North Cornwall’s best rock pooling beaches for kids

Rock pooling is a pastime that never gets old. There’s nothing better than grabbing a net and fishing around for all kinds of sea creatures. Before planning your family holiday to north Cornwall, take a look at our selection of the best rock pooling beaches in the area.

Treyarnon Bay

Treyarnon Bay is a picturesque cove between Newquay and Padstow. This popular beach is backed by sand dunes and low cliffs, with plenty of large, shallow rock pools that are teeming with sea-life.

With toilets and level access from the carpark, and lifeguard patrol throughout the summer months, this is the perfect child-friendly beach for all the family to enjoy. It’s also dog-friendly all year round.

Greenaway Beach

Situated between the better-known Polzeath and Daymer Bay, Greenaway Beach has some of the best rock pools in Cornwall with its rocky coastline. 

However, this beach is better suited to older children, as getting there requires a walk of just over half a mile along the South West Coast Path from either Polzeath or Daymer Bay with some steep steps down to the beach. There are no facilities at Greenaway, but you will be awarded with a much quieter spot to spend your day, and wide rock pools with deep crevices where all kinds of sea creatures can hide. 

Greenaway is also dog-friendly all year round. So pack a lunch and spend the day at a true Cornish beach, away from the crowds.

Duckpool Beach

Lying at the foot of the Coombe Valley surrounded by coastal grassland and woodland that is often full of wild flowers, this cove is one of the most attractive in the Bude area. 

This tidal beach is lined with pebbles along the cliff line, but low tide exposes sandy stretches and most importantly, the rock pools.

A family trip to Duckpool Beach is better suited to a day of exploring and discovery, as this beach isn’t a recommended swimming spot.

Mawgan Porth

Just four miles outside of Newquay, the village of Mawgan Porth is far enough way to escape the masses that flock to the popular holiday destination during the summer months. 

The sandy beach at Mawgan Porth is sheltered by cliffs on both sides but still benefits from level access from the car park, ideal for families with small children. There is plenty for children to investigate at this beach, including rock pools, caves and a stream that runs the length of the beach. 

There are all the facilities you would need during a day out at the beach, including lifeguard cover over the summer period and cafes for refreshments. Despite being a popular beach there are no dog restrictions, so you can bring them with you for a paddle in the stream.

Newtrain Bay

Not far from the pretty town of Padstow lies the rock poolers dream, Newtrain Bay. Locally known as Rocky Beach, this beach lives up to its nickname with vast expansive of rocky platforms just teeming with life. 

There is very little sand on this beach, so a day at Newtrain Bay would be solely focused around hunting for sea creatures and padding in the natural sea pool that forms at low tide.

The nearest carpark is just a couple minutes walk away at Trevone. This rock pooling gem is also dog-friendly all year round.

Don't forget...

  • Rock pools are exposed at low tide, so always check the tide times and make sure you have a safe route back to the main beach at all times. 
  • If you move rocks make sure you replace them.
  • Return creatures back to the water once you have had a good look, don’t leave them in a bucket of water for any longer than a couple of hours as they will exhaust the oxygen. 
  • Wear sensible footwear. Rocks can be sharp and very slippery, so a good pair of wetsuit boots is recommended.