Wildlife (& Congers!)...
Nesting peregrine falcons, regular visits from playful seals, graceful porpoise - Tunnels Beaches is a great place to view wildlife. There's also an abundance of fish - sea bass, pollock and conger eels (see below!) amongst many others.
In 2017, Tunnels Beaches was heavily featured on ITV 'Tales From The Coast with Robson Green'. Viewers saw beach owner Jamie McLintock & Robson Green empty the tidal pool via its large plug (yes, really!) and much to Robson's delight, releasing a 5ft Conger Eel from the pool in the process!!...
Did you know Tunnels Beaches remains the location of the only confirmed UK sighting of a Hammerhead Shark?! It was caught out by the ebbing tide and was stranded in the ladies bathing pool in July, 1865.
With great difficulty and some risk it was secured by ropes and triumphantly towed into Ilfracombe harbour; it was then placed in a cart and drawn through the streets. On measurement, it was found to be 13ft 7" in length!
Nationally famous in Victorian times, our unrivalled rock pools are teeming with sealife. Philip Henry Gosse, the renowned Victorian biologist and friend of Charles Darwin, discovered several new species here. Rare sea corals can still be found on very low tides.
The rugged nature of our coastline provides ideal conditions for lots of weird and wonderful creatures. The huge tidal range allows access to very rare species on low tides. Most common species are very accessible - just lift up the rocks in very shallow water to discover crabs, fish and strawberry anemonies.
The Devon Wildlife Trust often comment that it's the sheer abundance of each species that makes Tunnels Beaches so special. We were rated the 3rd best beach for rock pooling in the UK! by BBC Wildlife Magazine.
Plan ahead – check the tide times. Visit during low tide for the best rock pooling!