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St Brides Castle

Pembrokeshire, Wales

Pembrokeshire grey seals

Posted by Luci Ackers on Nov 18, 2016
Pembrokeshire grey seals

It's seal season!


The wild, rocky coastline of Pembrokeshire is home to all sorts of marine animals. As the autumn turns into winter it is the perfect time to go grey seal spotting. These large mammals favour this part of the Atlantic coastline during their annual mating season and will often 'haul out' from around September or October. So as you're walking the coastline, keep your eyes peeled!

Grey seals

It is estimated that almost 50% of the world's population of grey seals live in UK waters. And Pembrokeshire is home to about 5,000 of them. The mating season kicks off in the autumn and the adults will bring themselves in to shore, usually to rocky outcroppings, for pupping from late September onwards. You'll begin to see the first seal pups appearing usually from October and the season sometimes continues right through to January.

Seal pups are born with soft white fluff and large dark eyes. After about a month they'll be developing their darker, waterproof adult coats and will take to the seas to learn how to fish for themselves. You'll be able to see their heads bobbing up and down in the waves off shore.

Image courtesy of Jackie Grey who saw these two during her holiday to St. Brides.

How to see them

From St. Brides you are in a prime location to find these characterful animals. You are just a short distance from the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, which will guide you around the west coast of Pembrokeshire, overlooking the dramatic cliffs and stunning beaches of the National Park. The long-distance Pembrokeshire Coast Path is 186 miles long, but you can pick it up at any point and walk for as long as you wish. Find out all about the National Trail on the website.

While you walk, keep a look out along the bottom of cliffs and on secluded beaches. St. Davids, for example, is a good place to spot the seals. Or you could head out to one of the little islands that lie a short distance off the coast; Skomer, Skokholm and Ramsey are all regular breeding grounds for the seals.

Boat trips depart year round and you can find a list of them on the Visit Pembrokeshire website here:

Alternatively, find out how to stay at St. Brides yourself by entering your details at the bottom of the page.

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Luci Ackers
Author: Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.

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