Yep. There are really.
On both the Kent and Essex coasts there are growing colonies of seals.
And you can go out on a boat and visit them!
We went to see the seals at half term and I can’t recommend enough.
The seal trips are mostly 90 minutes to 2 hours.
So you really can visit the seals as a family day trip from London.
Or as part of a long weekend.
These are the details for visiting the seals in both Essex and Kent.
Seal Trips Near London
1. Seal Trips in Essex
There are a number of seal colonies along the Essex coast.
Both in the River Crouch and Roach estuary near Burnham-on-Crouch.
And on Hamford Water at Walton-on-the-Naze – aka Secret Water of Swallows & Amazons fame!
Both colonies include grey seals and harbour seals.
Although the Secret Water seals are turned red by the fossil full iron rocks of the Naze!
We went out on Secret Water with ex-fisherman Tony Haggis who is fantastic!
He doesn’t have anything so fancy as a website you just call him on 07806 309460 to book.
And he will let you into the secrets of this amazing bit of the British coast.
When the sea’s out, it’s all marsh and mudflat.
When the sea comes in, it’s a vast salt water lagoon.
Tony takes you pretty slowly across the water and there are soon bobbing seal heads to be seen.
But the main colony of over 70 seals is up in the back waters.
Almost exactly at the spot the Swallows & Amazons marked seals on their map 80 years ago!
If you’ve not seen seals before, they are the most beautiful creatures.
With their great liquid eyes, curiosity and wonderfully characterful faces.
Walton-on-the-Naze is only 90 minutes from Liverpool Street on the train.
The seal trips leave from the big Titchmarsh Marina about 1 and a half miles from the station.
We actually stayed for a couple of days near the seals.
Camping in the lovely little Grange Farm campsite at Thorp-le-Soken.
And discovering the enormous stretch of golden sand which is Frinton beach.
I can totally recommend a trip to Frinton and Secret Water.
But the seal trips on the Crouch and Roach are also meant to be fantastic.
Charter Discovery run both general wildlife and seal trips throughout the summer.
And if you make a weekend of it, Burnham-on-Crouch is an attractive little sailing hub.
And the Dengie peninsular a big wild nature reserved scattered with old villages.
2. Seal Trips in Kent
Never to be outdone by Essex, Kent also has seal colonies.
And seal trips.
The main colony is around Pegwell Bay between Broadstairs and Ramsgate.
Sea Searcher Seal Tours offer seal trips from Ramsgate.
Direct trains from St Pancras and Victoria to Ramsgate take between 80 minutes and 2 hours.
Ramsgate often gets neglected by us day trippers to Whistable, Broadstairs and Margate.
The seals are a perfect excuse for a trip!
So there you go!
Everything you need to know about visiting wild seals near London.
You just need to remember all the seal trips near London depend on the tides.
So you do need to check dates and times. And book ahead.
I hope you have a wonderful if you visit the seals. Do let me know about your trip.
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