed by the sun, making them perfect for little ones to paddle in.

Besides rock pooling, Westward Ho! offers other attractions such as the Northam Burrows Country Park and its famous pebble ridge. It's not uncommon to spot kite surfers and windsurfers taking advantage of the area's exceptional wind conditions.

Broadsands, North Devon

Another great spot in North Devon is Broadsands beach. Tucked away between Watermouth Bay and Combe Martin, this secluded beach can be accessed via a steep downhill path. The effort is well worth it, as you'll be greeted by golden sands and scattered rocks that hide intriguing tide pools.

Broadsands is a quieter beach, making it an ideal place for a peaceful day of rock pooling. The beach is sheltered by high cliffs, providing a sense of seclusion and calm. Here, the pools serve as habitats for various sea creatures, from tiny shrimps to anemones.

Bantham, South Devon

Back in South Devon, Bantham beach is another location that promises great rock pooling opportunities. With its stunning view of Burgh Island and vast stretches of golden sands, Bantham offers more than just rock pools.

At low tide, the water reveals large pools that are teeming with life. Kids can spend hours exploring and looking for hidden creatures. The beach is also part of the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, making it a great spot for a family picnic after a fulfilling session of rock pooling.

In addition, Bantham is a popular spot for surfing, so if your kids tire of rock pooling, they can watch the surfers ride the waves.

Hope Cove, South Devon

Last but not least is Hope Cove in South Devon. This charming fishing village has two beaches - Mouthwell Sands and Outer Hope. Both offer excellent rock pooling opportunities.

The tide at Hope Cove goes out a long way, revealing a plethora of rock pools teeming with various sea creatures. Kids will have a great time discovering all sorts of fascinating marine life. The village also has a range of eateries for when you've worked up an appetite exploring.

In the end, rock pooling is not just about the creatures you discover. It's about spending quality time together as a family, creating lasting memories. The beaches in Devon provide the perfect backdrop for these memorable moments.

Saunton Sands, North Devon

Heading back to North Devon, another must-visit location is Saunton Sands. Recognised for its three miles of golden sandy beach, it's an ideal spot for rock pooling with kids. The beach unveils numerous rock pools at low tide, presenting a world of marine exploration for young adventurers.

The beach is also well-known for its impressive sand dune system, Braunton Burrows, which is one of the largest in Britain. After rock pooling, kids can have a fantastic time exploring the dunes. Furthermore, Saunton Sands is dog friendly, so your four-legged family members can join in the fun.

There is also a large car park nearby, which is convenient for families bringing along rock pooling equipment. After an exciting day of discovery, relax and refuel at one of the local food and drink outlets, where you can taste some delightful Devon fare.

Putsborough Sands, North Devon

Situated at the southern end of Woolacombe Bay, Putsborough Sands is another highly recommended destination. With its stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and Lundy Island, this sandy beach is a picturesque spot for rock pooling.

At low tide, the sea exposes an array of rock pools, each serving as a small ecosystem inhabited by various sea creatures. Children will be particularly delighted to discover crabs, sea anemones, and molluscs. Putsborough Sands is also a dog-friendly beach, making it perfect for families with dogs.

If you're planning a full day trip, the beach also has a car park and toilet facilities, as well as a café offering a selection of food and drinks. After a day of rock pooling, why not enjoy a picnic while watching the sunset over the ocean?

Conclusion: Cherishing the Memories

In conclusion, rock pooling is a wonderful way to bond with your kids and create lasting memories. It's not just about what you find; it's about the excitement of discovering together, the thrill of exploration, and the joy of being in the great outdoors. Devon, with its stunning coastline and multitude of rock pool hotspots, offers endless opportunities for family adventures.

Whether you choose the dramatic North Devon coast, the serene South Devon shores, or even the fossil-rich Jurassic Coast in East Devon, you are guaranteed to find perfect rock pooling destinations. Each location has its own unique charm, from the vast expanses of Saunton Sands and Putsborough Sands to the secluded tranquillity of Broadsands and the scenic beauty of Hope Cove.

So pack your buckets and nets, put on your wellies, and set off for a rock pooling adventure in Devon. The best beaches in Devon are waiting to reveal their secrets at low tide. Let the chattering of excited kids, the salty sea breeze and the hum of sea creatures become the soundtrack of your unforgettable Devon holiday. And remember, every rock pool holds a new story waiting to be discovered.

Copyright 2024. All Rights Reserved