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

What might you find in a rockpool?

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

Crabs

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

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.

Barnacles

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

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. Join the Beach Rangers for Rockpool Rambles here throughout July and August (EX34 7BE).

Rockham beach, near Mortehoe

A short walk from Mortehoe (EX34 7DR), this hidden beach is a North Devon gem.

Combe Martin, Exmoor

This quiet seafront has a surprising amount of rockpools.

Discover creepy critters in the rock pools
Discover creepy critters in the rock pools

Rockpool Rambles

Join the Beach Rangers at Combesgate Beach throughout July and August for some rockpooling fun.

July: Friday 7 11am, Sat 8 12 noon, Sun 9 1pm, Wed 12 2pm, Thur 13 3pm, Fri 21 10am, Sun 23 1pm, Wed 26 2pm

August: Fri 4 10am, Sat 5 11am, Mon 7 12 noon, Thur 10 2pm, Sat 19 10am, Mon 21 1pm, Wed 23 1pm, Sat 26 3pm

Booking advisable. Call the Beach Rangers on 07557 938399. £1 per person. 3 and under free. Rambles last approximately 1.5 hours. Meet by red banner flag on Combesgate beach SS 455 445. Allow time to park and walk to beach.