Rockpooling in North Devon

From Welcombe Mouth to Woolacombe, North Devon has many rocky beaches teeming with fascinating wildlife. Take your fishing net and search for crabs, starfish and many other wonderful rock pool creatures this summer.

Finding a crab in a rockpool is great fun
Crabs are one of the creatures you might find in a rockpool
Finding a crab in a rockpool is great fun

What might you find in a rockpool?

Rockpools are filled with many interesting creatures, here's just a few you might spot:


Crabs have five pairs of legs (the first pair are known as the claws). Crabs are omnivores (eats both plants and animals) and some feed primarily on algae, others feed on mollusks, worms, crustaceans, fungi, bacteria, and organic non-living material.


Starfish move using tube feet, which consists of hundreds projections on the underside of their bodies. They are used for walking and catching of the prey. Starfish do not have a brain. They also do not have blood like other animals.

Sea Anemones

A sea anemone is a predatory invertebrate with no bones that lives underwater and looks like a flower. They tend to stick to firm objects in the ocean or sea, and wait for marine life to pass by to catch with their tentacles. Some of the sea anemone species can live as long as 50 years.


There are around 1220 species of barnacle that can be found in the oceans around the world. Most species reside in the shallow coastal areas (few species can be found in deeper parts of the sea). Barnacles have appeared on the planet 510 million years ago and they haven't changed much since that time.

Explore the shallow pools at Woolacombe
Group of children exploring rock pool with nets
Explore the shallow pools at Woolacombe

Best rockpools in North Devon:

Welcombe Mouth

A beautiful beach close to the village of Welcombe with amazing geology and far reaching views. Reached via a rough track with a small car park (EX39 6HL).

Peppercombe, near Horns Cross

This beautiful valley near Horns Cross is only accessible by foot. It runs down to any attractive rocky beach backed by striking red sandstone cliffs (EX39 5DH).

Combesgate Beach, Woolacombe

This small beach near the wide golden sands of Woolacombe has lots of family friendly rockpools (EX34 7BE)..

Combe Martin, Exmoor

This quiet seafront has a surprising amount of rockpools (EX34 0DJ).

Explore the wonders of a rock pool
Children explore a rock pool in warm weather
Explore the wonders of a rock pool