Say hello to the seal pups at Donna Nook.

What’s better than a trip abroad exploring a new place? A little roadtrip in your home country to explore a new place, of course. Travelling isn’t all about getting on a plane after all. And now that I’m living up north there are load of new places to go.

Last weekend the boyfriend took me on a little surprise trip across the Humber Bridge to Lincolnshire. Not knowing where we were heading, I sat there quietly looking out the window, eyeing up little villages and country pubs, compiling a mental list of more places to visit.

And then, after what seemed the longest drive ever, we arrived, greeted by one of the strangest sights I’ve ever seen…


Hundreds and hundreds of big blubbery seals were sprawled out on the shrubby dunes of the Lincolnshire beach, basking in the chilly December sun. If it wasn’t for the grunts and moans coming from the shoreline, the motionless lumps could easily have been mistaken for dead bodies.


The boyfriend had brought me to Donna Nook, a nature reserve famous for being a breeding ground for Britain’s grey seals.

The reserve covers over 6.25 miles of coastline, between Grainthorpe Haven in the north and Saltfleet in the south. However, as the Ministry of Defence still maintains part of the area as a bombing target range, only the seal viewing area is accessible.

For most of the year the grey seals at the Donna Nook nature reserve are at sea or hauled out on distant sandbanks. But every winter the seals give birth to their pups near the sand dunes: a wildlife spectacle which attracts visitors from all over the UK.

The viewing area – which is open from late October through to the end of December – at the foot of the sand dunes, reduces disturbance to the seals, while also making sure visitors are safe from the massive mammals.


Don’t be fooled by their puppy dog eyes and snuffling snouts…

Seals are very large, powerful predators. Despite their fat, lazy-looking bodies, they can move surprisingly fast and, having teeth similar to a dog, can inflict a nasty bite – including the pups (as this video of a pup I got too close to shows!).


Mothers can be very protective of their pups, and the big male bulls can be aggressive towards babies during the breeding season. Protecting her baby, we witnessed one mummy seal barking loudly at a bull, despite him being a lot bigger than her.


Though you’ll want to hug and squeeze the seal babies, we learnt it’s very important not to touch them. Aside from their vicious bite, a mother seal may abandon her pup if it smells of humans or dogs, so don’t lean over the fencing to touch one, however squishy they look.


The first seal pup for 2016 was born on 24 October, and to date 1,878 babies have been born on the dunes. To find out more about the seals, directions to the reserve and information for visitors, go to the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust website.

It was a lovely surprise, and amazing to see so many seals in one place. My highlight was capturing this little determined guy on video (it still has me giggling now).

To round the weekend off, we stopped for a Sunday roast at my favourite pub, The Stag’s Head Inn in Lelley, before settling in front of the telly to watch Planet Earth II (feeling like mini Attenboroughs ourselves after getting up close with the seals).

37 thoughts on “Say hello to the seal pups at Donna Nook.

  1. I can remember visiting Blakely Point in Norfolk to see the seals when I was about 10 or 11 and absolutely loving it! They’re such inquisitive, adorable animals. I’m jealous you got so close!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I would love to visit here just to see the seals up close. They are super adorable and yes they do look squishy. Too bad they aren’t as nice as they look! Great photos for the seals!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I didn’t know they’re predators! They look so cute, calm and laid back. I would’ve wanted to stroke one but now I can see that isn’t really a good idea. That’s a lot of seals, and they do look like dead bodies sprawled across, motionless like that! And to think they’d attack you if you go too close, with those sharp teeth. Argh..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Those eyes though. That is totally awesome that he knew about that donna nook reserve to take you up there to see the seal pups. Though I too have read that they can be rather mean and territorial so I am glad you got to visit with them while still being safe! Love the spotted one the most!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The seal pups are absolutely adorable! So many seals in one area; I think I will need to visit Donna Nook and see this myself! I had no idea that the seals could move fast and bite. Can’t beat a Sunday Roast! : )

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Haha I love how you call Lincolnshire being up north πŸ˜› Being from Nottingham and just across from Lincolnshire, I can say it’s the midlands πŸ˜› Although I guess for anybody from London anything above Melton Keynes is the north πŸ˜› – Anyways getting back to your post, I thought the only beach that way was good ol’ Skeggy (Skegness) I didn’t actually know about the seal nature reserve up there but I think I may have to pay it a visit πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha for a southerner like me, anything above the M25 is north! And trust me, there are plenty more (and nicer) beaches are there than Skeg, though the Skegness Seal Sanctuary is very cute if you’re up that way x


  7. awww. they looks so cute..honestly i never knew they are predator..they are too adorable for that no…hehe…so glad you could see them from so up and close..we saw seals in antarctica..resting, chilling, sun them

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s