National Lobster Hatchery

Located in the picturesque fishing town of Padstow, overlooking the scenic Camel Estuary, the National Lobster Hatchery offers a unique and educational experience for visitors of all ages.

This pioneering marine conservation facility is dedicated to the research, conservation, and sustainable enhancement of marine biodiversity, with a particular focus on the European lobster.

It’s not just an attraction; it’s a chance to learn about marine conservation efforts and the important role lobsters play in the ecosystem.

Discovering the National Lobster Hatchery

The National Lobster Hatchery’s mission is to help conserve vulnerable lobster populations and ensure the sustainability of our marine environment.

Visitors can go behind the scenes of this working hatchery to see how baby lobsters are reared before being released back into the wild.

It’s an enlightening journey into the world of marine conservation, showcasing how science and community can come together to protect our oceans.

Highlights of the National Lobster Hatchery

Visitor Centre: Start your visit at the interactive Visitor Centre, where exhibits explain the life cycle of a lobster, the threats they face, and the work of the hatchery.

Hatchery: See the hatchery itself, where thousands of baby lobsters begin their lives in safety before being released into the sea.

Adopt a Lobster: One of the most memorable parts of a visit is the opportunity to adopt a lobster. This symbolic adoption supports the hatchery’s work and allows you to release a baby lobster into the wild.

Research and Conservation: Learn about the latest marine research projects and conservation strategies being developed and implemented by the hatchery team.

Planning Your Visit

Getting There

The National Lobster Hatchery is located on South Quay in Padstow, a town famous for its culinary scene and beautiful harbour.

Padstow is easily accessible by road, with several car parks in the town.

For those preferring public transport, Padstow is well-served by bus routes from various parts of Cornwall.

The hatchery is a short walk from the town centre, making it a convenient addition to any Padstow itinerary.

Tickets and Opening Times

The hatchery is open year-round, but opening hours vary by season, so it’s a good idea to check their website for the latest information.

There is a small admission fee, with proceeds going directly to support the hatchery’s conservation work.

Discounts are available for children, students, seniors, and families.


Gift Shop: The on-site gift shop offers a range of souvenirs, from cuddly lobster toys to educational books, with all purchases supporting the hatchery’s work.

Accessibility: The visitor centre and most areas of the hatchery are accessible to wheelchair users.

Maximising Your Experience

Guided Tours: To gain deeper insights into the hatchery’s work, join one of the guided tours available during the summer months, led by knowledgeable staff.

Interactive Displays: Engage with the interactive displays to learn fascinating facts about marine life and the importance of conservation efforts.

Check for Events: The hatchery often hosts events, talks, and workshops focused on marine conservation. Check their events calendar before your visit.

Tips for Your Visit

Combine Your Visit: Padstow is home to a variety of attractions, including beautiful beaches, culinary hotspots, and scenic walking trails. Make the most of your trip by exploring what the town has to offer.

Stay Sustainable: The hatchery’s mission is all about conservation. You can support this by being mindful of your environmental impact during your visit and beyond.

Photography: Don’t forget your camera! While the lobsters are the main attraction, the views over the Camel Estuary are also photo-worthy.

Nearby Attractions

Padstow Harbour: Explore the charming harbour area, with its array of shops, cafes, and boat trips.

The Camel Trail: Ideal for walking or cycling, this scenic route offers stunning estuary views and leads to the picturesque market town of Wadebridge.

Prideaux Place: Just a short walk from the harbour, this historic house is set in beautiful grounds and offers guided tours.


A visit to the National Lobster Hatchery is more than just a day out; it’s an opportunity to contribute to the preservation of marine environments and learn about the fascinating world beneath the waves.

Whether you’re a family in search of an educational experience, a marine enthusiast keen to learn about conservation, or simply looking for a unique Cornish attraction, the National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow offers an insight into the future of our oceans and how we can all play a part in protecting them.