Basking about in Blakeney Point

In the UK many activities for messing about in boats shut down over the winter-months, so it’s always wonderful to discover boating activities that are open year-round. Even better when they combine nature-at-its-very-best with the joy of being on a boat. A seal trip out of Blakeney Point does this very well.

Blakeney Point is a 4 mile spit of sand and shingle made by many years of longshore drift, is a National Nature Reserve and also an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).  It is a popular area for sailors, paddle-boarders birdwatchers and of course… seals.  Blakeney Point is home to the England’s biggest seal colony and is made up of both Common and Grey seals.

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Observing seals by boat from Blakeney Point.

These seals are best observed by boats since their breeding grounds aren’t accessible by foot. Common seals have their young between June and August and the Greys between November and January.

The seals are very inquisitive and often pop up and swim around the boats which can usually sail close to the basking seals on the beach which gives a great opportunity for taking pictures.

seal_trip_blakeney_pointGrey seals are the larger of the two species, with large speckles on their coats and longer pointed heads with parallel nostrils. The Common seals have a more rounded face with ‘v’ shaped nostrils.

Trips go from Blakeney harbour and Morston quay, usually lasting about an hour, or two in the summer when the boats might land if tides and light make it permissible.

beans_boat_trips_blakeney_pointThere are 3 main operators offering seal trips from Blakeney Point these being Temples Seal Trips, Beans Boats or Bishops Boats.

We went with Temples Seal Trips since they were the first to answer the phone, so what follows relates specifically to Temples. Although I got the impression the other operators’ offerings weren’t too dissimilar. Tickets can invariably be purchased from the nearby local pubs, but booking in advance over the phone is advised, as is arriving 20 mins or so before your boat is due to leave. The seal trips are highly dependant on the state of the tide (they leave on a rising tide) so timetables for all operators will change around time schedules.

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Seal trips are wheel-chair friendly. Special care is taken for all passengers.

The level of service we received from the staff at Temples was exceptional. Special care is taken to provide all-inclusive attention to all passengers on their tours. In particular they’ll make sure anyone with less-strong sea-legs are helped into the boat first (kids, elderly & disabled are all welcome). Then everyone else is helped aboard.

A thorough safety walk-through is then delivered to all, with a good splattering of humour along the way to make everyone feel at ease.  

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Our tour guide was super-knowledgable about, seals, Blakeney and the surrounding area. His repertoire of jokes was equally impressive.

A remarkable water side tour of Blakeney Point then follows with detailed description of the basking seals on the spit, surrounding birdlife and other nature, history of the spit and the old lifeboat station and of course… many, many more jokes from our friendly tour-guide. 

Highly recommended day out and suitable for all the family!

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