Rock Pool Rambles for Children in Jersey
Jersey has one of the largest tidal ranges in the world. The landscape continuously changes with the ebb and flow of the tide, almost doubling in size twice a day. On the biggest tides of the year, the tidal range is an astonishing twelve metres. The huge rise and fall create a marine wilderness for children and families to explore. It’s a natural treasure trove full of many sea creatures waiting to be discovered. Head out and see what you can spot under the seaweed, among the rocks and rock pools.
Be still and quiet around rock pools as you will have more chances of spotting small sea creatures. Children will be delighted at finding crabs, limpets, sea snails and anemones. See how many different sea creatures you can collect in your net or bucket. Be careful; move seaweed gently to look underneath and move your net with care in any pool. Put any sea creatures back gently and where you found them.
Always be vigilant when exploring at low tide. Our tides can come back in quickly, so always check the tide times before you go exploring down the beach.
We organise regular guided walks which are suitable for young children.
How to go rock pooling
Wrap up warm if it is cold, or make sure you have a sun hat and sunscreen if it is hot and sunny.
Check the tide tables for the time of low water and allow plenty of time to explore before the tide comes back in.
Some of Jersey’s beaches are only fully revealed when the tide falls, leaving smooth sand and shallow water ready to be explored. Plémont Bay is one such beach where hidden caves and waterfalls are all waiting to be discovered. On many beaches, you will find rock pools full of life. Look out for tiny crabs, anemones and small fish.
Remember your wellington boots or beach shoes to climb over the slippery rocks.
Low tide at Greve de Lecq and Green Island provides easy access to rock pooling and natural paddling pools for splashing. There are also cafes and toilets at these beaches.
Visit Elizabeth Castle; it opens in March. It is an easy walk out to the castle at low tide, but make sure you have checked the time of low tide because the causeway can cover very quickly. At high tide, you can travel on the Castle Ferry. The ferry is an amphibious vehicle fondly known as the ‘Duck’, and it’s a fun experience.
Visit La Corbière Lighthouse at low tide. It is a super walk with large rock pools on either side of the causeway. Once there, you have expansive views out to sea, and if you are lucky, you might even see dolphins.
Join us on a low tide trek to Seymour Tower, one mile off the island’s southeast coast, for a real adventure. Look out for the deep rock pools and watch out for the tide. It’s worth taking snacks and water as this one is a bit of a trek. Our Family Walks to Seymour Tower are suitable for young children with lots of time to discover the “mini-beasts” in the rock pools.
What you will need
You might want coats, wellington boots, a sun hat, and sunscreen, depending on the weather. It often feels cooler as you explore beaches at low tide, so an extra layer is useful. Take water to drink and some healthy snacks to keep you going. Buckets and fishing nets are helpful to look closely at any sea creatures you might catch.
Look after the sea creatures.
Do not trample through rock pools. Take care where you step as you may not see creatures attached to the rocks and hiding under seaweed or on the sand. If you turn over rocks, return them to their original position to preserve the environment beneath. Studies show it can take 5-10 years to recover if stones are left upturned.
Where & when to go rock pooling in Jersey?
All beaches in Jersey provide low tide opportunities, but some offer more rock pooling and natural paddling pools than others. Check out Green Island, Le Hocq, La Rocque Harbour, Plémont and Le Portelet Bay.
Check the tide tables for the time of low water. The tide comes in quickly, so you need to be aware of this. Dry, bright days are better, wrap up warm if it is cold and make sure you have sun-hats and sunscreen if it is hot.
Why should you go rock pooling?
Children love the opportunity to be curious and the excitement of discovering sea creatures in the low water pools.
Children will love being outdoors, splashing in natural puddles and finding shells and seaweed to collect into a bucket or net. Being outside has a positive impact on our mental health and well-being. Plus, children will have the chance to talk about what they can see, which helps develop their understanding of the natural world.
Seeing sea creatures in their natural habitats gives children the opportunity to expand their knowledge of their environment. It also develops their language and conversational skills. All this learning can be done whilst engaging in exciting searches of rock pools and beaches at low tide.
Best of all, rock pooling is tremendous fun for everyone!
An excellent guide for children: Rock Pool Rambles by The National Trust for Jersey – Issuu
The Seashore Life of Jersey – Paul Chambers. A clear photo guide to most of the marine life in Jersey.
Children’s Seashore Books
Sharing a Shell – Julia Donaldson
Clem and Crab – Fiona Lumbers
What the ladybird heard at the Seaside – Julia Donaldson