A visit to see the seals is an activity for all the family and one not to be missed. With a mix of common and Grey seals the Norfolk coastline is one of the best places to enjoy these beautiful mammals and can be visited all year round.
Seals can be spotted at many locations along the coastline but the best places to visit are Blakeney Point, Horsey Beach and Hunstanton.
With thousands of new pups being born every year. This great news makes Blakeney point the home of the largest colony in England.
When and Where?
Where to see seals in Norfolk can depend on where you are located in Norfolk. Seals can be enjoyed all year round however there’re certain areas which are preferred by the seals depending on time of year.
- On the west Coast of Hunstanton the seals can be enjoyed during the summer months.
- Horsey located on the east coast, during the winter months only.
- Blakeney in North Norfolk, seals can be seen the majority of year with or without pups.
During the summer months, common seals give birth to their young, while Grey seals give birth between November and the end of January.
Winter Months (November – End Of Jan)
With large numbers of Grey seals giving birth to their pups in these winter months, it’s a lovely time of the year to visit. The best location to visit is Blakeney point or Horsey Gap.
Summer (June – August)
The summer months are a great opportunity to see the common seals and their pups, which can be enjoyed at either Blakeney point or the wash at Hunstanton.
A quiet North Norfolk village of Blakeney is perfect for seeing the seals, with a four-mile stoney and sandy beach with is accessible by foot from the car park. Walk from Cley to the Point and back again but take note of the tide times before setting off, as incoming tides happen quickly. During the breeding seasons (October-January) the far western end is fenced off for safety.
Blakeney offer a boat trip which lasts approximately one hour from either Blakeney harbour or Morston quay. Enjoy varying wildlife such as Oyster catchers and take in your surroundings like the iconic blue old lifeboat station.
Visit the Grey Seals and their pups in November to the end of January.
Horsey and neighbouring village Winterton are home to some of the largest colonies of Grey seals. The seals here are more accessible as you can walk along the dunes and enjoy the animals from dedicated viewing platforms at any time of the day. During the winter months the stretch of beach is populated with seals and their pups and with a long walk a long the path it’s a fantastic experience.
Like Blakeney please keep dogs on a close lead to keep both your dog and the seals safe. Seals are protective of their pups and will bite if approached.
Winterton beach also have seals in the winter months but nothing compared to Horsey.
Comparing Blakeney to Horsey, there isn’t much to separate them. Horsey is free as you can view them from the beach viewing points (small charge for car park), but a boat ride at blakeney is very much enjoyable. Your location will help you decide which one to explore.
North west of Norfolk is Hunstanton, seals can be seen here in the wash. The wash is a shallow area off the coast, with several sandbanks which are exposed at low tides. With over 3,000 common seals, the wash is one of the largest colony of Common seals in the UK and can be enjoyed here during the summer months via an hour long boat trip.
Take to the water with a boat trip
Boat trips are available to Blakeney point and Hunstanton with lasts approximately one hour.
Here are some links to trip boat trips;
- Ptarmigan Boat Trips (Blakeney)
- Bishops Boat Trips (Blakeney)
- Temples Boat Trips (Blakeney)
- Beans Boat Trips (Blakeney)
- Sea Tours (Hunstanton)
Seal of approval
Norfolk has large expansive sandy beaches and shallow waters which allow for seals to bask, give birth and feel protected. With thousands of seals located here in Norfolk, it’s a great trip for all the family all year round, whether that be on foot or via a boat trip. Once again, where to see seals in Norfolk will be determined on your location.
All locations provide great opportunities but please check on the time of year you are travelling. Dogs are welcome but please keep them on short leads especially during the winter months when seals have given birth.
I hope you get the opportunity to visit these wonderful animals on your visit to Norfolk.