For many years, I have recommended Bembridge as the Isle of Wight's best beach for rockpooling. The beach is about as flat as they come, which exposes a great big ledge at low tide. On our last visit, we found four crabs in about 40 minutes with the assistance of five people. We were hindered by a small child whose splashing and sploshing was scaring away the crabs.
I was given reason to reconsider Bembridge's number one position on a recent trip to Freshwater Bay.
Most visitors to Freshwater Bay stick to the main beach. It's near to the car park, it has become sandier of late and it's not too bad for swimming.
We usually end up round the corner at the quieter beach which is more sheltered and less busy. You can find it at low tide by walking past The Albion on your right as you face the sea.
On our visit, the tide was at its absolute lowest which exposed a good area of moveable rocks.
We didn't bring any nets or buckets, but our party of three managed to find a whopping nine crabs in just half an hour.
Those of you who are mathematically minded may be interested to know that Bembridge offered us a measly 1.2 crabs per person, per hour. Freshwater delivered a remarkable six crabs per person, per hour.
I should point out that the sploshing child was distracted in Freshwater by a ball she had found on the beach. Perhaps that skewed the figures. Perhaps more research is needed.
Anyway, if you're in the West Wight and fancy picking up crabs (Ed: grow up...) then I would save some petrol and go for Freshwater Bay over Bembridge.
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