There are some times in life when a wild creature makes us stop in our tracks – and at this time of year it’s definitely the turn of the grey seals!
We must confess that sometimes in Cornwall we take for granted swimming in the same waters as the seals, and there are a few well known characters that pop up in harbours such as St Ives. But it is as we make our way into autumn that we get to really marvel at these creatures as breeding season begins!
This means that coves where you may normally spot one or two in summer can suddenly fill with the sights, sounds and smells(!) of over 100 parents and pups.
Here is a little selection of our favourite places/ways to catch a glimpse of these beauties:
Mutton Cove, Godrevy
A short walk from the Godrevy car park this cove can’t be accessed by humans so provides a safe breeding ground – but with your voice kept low you can peek over the fence down into the cove and at low tide can sometimes see nearly 200 seals!
St Ives Seal Island boat trip
Operating from St Ives harbour you can pop on a boat and whizz round the peninsula to visit seal island. Rumour has it they used to fill sacks which they put on the island as fake seals when they didn’t think there would be any real ones around! They definitely don’t anymore thankfully.
Mermaid boat trip, Penzance
If you fancy a boat trip to see seals on the other coast then the Mermaid in Penzance is the one to try!
High Cliff, near Boscastle
The view from Cornwall's highest cliff which stands at 735ft (223m) high can often include seals. They are sometimes accompanied by basking sharks and dolphins too!
The journey down the winding access road to Porthgwarra is not for the nervous drivers, but the tiny cove at the end is worth the challenge! Here seals can be seem bobbing around most of the year, and accompanying the giant sunfish when the sea is a bit warmer…