Boat trips to see the seals from Wells-next-the-Sea
Seal watching at Blakeney Point is one of the “must-do” experiences for visitors to Wells. Observe the common and grey seals – and their pups – basking on the shore in their natural environment. Boat trips run throughout the year from Blakeney and Morston Quay, just a few minutes along the coast road.
With some of the largest colonies of common and grey seals in the UK, the Norfolk coast is an ideal place to set off for a spot of seal watching. Blakeney Point is home to England’s most successful breeding colony, with over 2,500 pups born annually.
Blakeney Point is part of the Blakeney National Nature Reserve managed by the National Trust, who have an information kiosk on Morston Quay. You can read more about Blakeney Point Reserve and the work of the Trust on the National Trust website.
The recommended way to view the seals is by boat trip from Morston Quay. During breeding season the pupping area is fenced off with no access for visitors, giving the seals space to give birth and to raise their pups. It is possible to walk but at six miles there and back across loose shingle, and with no facilities, it is not recommended.
If you want to see seal pups, the best times to visit are November, December and January for grey seals, and June, July and August for common seals.
Four companies currently operate boat trips to see the seals, the trips last between 1 and 2 hours, and booking ahead is strongly advised. Blakeney Point is an important birdwatching site, and the crews will provide information on other sights of interest on the outward and return parts of the trip.
Well behaved dogs are generally allowed on the boats provided they are kept on short leads at all times. The boats are not covered or enclosed – this provides the best seal viewing, but means you will be exposed to the elements, and trips may operate in all weather conditions except high winds, so wear sensible clothing.
Beans Boats have 50 years experience of operating in Blakeney Harbour, and currently run five custom ferries. Plenty of time is spent getting in close to provide photo opportunities and inquisitive seals will frequently pop out around the boat. Time and tide allowing there is an optional landing on Blakeney Point before returning to Morston.
Trips run every day from 1st April until 31st October, and regularly throughout the winter.
The Temple family have been operating boat trips for well over 60 years, and currently have two larger ferries and one small 12-seater for use during busy times. The boats will take you out to Blakeney Harbour, with the fully qualified crew on board able to share their local knowledge.
On the way home there is a chance to land on Blakeney Point when the tide allows, with time to walk to the iconic old Lifeboat house.
Temples Seal Trips
Established in 1965, Bishops Boats originally ran from Blakeney Harbour to Blakeney Point, but now depart from Morston Quay. Two custom-built wooden boats and one smaller boat operate daily trips from April through to October only. Tickets need to be collected from Blakeney Quay no later than 30 minutes before sailing time.
There are no landings on Blakeney Point, so more time is spent viewing seals from the water. Trips last around 1 hour.
A family-run, local business offering daily boat trips on the traditional clinker built ferry boat “Ptarmigan”. Tickets can be purchased and must be collected at Blakeney Quay in advance of sailing times. Departure is from Morston Quay.