Rock Pooling

Rock hopping at Woody Bay, Isle of Wight

I love the runs that turn in to mini adventures, when we explore new places and I get an extra few moments to catch my breath. I swear we only went rock pooling because I was trying to postpone the inevitable steep climb back up to the cliff top above St Lawrence. The coastal path is a great route, barreling through tiny holloways beneath thick dark foliage and then out on to a high bluff, the path winding away down to the beach.

Tucked round the corner from St Catherine’s lighthouse is Woody Bay, a deserted stony beach. There’s a small cluster of old low houses above, with quirky homemade greenhouses and trampolines set in to the soft grass. Down below, the smooth stones are almost as inviting, settling in to a surprisingly accommodating shape for my tired body.


We lay on our backs and threw pebbles at targets, before jumping up to lob yet more stones and marvel at their bounce. We discovered a teeny tiny baby lobster and woke limpets from their rocky outcrops. I told Tom how we used to smash the limpets off the rocks for crab bait, which sounds shockingly cruel now! If I hadn’t holidayed with kids full of the best sort of wild, I might never have been so willing to wield a rock. A moment scrabbling around mid-run was a perfect little reminder of childhood summers.

Even after the beach break I didn’t manage to run up the full height of the cliff. We stopped for drinks at the village post office, then marvelled at a peacock family holding court on someone’s porch roof. There’s always something interesting to warrant a quick stop mid-run.

Looking down at shoes on the beach

Comments are closed for this post, but do get in touch on Twitter or Instagram.