The Suffolk coastline is perfect for old fashioned family fun, from dabbling in rock pools to trying your hand at a spot of crabbing!
Rock pooling is a fantastic activity that people of all ages can enjoy and the summertime is especially great to head over to the beautiful beaches on The Suffolk Coast to discover an oasis of little creatures left behind at low tide.
Pools closest to the sea edge are the better ones for discovering marine animals, then work your way inland as the tide comes in (You can usually buy a local tide times table from a shop near the beach). When the weather is dry and calm the surface of the rock pool will be still, making it easier to see into the waters beneath.
So, what creatures can you expect to see in Suffolk's waters?
Directly below the water’s surface you might discover small fish such as gobys, butterfish or blennys. Delve in a little deeper to find some fascinating crustaceans in the form of the shore crab, hermit crab and common prawn. Star fish tend to lurk at the very bottom of the pool – you might need to turn over stones and seaweed to find them!
Taking a bucket is a good idea as it allows you to contain rock pool creatures for closer inspection, but you must remember to let them go back where you found them after a short time. Try placing the bucket in the water and see what swims in or, push it gently through the water to scoop up some marine life. Steer clear of using a net as these little creatures are small and very delicate so getting tangled in a net can cause them harm.
For many, crabbing is and always will be the epitome of a perfect Suffolk summer – This simple outdoor pleasure has long been a favourite activity for locals and visitors alike.
Kids will love the local sport of ‘crabbing’ – All that’s needed is a length of string and some bacon as bait, drop it into the water and wait for dozens of crabs will to grab on. The trick is to see how many hang on until you have them up and over your bucket!
In fact, the art of crabbing in these parts is much maligned – so much so that until a few years ago the pretty coastal village of Walberswick near Southwold was host to The British Open Crabbing Championships! There’s a great family friendly pub here too serving home cooked food.
Further down the coast towards Felixstowe, Bawdsey is another haven for ‘crabbers’ and the nearby village of Ramsholt nestling on the river Deben is perfect when the tide is right. Here you can combine a delicious lunch at the Ramsholt Arms before catching a few crustaceans!