If you are in Cornwall to enjoy its beautiful beaches, why not to discover a whole new branch of sea creatures that inhabit rock pools? Both Nothern and Southern Coast beaches offer a plenty of rock pools, allowing you to learn more about such sea stars as Tompot Blenny, Pipefish, Velvet Swimming Crab, Common Prawn, Snake-locks Anemone and many others. Even if you think that the pools are empty, just keep still for a couple of minutes beneath the water to see how marine life springs into action – you will enjoy it!
There are a couple of simple rules you have to learn before you start your discovery:
- Note that rock pools appear during low tides, so it will be wise to check tides before you go.
- Make sure you have access to the mainland at all times.
- If you want to move some stones, make sure you place them back before you leave.
- Do not remove the animals.
Now you are ready to discover rock pools in Cornwall, so here are the top 5 beaches with rock pools we recommend:
Treyarnon Bay – Padstow
Treyarnon Bay is situated not far from the more famous Constantine Bay. This beautiful beach is sheltered by the Trethias Island on the south and Treyarnon Point on the North. Golden sands of the beach and the array of rock pools makes Treyarnon Bay one of the favorite spots for families.
There are two large rockpools to discover. The first one is hidden in the rocks. The wall of concrete maintains the water level inside the pool. The second one is situated just below. It is ideal for swimming, diving, and paddling.
What is more, the beach offers fantastic coasteering routes. One of the most popular ones is the deep gulley that separates the island from the mainland. If you are in Treyarnon Bay to explore it, note that tides come quickly, so be careful if you do not want to be cut off from the mainland.
Summerleaze Beach – Bude
Summerleaze beach is very popular among visitors and there are two main reasons why it is so. The first reason is that the beach is situated just 5 minutes walk from the center of Bude. The second reason for its popularity is that there is a large breakwater that protects the sands from the Atlantic. So if you are planning to visit this beach, get ready to see crowds of people, especially when it is a low tide and sands are exposed in every direction.
There is also one more thing that makes Summerleaze Beach so unique. In 1930’s, a beautiful tidal pool carved from the rocks was created on the opposite side of the beach. Bude’s Sea Pool is a part man-made, part natural lido, 90m long and 45m wide. It is opened to the public from May to September during high tides. It is worth to mention that Bude’s Sea Pool is perfect for swimming even during the roughest of weather.
What is more, there is a smaller bay of Crooklets nearby Summerleaze Beach. It can be reached during low tides from the northern end of the beach. Also, there are beach huts available for rent. You can book them on a daily or weekly basis for about £10-£20 per day.
Perranporth Beach- Newquay
Perranporth Beach is situated about 8 miles from Newquay, in the Perranporth village. The beach is better visiting during low tides when almost two miles of golden sands appear. Visitors to the beach can explore hundreds of rock pools, as well as huge aeolian sand dunes situated right behind the beach. Also, Perranporth Beach is very popular among surfers who come here to enjoy the consistent surfing conditions.
On the southern side of the Chapel rock, there is a small tidal bathing pool. Due to safe swimming conditions, the pool is very popular among families with kids. What is more, in the summer afternoons, pool’s tidal water can reach Mediterranean temperatures.
If you are going to explore Perranporth Beach, do not miss a chance to enjoy the beauty of impressive cliffs, natural arches, and remnants of old mining infrastructure situated on its northern end. Just note that despite there is a lifeguard cover, swimming in this area during an ebbing tide is dangerous.
Porthtowan Beach – Porthtowan
Porthtowan Beach is another popular beach in Cornwall situated at the bottom of a mining valley. The beach is sheltered from the cross-shore winds by engine houses and towering cliffs. Porthtowan Beach is better visiting when low tides are in power when the stretch of 1.5 miles golden sands appears. Throughout the year, Porthtowan Beach is washed by fun waves. That is why the beach is widely known as a magnet for surfers.
The beach is also popular as the place to discover its hidden rock pool. A small, secluded tidal pool is located right between the caves and gullies beneath the cliffs and is accessible by a steep set of steps. The pool is sheltered from the power of Atlantic waves by a concrete wall. The same wall allows enjoying the pool whatever the weather and watch surfers peeling across the shore at the same time.
Portreath Beach – Redruth
Not far from Porthtowan Beach, there is one more sandy paradise with shingle below the tide line known as Portreath Beach. There is an impressive harbor wall that extends out to sea at the northern end and makes Portreath Beach stand out. Also, there are some great rock pools to discover. At the right side of the beach, there is a small tidal pool located up against the harbor wall. At the left side, there are six smaller pools, with one hidden inside a cave and accessed via a small metal ladder. These smaller pools were created in the 19th century for Lady Frances Bassett.