Seal-watching walks

Both grey and common seals can be seen all around the UK coastline. They both spend a lot of time at sea but come ashore to breed during the autumn months. Coastal walks are a great way to see seals, but you can also view then on a boat trip.

Seals are easily scared especially by dogs so please remember to keep a safe distance when they come ashore.

Guidance on viewing seals

When visiting a seal colony please follow the walking routes and keep within the fence lines to avoid stressing the seals out, which can cause pups to be abandoned.

Dogs can cause alarm to seals so are best left at home. If you do bring them then please keep them on short leads.

Please avoid taking your photo with any seals as you may disturb protective females and territorial males, which could result in injury.

Pups are occasionally left by their mothers for short times and this is perfectly normal. The pup may also cry. This may sound distressing even if the seal pup is perfectly fine. The most important thing to remember is to always keep your distance and not approach any seals as this can cause unnecessary stress.

If a seal has a visible injury then please speak to a member of our staff or call the local National Trust property. Please keep your distance and do not attempt to move any seal yourself.

Common seals basking upon rocks at Strangford Lough
Walking trail

Castle Ward, County Down 

This walk explores the waterside, a ruined castle, woodland, an ornamental lake and follies. Visit in autumn for a chance to see Strangford Lough’s resident seals and their newborn pups.

Young, female, grey seal basking on a beach on the Farne Islands in Northumbria
Walking trail

Farne Islands, Northumberland 

The Farnes are home to one of the biggest grey seal colonies in the British Isles. They've been here for at least 800 years, but were hunted for oil and skins for most of that time. Now they're protected, and you can try and spot them during this walk.

A seal pup on the Marloes shoreline
Walking trail

Marloes Peninsula, Pembrokeshire 

A short but spectacular walk around the end of the Marloes Peninsula, with great views and the opportunity to see lots of seal pups in autumn.

Mother and pup
Walking trail

Morte Point, North Devon 

The three-mile stretch of sand at Woolacombe is famous for being one of Devon’s best beaches. This coastal stroll takes you out onto Morte Point at one end of the beach, where you can have fun exploring the ‘stegosaurus back’ rock formations. Take a pair of binoculars as you may see Atlantic grey seals playing near the shore – they need to pop up for air every 15 minutes, so find a spot to settle down and keep a lookout.

Seal pup and mother
Walking trail

Port Quin, Cornwall 

Enjoy a walk that offers breathtaking views, with Stepper Point to the south and Doyden and Tintagel Castles to the north. Keep your eyes peeled for grey seals and peregrine falcons, often seen along on this stretch of coast.

A young grey seal pup on Blakeney Point
Walking trail

St David's Peninsula, Pembrokeshire 

This six mile walk takes you over Wales’ oldest rocks - laid down some 600 million years ago during the pre-Cambrian era. The route also goes past Seal Bay, which lives up to its name in autumn when the pups are being born on the shore.

View seals by boat
lots of seals sitting on a shingle bank along side birds standing and flying around them

Seeing the seals at Blakeney Point 

Seal watching is a favourite pastime in Norfolk and you can visit the seals on Blakeney Point by hopping on a seal boat trip from Morston Quay.