where to see the seals in norfolk
The largest colony in England
Take a boat trip to see them
The colony at Blakeney Point is made up of Common and Grey seals and in recent Winters has been the biggest colony in England, with around 2500 pups.
Common seals have their young between June and August, and the Greys between November and January. They are fed on their mother's milk for three weeks before heading into the sea for the first time.
The Grey pups are born with beautiful white fur coats and large black eyes making them a very cute sight. Bull seals fight for territories with mating taking place soon after pupping making it quite a dramatic place to be.
Grey seals are the larger of the two species, with large speckles on their coats and longer pointed heads with parallel nostrils. The Common seals have a more rounded face with 'v' shaped nostrils.
Trips go from Blakeney harbour and Morston quay, usually lasting about an hour, or two in the summer when the boats might land if tides and light make it permissible.
Blakeney Point is a four-mile sand and shingle spit, with its distinctive blue-painted Lifeboat House, is part of a National Trust reserve. It is accessible by foot from Cley car park, but the westernmost end will probably be fenced off from April to mid-August to protect nesting Terns.
In the summer you might see Common Terns, Sandwich and Little Terns and also Arctic Terns. Many of them begin to arrive from West Africa in April and breed into the season. They make a small scrape in the shingle where they lay their eggs.
On the sands you might also see Oyster Catchers, Ringed Plovers, Turnstones and Dunlin. During the winter months, you might see numbers of duck and geese including Mallard, Widgeon, Teal, Pintail, Pinkfooted Geese. Greylag and Brent Geese usually arrive from October onwards.
There are also seal trips from Hunstanton to see the group of Common seals in the Wash, aboard amphibious vessels, The Wash Monsters. This area has a large expanse of shallow tidal sandbanks and is fed by four tributaries.
There is a significant colony at Horsey and you might also see seals turning up in the water or on the beach around the Norfolk coast, in Wells harbour or on the sandbanks at Holkham, or you might spot them bobbing around at Sea Palling and other beaches on the eastern coast. Please, if you are watching the seals by land with your dog, please ensure Fido is well controlled – dogs and seals do not mix.
There are also Summer trips from Great Yarmouth central beach to see the colony at Scroby Sands.
The seals travel on land at just 3 or 4 miles an hour but can reach 30 to 40mph when swimming submerged!
advice on seeing the seals
Here is the National Trust advice for how you can safely enjoy seeing the seal pups at Blakeney Point without disturbing them:
The best and recommended way to see the seal pups is by boat from Morston Quay. The pupping area is fenced off with no access for visitors giving the seals space to give birth and to raise their pups. It is possible to walk but with an arduous six mile round trip on loose shingle with no facilities, it is not recommended. Beans Boat Trips and Temples Seal Trips both run seal trips during the pupping season departing from Morston Quay. These are popular so please contact the providers in advance for times and bookings.
Always keep your distance from any seals you may come across. Please do not try to take your photo with any seals as mothers are protective and males are very territorial which could result in serious injury to you or the death of a pup.
If you do decide to visit on foot then the team would prefer dogs to be left at home but if you wish to bring them then please keep them on a short lead at all times.
Please respect fence lines and any advice given to you by National Trust.