Horsey Beach has all the classic components of a Norfolk beach – large stretches of light coloured sand, sweeping dunes and long grass blowing in the chilly wind. Yet, something extraordinary happens here during the winter months which makes it stand out from neighbouring shores.
Between November and February, as you climb atop the dunes and peer over onto the shoreline, you will be astounded by the hundreds of white, grey, brown and black furry beings lazy around on the sand. It’s pupping season for grey seals! Newborns arrive on Horsey Beach, staying for around six weeks until they’re mature enough to venture onwards.
Having lived in the city of Norwich for over three years, a 40 minute drive from Horsey, I am ashamed to say I never visited the seals during this time. It was only in 2019, when visiting friends over Christmas did the suggestion of checking out the pups come up. I, like many other first time visitors to Horsey, was completely surprised at the sheer number of seals present. According to the latest seal count, there were over 3,000 seals on the beach at the time.
You’ll find seals along every step of the walkway. Volunteers who look out for the seals during this time, set up rope to help guide visitors around the seals as to avoid getting too close and causing distress to them. The pups are so unbelievably cute with their fluffy coats and big eyes. Despite how cuddly they look, visitors must keep their distance.
If you find yourself in Norfolk outside of pupping season, the beaches are still a beautiful spot to visit by themselves. Large stretches of dune studded coastline provide countless scenic routes for both walking and cycling.
For more information on visiting Horsey and the seals in breeding season visit the Friends of Horsey Seals website: https://www.friendsofhorseyseals.co.uk/