The Best Places to See Seals in North Norfolk

Common & Gray seals in the sea at Blakeney

The North Norfolk coast is home to thousands of seals and one of the largest colonies in the UK. They can frequently be seen lining the beaches sunbathing and bobbing in the waves. The area is home to common seals, also known as harbour seals, and grey seals which make their way onshore each year to give birth to their young.

Visiting the seals is a great way to experience these animals in their natural habitat and create memories at some of the best beaches in the region. Throughout the year, there are many local boat trips and guides who can take you close to the mammals, providing you with both information and photo opportunities.

Our luxury North Norfolk holiday cottages are perfectly situated in between some of the best seal spotting areas and are a great way to relax after a day exploring. These are some of our favourite places to look at the seals in the area.

Where are the best places to visit the seals in North Norfolk?


Home to the Atlantic grey seal colony, the beaches between Horsey and Winterton are filled with seals for the majority of the year. The flat beaches and shallow waters are perfect for the seals to come ashore and have their pups and have created one of the region’s most renowned colonies.

The seals have their pups during the winter months between October and February. At this time of the year the beach is closed to the public to protect the seals and their young. However, there are designated viewing platforms and areas at the top of the dunes where you can still get a great view of these animals. During this time, the areas where you are allowed to visit are clearly marked. The pups stay on the beaches throughout this period until they moult their fluffy coats and grow their adult, waterproof fur.

Throughout the rest of the year you can walk on the beach to see the seals as long as the 10m rule is obeyed so that the seals remain undisturbed.

Blakeney Point

Not only known as one of the best areas to visit in the region, Blakeney Point also is known for its grey seals. The shingle spit is looked after by the National Trust and is one of the favourite places from both locals and visitors to embark on seal watching trips.

The seals cannot be seen from the shore, you have to catch a boat from Blakeney harbour of Morston quay at high tide to visit the seals on their isolated section of the spit. These boat trips usually last for one hour and give you a unique insight to both the seals and the areas. If you are thinking of visiting we highly recommend booking in advance, particularly in the summer months as these trips are very popular, some of our favourites are Bishop’s Boats and John Bean Boat Trips.

Seals on Blakeney Beach, Norfolk


There are two different ways you can see the seals in Hunstanton. The Sea Life Centre has a seal hospital where they care for injured local seals, nursing them back to health and then releasing them back into the wild. When visiting the centre, you can often attend one of their talks where you can learn about the current residents and even feed them breakfast.

There is also the option to see the seals in the wild here, however unlike Blakeney and Horsey they are not usually on the beach. The best way to see the seals here is to catch a ride on one of the seal safaris which run from May to October. On the trip you will be taken out to The Wash to visit the 3000 common seals, which is one of the largest colonies in the UK.

The Best Places to See Seals in North Norfolk

What is the best time of year to see the seals?

In Norfolk there are over 3000 seal pups born each year. The two different species that visit this region have their young at different times of the year, so nearly every month you will see the seals relaxing, swimming and sunbathing with their young. In June – August common seals have their pups and during October to January grey seals come ashore to have theirs.

The best time to visit in the day is early when the seals are sunbathing in the morning sun, there also tends to be less tourists at this time of day. Ultimately when there are pups the seals will be on the beach at many points during the day to nurse so what time you choose to visit is up to you.

Tips for when you visit the seals

  • Do not feed – as this can affect their diet and health and become dependent on humans.
  • Don’t get too close – never get between the seal and the sea or interfere with a pup, remain at least 20 m away as these are wild animals.
  • Keep your dog on a lead – do not allow your dog too close to the seals or run loose near the colonies, for their safety and the seals.

As you can see there are many different areas where you can visit the seals. Our North Norfolk holiday cottages are conveniently located just a short drive from all of the best areas and other exciting local attractions. For more information about our properties or for any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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