Nobody ever grows out of rockpooling. We all love these oceans in miniature, with their ozone-fresh smell and sense of new-world discovery. The St Ives beaches have easily accessible, Atlantic-filled rockpools, and it’s a great place to introduce a young rockpooler to their first marine puddles.

Each tide is different: what has the sea left behind today?

What do you need to go rockpooling?

Take a bucket if you want to get a closer look at your discoveries. However, a sharp eye and a grippy pair of trainers are the main things you need!


Where are the best places to go rockpooling in St Ives?

Always check the tide times before heading out. A dry day is best, so the water isn’t stirred up and made murky by raindrops.

Porthmeor Beach

Under the shadow of the Island, the east side of <ahref=”http://stivescornwall.meorstudio.co.uk/things_to_do/porthmeor/”>Porthmeor has some well-stocked rockpools. Towards the wilder west end of the beach, low tide reveals yet more busy rockpools. The café, take-away, shop, bakery and loos are definitely a bonus. Rockpoolers need fuel and comfort!

Porthminster Beach

There’s a neat little collection of rockpools near the Pedn Olva Hotel steps. Again, there are great facilities should the intrepid rockpooling party need chips, beer and extra buckets.


Spend endless time looking through the rocks at Porthmeor

Bamaluz Beach

This small rocky and sandy cove is one of the few beaches in St Ives that allows dogs all year. So, if your four-footed friend enjoys rockpooling with you (well, trying to lap them…), this is the place for you.

View of Bamaluz beach St Ives from above

Search through the rocks at Bamaluz to find all different kinds of sea creatures – Nick Pumphrey

What’s in a St Ives rockpool?

Look out for crabs, anemones, limpets, snails and starfish.
Tiny shrimps dart around, and you may also see other small fish such as a goby or a pipefish.

And there you are – a free, educational, and evocative morning or afternoon’s entertainment, spent rockpooling in St Ives. If you do manage to scoop anything up, please put it back in its original dwelling before heading home yourself. Happy rockpooling!

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