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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Seal watching at Blakeney Point, Norfolk

The Bank Holiday weekend saw us heading to Norfolk. I had checked the weather forecast and it seemed favourable, so off we went on our way to Morston - a small village on Norfolk coast from where regular seal watching trips leave for Blakeney Point. It was a two and a half hours' drive from our place and thankfully the weather was still in our favour as we reached Norfolk. The Summer weather had tempted many towards the coast and Morston Quay was teeming with activity. Some folks had come to spend time on the beach, some to enjoy the coastal wildlife walks and some like us to go seal watching.

Morston Quay has a number of seal trip operators. These trips are very popular, so it is advisable to book your places in advance. We had called up on the day of our visit and reserved two slots. Payment and ticket collection is in person, half an hour before the boat departs from Morston Quay. Most of these seal trip operations are family run businesses with some in the industry for well over 50 years. Some of the popular operators are: Beans Boat Trips, Bishop's Boats, Temples Seal Trips and Ptarmigan Seal Trips. We went with Beans Boat Trips. An information centre at the quay offers more information about the Blakeney National Nature Reserve.

Seal watching at Blakeney Point Norfolk


Seal watching at Blakeney Point Norfolk

Seal watching at Blakeney Point Norfolk

Seal watching at Blakeney Point Norfolk

Seal watching at Blakeney Point Norfolk


Our trip to Blakeney Point was an hour long and we were not disappointed. It was an experience to be remembered - we had never seen wild seals from such close quarters and it was amazing to be able to do that. Two species of seals are found near Blakeney Point - the Common Seal and the Grey Seal. The common seals were in much larger number compared to their grey counterparts and were basking on the sandbanks. The grey seals were more active, swimming around the boats and giving us close views.

The tour guide was great - giving us useful information like how to identify seals correctly, their habits, the timing of their haul-outs (dependant on the tidal cycles) etc. It was an informative and fun trip.

The seals though very agile and fast moving in water are quite slow on land. So, it was easier to photograph the ones resting on the sandbank than the ones who were in the water. Seals are said to be curious by nature but some of them seemed a little more inquisitive than others and appeared to pose for the cameras. It was a fantastic and an unique experience.

Seal watching at Blakeney Point Norfolk

Seal watching at Blakeney Point Norfolk

Seal watching at Blakeney Point Norfolk

Seal watching at Blakeney Point Norfolk

Seal watching at Blakeney Point Norfolk


Seal watching at Blakeney Point Norfolk

Seal watching at Blakeney Point Norfolk

Seal watching at Blakeney Point Norfolk

Seal watching at Blakeney Point Norfolk

Seal watching at Blakeney Point Norfolk

Seal watching at Blakeney Point Norfolk

Seal watching at Blakeney Point Norfolk

Seal watching at Blakeney Point Norfolk

Seal watching at Blakeney Point Norfolk

Seal watching at Blakeney Point Norfolk

Seal watching at Blakeney Point Norfolk


Landings are not allowed on the sandbanks where the seals rest and the boat operators keep their distance from the seals to avoid disturbing them.

If you are in Norfolk, it is definitely worth going on one of these seal watching trips. Check with the seal trip operators about the trip times as these vary based on the tides.

How to get there


Blakeney National Nature Reserve
Morston Quay, Quay Road, Morston, Norfolk, NR25 7BH

Tips and other useful information


- Reserve your places on the seal trips in advance.
- Pay & display parking is available at Morston Quay (free for National Trust members - others pay £4.00 per car).
- A small refreshment kiosk is there at Morston Quay but you could get a picnic.
- Check at the Information Centre about guided wildlife walks.
- If you are heading out on the seal trip, carry a waterproof jacket as the sea can be choppy.
- Don't forget your camera and binoculars.

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4 comments :

  1. wow, looks like such an amazing day out! I would so love to do this one day, must send this article to my hubby so he can see :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, they are such beautiful photos! I think I went on this trip once, a very long time ago. A lovely day out, and a very inspiring post, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is a fab article, I really enjoyed reading it thank you!

    ReplyDelete

 
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