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!

We love St Michaels

The whole team were really great, on the day we visited there was a Garden Party for the Platinum Jubilee, we enjoyed some of the best beef brisket I've ever tasted , prepared lovingly by James and served with a smile by Josie.

Daniel S,
One of the best massages I've ever had

Enjoyed a stunning spa day with lunch as a belated Christmas present. Brilliant location and hydrotherapy pool, lovely food followed by one of the best massages I've ever had. Highly recommended.

Jo F,
Especially love the outside barrel sauna with sea views

Absolutely beautiful views and staff were all very helpful and friendly. The room was spacious and very clean and comfortable. Spa facilities were great especially love the outside barrel sauna with sea views. Food was excellent and breakfast was too.