If you’re looking for things to do in Devon on a budget this half term and beyond, why not grab some crab lines, a bucket and a net and see what creatures you can discover around Devon’s coasts? It’s a cheap and fun way to keep the whole family entertained for hours and won’t break the bank.

Here are some of our suggestions for the best places to explore the region’s rockpools and where you can find tiny critters – just make sure to return any creatures to where you found them!

Lee Bay

Between Ilfracombe and Woolacombe in North Devon you’ll find Lee Bay. It’s a small, sheltered cove and provides some excellent rockpooling opportunities and is part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is one of the more rugged places on our list but the many rocks and crevices mean that you can always guarantee that you find something!

Salcombe/Kingsbridge Estuary and Harbour

Salcombe Harbour provides a picturesque place to sit and let down your crab lines and is also great for people watching. The Estuary is a fascinating place to explore marine life – you can see everything from sponges to seals in the summer months. At low tide, you can explore the shores and find lots of interesting creatures.

Seaton Hole Beach

Really, anywhere along the Jurassic Coast will give you good rockpooling opportunities but at low tide, the ones at this beach are the best in the area. You’ll find it to the west of the town and it has been known for people to find starfish and anemones here.

Ness Cove

This is a real hidden gem so keep it under your hats – you can find Ness Cove in Shaldon near Torquay and it is only accessible via a former smugglers’ tunnel! As such, it isn’t the easiest to get to and can be an issue for anyone who has limited mobility, but if you’re able it is worthwhile. The cove was at one time loved by pirates and smugglers and there are lots of little rock pools and crevices to explore.

Shoalstone Beach

Located in Brixham, just along the coast from the famous harbour is this small rocky beach. The site is also home to Shoalstone Pool, which is the town’s outdoor swimming pool – though you might want to wait until warmer weather before jumping in there! Visit in low tide and there are plenty of rock pools to explore and if you want more nature, you can also find Berry Head Nature Reserve just a stone’s throw away.

Will you be visiting any of these places and trying your hand at rockpooling or crabbing? Don’t forget to tag us in your pictures (you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even TikTok!) and to replace any creatures you find.

You can find more free and budget things to do with the family in Devon here.