Each week we run a section in the Guardian newspaper's travel section, asking for readers to send in tips on a particular subject. The best tip wins a digital camera courtesy of Jessops. Find out more here
Winning tipRock-pooling in Herne Bay, Kent
Posted by annakhall
About three miles east from the pier at Herne Bay are some fantastic rock-pools. They cover a large area and are entirely made up of weirdly flat boulders, so it looks a platform game. You can happily spend time jumping from boulder to boulder, or playing games to work out the quickest way to the sea without stepping on the sand. The boulders are covered in weed though, so be careful you don't slip.
Best of all, there are lots of little rock-pools between the boulders with crabs, anemones, little shrimp-things etc. And the flat boulders provide the perfect standing platform to watch them all.
The whole place was totally deserted on a warm Saturday in June - a hidden gem!
Once you head back to Herne Bay, Ernie's Plaice does excellent fish and chips (eat on sea-front) or you can have a classic Knickerbocker Glory sat in one of the kitschy red booths at KC's Ice cream parlour. Their chocolate-orange ice cream is especially nice.Turn right (as you face the sea) and walk along the sea-front, then down onto the beach when it finishes. Rock-pools are about 3 miles from the centre of town at low-tide only. Or you could drive to Reculver Lane and walk down from the church car-park (much closer).
Studland Bay, Swanage, Dorset
Posted by Anthony Cuthbertson
At the southern end of the three mile stretch of sandy beach in Studland is a secret rock pool cove, cut off by cliffs on both sides. Wait until the tide slides out before skirting round the cliff face and you’ll find yourself in a hidden world of crabs, fish, barnacles, snails and weird looking worms.
My favourite way to get a closer look at these pool dwellers is with an old detergent tablet net with a bit of chicken or meat inside tied to the end of a stick. Wait a bit for whatever creature is enticed and carefully lift it out of the water, its weight will close the net behind it so it can't climb out- just take care when letting the blighters go!Studland Bay, Swanage, Dorset
Newton Ferrers, Devon
Posted by Lucerm
I recommend Newton Ferrers, situated about 10 miles southeast of Plymouth for the best rockpooling in the UK.
Actually I haven't been there for years now, but my rose-tinted memories of endless summer holidays are so vivid, I hope the reality still lives up to it.
There are two beaches near the fishing port of Newton Ferrers, one is called Stoke Beach, and it had a caravan and camping site above the beach. It was a long walk down from the field/carpark and then we found a stretch of golden beach with dozens of coves, caves, rocks and pools to explore. The other beach was/is called Warren and it is found nearby, across a meadow filled with butterflies and ladybird colonies dotted all over the wildflowers and long grass. I remember a tricky scramble down over rocks and then a leap across the sand to get to the beach. It was like a secret beach as very few people made it past the obstacle course.
My tip for rockpooling is to turn over the large flat stones with the pinky markings on and you're sure to find tiny starfish clinging on. Just look and leave them there, of course! For crabs, a good root around under the knobbly seaweed will offer a cluster of the little demons. Pick them up by their two sides between your thumb and forefinger. Watch them wave their claws at you with attitude, then place them back in the salt water and watch them scuttle off. I love the little, inch-long cat fish and dog fish - if I'm correct - that inhabit the pools. I love everything about these beaches. I would still go rockpooling today, given half a chance, even though I'm 47 and my creaking knees hamper any clambering.Devon, Plymouth, Newton Ferrers, Stoke Road
Crabbing in Walberswick, Suffolk
Posted by CarolFerguson
Take crabbing to the highest possible level by competing in the British Open Crabbing Championship held every year in the seaside village of Walberswick. Described as a competition for “children of all ages” – the only condition being that you weren’t born before 1890 - there can be few greater pleasures than joining the hundreds of competitors with line, weight and bait (bacon is said to be best, but the professionals will keep their choice to themselves) and then teasing the crab out of the water and into the bucket. If you can’t make it to Walberswick on Sunday 9th August this summer then any other day will do. Our daughters, now in their late teens, have the fondest memories of hanging off a bridge, filling a bucket with crabs and then releasing them, often a hundred at a time. An essential family experience.Walberswick is in Suffolk, across the river from Southwold (take the rowed ferry) Details of the crabbibg championships at www.walberswick.ws/crabbing/
________________________________________________________________West Runton beach, Norfolk
Posted by Bluebird73
When the tide goes out at West Runton beach near Sheringham it reveals a community of amazing creatures clinging to rocks, swimming in the salty shallows and sunning themselves on the once full pools. If you've forgotten your buckets, nets and spades, then the on-site cafe will sell you anything you need as well as a lovely cup of tea you can take down to the beach!Follow the "beach" signs from West Runton village to the carpark.
Whitely bay, Tyne and Wear
Posted by tynegal
Okay, I'm biased because I live here, but Whitley Bay has one of the best beaches in the world - loads of sand, luscious seaweed, intriguing rock pools and an amazing view north towards the wonderfully photogenic St Mary's Lighthouse.
When you have had enough of exploring the delights left behind by the tide, head up Watts Slope onto Marine Avenue (beside the Spanish City dome which is currently being refurbished) for 'real' fish and chips from one of the many cafes and follow it with a traditionally made Italian ice cream from Delaval Ices at the Cafe Mediterraneo.Tyne and Wear Metro - Whitley Bay
Posted by noahsam
It is a clean, large white expanse of coast with chunky groups of rock pools, many with names linked to the shape, for example : stag rock, cat rock etc. My two boys aged six and 10 delighted in them and I did think we could spend two weeks here and they would never tire - delightful.Nearest station , Berwick on Tweed ( from the North) then the local 501 coastal bus - a lovely journey through all the villages, spying seascapes and countryside.