Our guide to Cornish rock pooling


Lurid long tentacles, snapping crabs and transparent prawns. Discover a whole new bunch of creatures along the shoreline as you check out the fascinating marine life that inhabits Cornwall’s rock pools.


For this fun family activity, all of Falmouth's beaches are fabulous spots. Choose from Castle, Gyllyngvase, Swanpool or Maenporth beach and get exploring. Remember to check the tides - you can also pick up a copy of the tide times from the Falmouth Tourist Information Centre. We love roaming when the tide is very low with a bucket and net in hand.


At first the pools might look empty, but keep still and beneath the water the marine life will soon spring into action. Here are the major stars to look out for:

Tompot Blenny - distinctive red eyes and red tentacles protrude from its head like a stylish hat.

Pipefish - as their names suggests, this fish is long and thin and like seahorses, the male pipefish carries the young in his brooding pouch.

Velvet Swimming Crab - bright red eyes, bright blue banding on its legs and covered in dark hairs, this aggressive little creature packs a mean punch with its strong pincers.

Common Prawn - so transparent you can see all their internal organs as they dart around the water in jerky spasms.

Snake-locks Anemone - bright green with purple tips, this elegant creature has a sting in its tail; its tentacles are used to stun passing fish.

Starfish and Urchins - these striking creatures are symmetrical with arms radiating out from a central body.

Sea Squirts and Anemones - characterised by their soft bodies, find these critters attached to rocks on lower shores.

Crustaceans - there are three main types of crab you might see lurking in the waters - Shore, Hermit and Edible. Also look out for shrimps and barnacles.

Molluscs - these include sea slugs, mussels and limpets whose shell resembles a Chinese hat!

P.S. Don’t forget to put back what you catch at the end of your day!


Afterwards come dine and relax at St Michaels!

Garden Kitchen

After our spa morning, we all went upstairs to the new garden cafe. My friend had a tasty healthy salad and health drink. I couldn't resist the stone baked pizzas. It was actually one of the best pizzas I have ever had (and I'm a pizza fan). The restaurant/cafe was absolutely gorgeous. Really light and bright with amazing views.

Judy B,
The best spa in Cornwall

I have just had the pleasure of going to the newly refurbished St. Michaels Spa with a group of friends. When you stepped into the water it was so warm and clear and felt like the most luxurious bath. There were lots of fantastic seating areas in the pool with jets that massaged all my aches and pains in all the right areas. They also had some really powerful, pummelling, overhead jets for your shoulders which were amazing...

Judy B,
The spa is amazing

I went here at the weekend for a hen spa day. The facilities are amazing, I was honestly in shock. There were two steam rooms with different aromas, an inside and outside sauna, and the pool was fantastic. I had the 60 minute massage with lavender and it was so good I nearly fell asleep. I really cannot rate how impressed I was by the spa and will be coming back for sure.

Beca T,