Seal Watching at Horsey Gap
There’s something very beautiful about getting out on a bright, clear Winter’s day, wrapping yourself up against the bite of the wind and walking until your cheeks are glowing pink. The Norfolk coast is the perfect place for wending your way through tufty sand dunes, filling your lungs with the cold, coastal air and spotting some of the local wildlife too.
Ok so it’s a little more Vitamin Sea than it is Vitamin D but there’s nothing quite like it to blast the cobwebs away.
Between roughly October and February time the beaches along various parts of the Norfolk coast fill up with seal colonies as they make their way out of the tumult of the North Sea to come ashore and give birth to their pups. Horsey Gap is one of the more accessible places to get a good view of the annual event.
The banks of sand, fringed by Marram grass, create the perfect viewing platform to stroll along without interfering with what’s going on below; nobody wants to get chased by an angry seal Mumma!
Having said that, Horsey has become such a popular destination for people and seals alike that there is a group of volunteers, The Friends of Horsey Seals, who mark out walkways along the dunes and have seal wardens on hand to ensure that visitors and seals remain at a respectful distance from each other at all times.
Even when strolling over the tops of the dunes, be mindful that seals don’t pay much attention to roped off areas and may find themselves a cosy shelter regardless of the footfall during the day.
There was nothing but a few fronds of grass separating this cheeky chappy and the entourage of admirers that had braved the cold that day.
Once you’ve managed to tear yourself away from the roar of the waves and the stark, unending horizon of the North Sea you can meander through the dunes; keeping an eye out for relics of local history nestled amongst the spikes of the beach grass.
A World War Two Pillbox, used as a lookout and defence post against invasion on the East Coast.