One of the loveliest things we did with the kids during our week away in one of Britain’s most popular holiday destinations was take them to see the Seals at Horsey Gap in Norfolk. Here’s our run down of when to go, what you’ll see and why it’s so good!
Best time to visit the seals at Horsey Gap in Norfolk
The best time to see the seals is in the winter months (November to February). This is the time they come ashore to give birth to their adorable pups.
By February most of the pups have matured to adolescents. However, the numbers of seals on the beaches are still staggering.
Around the Christmas period, when there are the highest number of seal pups on the beach, volunteers from Friends of Horsey Seals are out and about in the car park and along the paths to talk to visitors and give out information about the seals.
What will you see?
November to early January is the best time to see seal pups, although you can see seals at Horsey Gap all the way through February as well. There are two types of seals to be found at Horsey Gap in Norfolk: the Grey seal and the Harbour seal. If you are visiting in the winter months Grey seals will be more dominant group on the beach as they have their babies in the winter. Harbour seals give birth in the summer.
The babies are easy to spot as they are born with fluffy white coats. So, the whiter they are, the younger they are.
When visiting the seals at any time of the year, keep your distance and don’t get too close. If humans get too close to the babies there is a good chance the mothers will abandon them.
Seal pups need the milk from their mums for the first three weeks until they are weaned and their waterproof coat comes through. Then they can get into the water and find their own food.
In the summer months Horsey Gap becomes a great place for a family day out on a gorgeous beach. At this time of the year you will probably have more luck seeing the seals on the more northern shorelines of Norfolk.
We visited in February and we were astounded by the amount of seals there were! There is no limit to the amount of time you can spend on the beach, no restrictions on how far you can walk and no threshold on the amount of photos you can fill your camera up with!
Getting there and car parking to see the seals at Horsey Gap in Norfolk
The postcode for Horsey Gap is NR29 4EJ
There is a pay and display car park at Horsey Gap, but there are no toilet facilities.
The Horsey Gap car park is not sign posted. Putting the postcode in the sat nav got us within the vicinity of the car park, however, we found using Google maps helpful to get us to the actual car park. If you are struggling, it is very close to Poppyland’s Tearooms.
The walk from the car park to the beach is not very long or strenuous. However, it isn’t very buggy or wheelchair friendly. If you are visiting with small children a carrier might be the way to go.
The walk over and around the sand dunes is actually quite exciting. Once you pop over the top the view is well worth the little climb. Some sturdy walking boots might be advisable to make your way over the dunes. However, once you hit the beach you’ll have no problems.
The sand dunes are reinforced by a concrete wall, which means there is quite a jump down to the beach. My husband managed to get the kids down just fine. However, being 27 weeks pregnant there was no way I was jumping any sort of height! This simply meant I had to walk along the top of the dunes till I found some stairs that led down to the beach.
Horsey Gap is one of Norfolk’s little gems and well worth the visit whatever the time of year and weather!