Seal Spotting – Donna Nook, Lincolnshire

donna-nookWhat’s it like? This dramatic 10km stretch of Lincolnshire coastline, between Grainthorpe Haven in the north and Saltfleet in the south, is comprised of sand dunes, unusual dune ridges, intertidal areas and mudflats. Thousands of people flock here each year as it’s a breeding ground for one of the largest populations of grey seals in England.

What can I see? Winter is the perfect time to go seal spotting. Every November and December, pregnant seals come to the dunes to give birth and the mother and bull seals later breed again on the beaches.

You can safely witness the miracle of seal reproduction from a viewing area inside the reserve. This time of year the area is also home to whooper swans, the festive sounding Lapland longspur – a large sparrow-like bird with a chestnut nape – and snow buntings

Distance: Around 10km.

How long does it take? A stunning circular walk takes you along the coast and then into the countryside. You’ll stroll through the villages of Grainthorpe and North Somercotes before returning to the reserve car park. It takes about three hours at a good pace, with plenty of stops to coo over seals.

Getting there: Public transport is not an option, but there is plenty of parking. A small car park at Stonebridge is the most convenient for seal watchers.

Refreshments: A catering van in the car park provides hot drinks and refreshments. Or wait until you reach Grainthorpe to recharge at the Black Horse Inn.