With Christmas cabin fever taking hold I decided that we needed to get out and blow the cobwebs away. After stalking Rock ‘n’ Roller Baby on her Instastories I spied that she’d been to Horsey to see the seals with her family. The perfect way to get outdoors and see some wildlife at the same time.
Despite living just down the road in Great Yarmouth for many years I’m ashamed to admit that I’d never taken the children to Horsey or to see the seals. Nevertheless, New Year’s Eve sounded like the perfect time to correct this. I packed up our wellies, loaded the care with a picnic and headed over to Horsey Gap.
Making the journey over from Norwich to Horsey was easy. Although there was more traffic on the country roads than I had imagined. I’d asked Ruth (RnRB) the day before about the farm car park she had mentioned on her stories, however, I wasn’t able to find this so parked in the main Horsey Beach car park (£3 charge – which I didn’t think was too bad).
Let’s go find the Horsey seals
With this being our first visit to Horsey Gap, it was wonderful to see the area so well signposted. With little quiz plaques dotted along the walk to the viewpoints, which the children loved. As well as helpful volunteers from the Friends of Horsey Seals to point people in the right direction or answer any questions.
Given that Piglet was toddling along and stopping at every puddle we opted for the short route down to the beach. Whilst the section that we visited wasn’t the best vantage point, we were treated to a look over the beach at the seal colony. Looking out to see adult seals and their pups, with Piglet declaring ‘aww, so cute!’.
Friends of Horsey Seals
The community group known as Friends of Horsey Seals was inaugurated in late 2011 to take over management of a project set up in 2002/3 by Natural England and the Broads Authority. The project aims to protect grey seals at Horsey, Norfolk, particularly during the late autumn and winter, when they give birth and mate. The charity’s volunteers are also involved throughout the year in the rescue of seals that are sick or in distress.
- To increase knowledge, understanding and appreciation of grey seals.
- To work with land owners, agencies and the local community to increase protection of the grey seal colony.
- To operate and manage an effective seal warden scheme.
Top tips for visiting the Horsey Seals
- Warm, preferably waterproof clothing is a must. We were lucky with the weather in that it wasn’t cold enough for hats and gloves but have these in the car just in case
- Sensible footwear is advised as much of the terrain is on the sand dunes. I’d recommend wellies as they will keep your feet dry when negotiating the puddles along the trails.
- Pack a picnic to enjoy in the car after your visit, the perfect way to warm up and refuel at the same time. There is a refreshments stall available in the main car park should you opt for a bacon putty etc.
- There are no toilets available on site, the nearest being a Horsey Windpump. So ensure you have completed a toilet run before you arrive.
- Bring £10 cash with you to sign up to become a member of the Friends of Horsey Seals. It’s an annual subscription and covers everyone in your household. A relatively small donation, but helps with the overheads that the charity faces throughout the year.
What did you get up to on the last day of the year?