Girl and her father standing on the shore catching crabs
Days out, Family, Home Education

Crabbing in Suffolk

Last weekend we went crabbing in Bawdsey which is on the Suffolk coast. We had a great time although we felt a little daunted too. We had never been before so we were not quite sure as to what we were doing. Now that we’ve been, I thought I would share some information about crabbing in case you have never been and wanted to give it a go. Please note, that there are affiliate links in this post. To learn more about what this means, click here.

What you need

the items for crabbing

You actually need very little to go crabbing. We took a bucket and spade, a crabbing kit, a couple of basket containers, and some bacon.

The bucket is so that we had a container to put the crabs in for closer inspection. We took a crabbing kit as they are only about one or two pounds from our town. As it was our first time we wanted to make sure that we did it right. To be fair though, you could easily make your own with some string and an old washing tablet bag. We took the extra containers for collecting shells and the bacon was for bait as crabs really like bacon!

Crab line
The kit that we used for crabbing

What you do

First, we explored the beach, looking for anything hiding that had been left behind from when the tide was in. Little crabs, starfish and other small sea creatures can often be found hiding under rocks or seaweed. We found the tiniest crabs hiding under the seaweed on the wooden tide markers. We were a little disappointed not to find any other sea critters but hopefully next time we will spot some different ones.

Suffolk coast seaweed. Bawdsey. Suffolk. Crabbing coastline.
Seaweed at Bawdsey
Pink spade with a tiny crab and some stones
Can you spot the tiny crab?

Using the crabbing kit

Then we opened up our crabbing kit. We had to put the bacon into the mesh bag and then tie it onto the weighted end. We then threw it out into the sea and left it for about ten minutes while we carried on exploring the beach. When Faith asked if she could pull it in and see if there were any crabs I honestly didn’t expect there to be anything. Imagine our shock when she pulled it back out and it had four big crabs stuck to it!

The aim is to get one of the crabs and place it in the bucket so that you can take a closer look. However, we are all babies and we all backed away as if they were going to eat us. Even Darren backed nervously away at the sight of these big crabs! Once the crabs saw us all they quickly made their way back into the sea. We threw the bait into the sea again and each time we did it, at least three big crabs would be attached to the bag trying to get the bacon.

It was actually really exciting seeing how many would be clinging to the bag each time we pulled it back in. Unfortunately, none of us plucked up the courage to actually pick up one of the crabs although Darren has promised that next time we go he will be braver!

Man with his daughter crabbing on the Suffolk coast. Bawdsey.
Great family bonding time
Net with crab attached at Bawdsey - Suffolk
Can you see the big crab?

Other things to do

We brought Faith’s sketchbook and pencils so that she could draw the little crabs that we did manage to collect. It was really nice, relaxing on the beach while she kept herself busy getting creative.

Before we left we collected some seashells and pebbles for a project that we are working on. It was a really good afternoon.

A girl sitting on the beach sketching while crabbing at Bawdsey, Suffolk.

Why go crabbing!

It was so much fun and we didn’t spend a penny while we were out, so it was a really good ‘no spend’ activity. Crabbing is also educational for the kids, learning about sea creatures. Getting up close to the crabs so you can see their anatomy in real life. It got us outside and away from screens and it also got us moving which is always a good thing!

Some Tips

  • You need to check the tide times. You do not want to go when the tide is in, as there will be very little beach to explore. There are websites that tell you up to date times of the tides based on where you are, which is really helpful.
  • Don’t take a metal bucket to put the crabs in as in hot weather, you could end up boiling them!
  • Make sure and return the crabs and any other creatures to where you collected them from before you leave.
Bawdsey coast in Suffolk
Beautiful Bawdsey

Sharing with:

My Random Musings

If you have enjoyed this post, you may also like:

You may also like...


  1. says:
    I've never been crabbing but it sounds like fun. Decades ago I did go clamming with friends and it was hard work and fun. #MMBC
    1. says:
      Ooh, I have not heard of clamming before! We're teaching each other today! Thanks for commenting x
  2. says:
    I haven't been crabbing since I was a kid. It looks like you had so much fun. #MMBC
    1. says:
      Yes we did - it was fab. Thanks for commenting x
  3. says:
    I love to go crabbing! We have blue crabs in a bay near our house. When my children were little we used to go crabbing for a few hours, then cook the crabs and eat them. Yum!!!
  4. says:
    I don't think I have ever gone crabbing which is daft really as i used to go to Whitby all the time where it is very popular. I think my parents may say that I have gone if they were alive to say so but have forgotten along the way. Always looks like fun and stuff of which memories are made. #AnythingGoes
  5. says:
    I really want to go crabbing with my boys this year, I think it is such a timeless and fun activity to do with children X #anythinggoes
  6. Looks like you all had a fun day! It's been ages since we last went crabbing. :) Thanks for sharing with #MMBC. x
    1. says:
      Who knew crabs enjoy bacon! Nature regularly amazes and amuses me. I still struggle to accept that crabs and fish don't feel pain, and your metal bucket tip is useful too. Sounds like a really fun family activity #kidsandkreativity
  7. We're quite a long way from the sea but my brother lives near to the coast and once took my eldest crabbing. He used bacon as bait too! How amazing to catch some big crabs to see - it did make me chuckle that none of you were brave enough to get closer to the crabs - I'd have been exactly the same! #KidsandKreativity
  8. says:
    We love crabbing! We have a static caravan in North Norfolk so often go crabbing up there. Thanks for linking up with #KidsandKreativity and hope to see you back next time.
    1. says:
      Oh lovely, I often think that it would be great to have a caravan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.