National Lobster Hatchery

National Lobster Hatchery, Padstow: Hours, Address, National Lobster Hatchery Reviews: 4/5

National Lobster Hatchery
4
Visitor Centres • Nature & Wildlife Areas
Read more
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
The National Lobster Hatchery is a conservation, education and research charity based in Padstow, Cornwall. We exist primarily to help conserve the vulnerable lobster populations and preserve the coastal marine bio-diversity of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. We have a visitor centre which offers a unique window into our lobster hatchery and has a wealth of information about these amazing creatures, the fishery and the importance of a sustainable fishery. Come and see our baby and giant lobsters. Are you brave enough to put your hand in our eel cave? The Visitor Centre is open everyday (except Christmas Day) from 10am but closing times vary. Please check our website for confirmation.
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Popular mentions

4.0
957 reviews
Excellent
454
Very good
334
Average
110
Poor
35
Terrible
24

Lee M
San Francisco, CA146 contributions
May 2022
Very informational in just a few rooms. The hatchery takes in moms ready to lay eggs, hatches the microscopic lobsters and raises them until they are 2 months old, significantly increasing the survival rate of lobsters back in the wild. If you enjoy eating lobster, come spend a few minutes learning about them. Your ticket provides a donation to help rear more lobsters for the future!
Written 22 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Flairitymgt
London, UK8 contributions
May 2022 • Couples
It was awesome! Small but packed with information and the team are knowledgable and super helpful. See lobsters from newborn to giant! Incredible and all to a great cause. Great family fun!
Written 18 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Nicola O
Truro, UK24 contributions
May 2022
Small but perfectly formed information hub. The staff are so friendly and couldn't do more to ensure all questions were answered.

Great cause, fantastic work, go and support.
Written 9 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

mr f
Richmond, UK21 contributions
Apr 2022
this place was super
you can see tiny lobsters
and how they grow and how they let them go
and how they look after them
we were in there for 1. 1/2 hours
then we walked round to the bay it takes your breath away
Written 8 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Simon I
35 contributions
Apr 2022 • Couples
Small but worth a visit; I had read a recent review which was less than favourable, I agree that there are perhaps more interactive ways of showing things and the video at the end would be better for me at the beginning. There were still gaps in my understanding in the transfer from that first tank where they are in bud and the nursery tank...but overall better informed.l than I was.
Written 21 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Phileas_Flogg
Oxford, UK311 contributions
Mar 2022
I'd love to give this small charitable operation a greater accolade than 2 blobs but am struggling to say anything very positive about our visit.

The Hatchery has been open as a visitor attraction for at least 20 years and, to be honest, it feels that no one has updated the 'experience' in all that time. Long is gone that a whole series of wall panels and random images makes for a good day out. The panels didn't seem to follow a particularly logical or chronological sequence and so I just felt random info was being thrown at me on the assumption that quantity would make up for quality. It didn't and I became bored quite quickly.

Of course, everyone wants the thing to come alive at some point with face to face encounters with the beautiful beast that gives this attraction its middle name but you will be disappointed here, too. There are a couple of 'pregnant' lobsters lurking in half a drain pipe but they weren't doing much and I saw as much through the glass as I did on my plate at Rick Stein's the night before. You get a glimpse of the hatchlings but they're so tiny, they're interesting only for about 2 minutes. The rest is peering through glass trying to take in the significance of the equipment that serves the hatchery. I didn't get much out of that, either, though for fans of running water, it would be a blast.

Upstairs, you could see a film which gave better context than any of the explanatory panels but this should have been the first stop.

The reality is that what the hatchery does is intercept lobsters 'in berry' (pregnant to you and me), look after their progeny long enough for their chances of survival to increase substantially and then put them back in the sea so they can be caught a few years time and end up on someone's plate. As such, this isn't a lobster hospital, a lobster farm or a lobster zoo, it's a fattening facility that is of great economic value to the lobster trade. Unfortunately, that doesn't make it a visitor attraction without a whole lot more effort than is currently being put in.

At the entrance, we were invited to ask questions. After my 30 min visit, I couldnt think of one simply because the subject, as presented was so narrow and it had stimulated not the merest scintilla of curiosity. However, had there been a 15 minute guided tour, I'm sure the whole thing would have come together in a way that, sadly, it didn't on our visit.

On the plus side, they offered senior concessions.
Written 1 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

chiltsy
Unawatuna, Sri Lanka17 contributions
Jan 2022
We visited on New Year’s Day with our 8 year old and 5 year old not really knowing what to expect….

It ended up being the best day out we had over our entire Xmas and new year holiday!

Ok, it may be a small attraction but what it crams in to the space is impressive. The staff are incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about lobster conservation. The information boards are clear, instructive and interesting. There are plenty of drawing and colouring activities to keep the kids entertained and we all left knowing a whole lot more about lobsters that we ever imagined possible. We were there for almost two hours and thought it was great value for money. We’re looking forward to tracking the progress of Olive, our adopted lobster as she is released back into the wild in a few weeks time…!

Have read some of the other slightly more negative reviews and thought many were unfair. You get out what you put in to an attraction like this and if you go in with an open, inquisitive mind you won’t be disappointed

Will definitely visit next time we’re in Cornwall
Written 1 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Antarctica_addict
Highbridge, UK8 contributions
Dec 2021 • Family
We visited with our 3 year old and didn’t know what to expect. Some of the reviews on here give it a disservice. It’s fab. No there aren’t hundreds of lobsters, but the info boards and kids activities are fabulous! We stayed a long time and loved it.
Written 12 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi there! Thank you so much for your lovely words and we are really pleased you and your family enjoyed it! So pleased you had a chance to make use of the children's activities too! :) Thank you so much for your support and for visiting, we really do appreciate it and hope to see you again! - Ellie
Written 29 December 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kenny A
Doncaster, UK375 contributions
Nov 2021 • Family
Female lobsters carry on average 20,000 eggs for 9 to 12 months, and out of those only 2-3 live long enough to become adults. This why the work of this charity is important. Eggs come from lobsters caught by local fishermen and the hatchery raises them until they are old enough to be released to the wild. The hatchery still has one lobster which is believed to be at least 50 years old! The work of the charity will interest some people more than others, but we found the whole process fascinating.
Written 3 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi there! We are so pleased you got the chance to visit and learn all the awesome insights to our European Lobsters! It's quite something to see them from new born to 50yo and everything in-between! they really are fascinating and having you visit helps us to support them - so Thank you for your lovely kind words and for your visit! We really appreciated it!
Written 29 December 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

AlanDCP
Northwood, UK179 contributions
Oct 2021
Lovely staff in a really interesting place, not a great deal to see but what there is makes it worthwhile. Remember to let them claim the tax back.
Written 22 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi There! Thank you so much for a lovely review and for reminding everyone to gift aid too! We really appreciate that! I will also pass on your lovely words to our staff! We hope to see you again in the future! Kind Regards, Ellie
Written 29 December 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 954
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about National Lobster Hatchery

National Lobster Hatchery is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 - 16:00