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Seals at Ravenscar, Visit the Ravenscar Seal Colony

Here’s all you need to know about the Ravenscar seal colony and how you can visit them safely.

It’s not a surprise that the North Yorkshire Coast is home to an abundance of wildlife. Just a short walk along the coastline and you’re very likely to see an amazing array of seabirds such as puffins, gulls, cormorants and northern gannets. Both common and grey seal colonies thrive beneath the cliffs here. If you’re lucky you can even see whales (minke, fin, sei, pilot and humpbacks), porpoise and dolphins in this area too. Although you will probably have to hop on a boat trip to witness those. 

Ravenscar Seal Colony

The North Yorkshire Coast’s pride and joy is its Ravenscar seal colony. In this article, you can learn more about the colony and how you can visit them safely without causing a disturbance. 

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The Ravenscar seal colony

Seal On Ravenscar Beach

Incredibly, there are over 300 seals in the colony living on the rocky beach at the foot of Ravenscar. The majority of the grey seal colony can be spotted further out on the large flat rock furthest away from the beach. If you take a pair of binoculars you can get a good look and watch them in their natural habitat – what a wonderful thing to see. Some of the seals will lounge on the beach right where the below route brings you out and you may spot some in the sea too. Both grey and common seals are found here, common seals are actually the less numerous of the two resident UK seal species. In Yorkshire, you are lucky enough to get to see both species.

How to visit the Ravenscar seal colony

Grey Seal On Ravenscar Beach

You can get a brilliant view of the seal colony at Ravenscar from the foot of the cliff, which is directly below the Ravenhall Hotel. You will spot the seals lounging around on the rocky beach. We do not advise that you get too close to the seal colony, after all, they chose this quiet spot for a reason! 

This route boasts a high vantage point that shows off spectacular views along the coast to Robin Hood’s Bay. The walk from Ravenscar to Robin Hood’s Bay is very popular. Ravenscar is on the Cleveland Way and also the Whitby to Scarborough Cinder Track.

Please be cautious and careful if you choose to visit the Ravenscar seal colony, always keep your distance to minimise disturbance to the seals. We recommend that you observe the seals from a distance using binoculars to minimise the disturbance to the seals

If you have driven, start your seal and wildlife spotting adventure by parking up in Ravenscar village there is ample on-street parking here. Be wary that in Summer it can get very busy. From there head towards the National Trust shop, to the right of this shop you’ll see a rocky track that leads you down onto the Ravenhall Golf Course. When you’re a few hundred meters down the track you will come across a wooden signpost that directs you across the grass and over to the cliff edge. From here you can follow the path down to the beach. The walk is tricky and can often be very slippy. The walk back up is quite strenuous it’s an uphill climb, so make sure to take this into account. 

Saftey for you and the seals

Grey Seal Pup On Ravenscar Beach

The last section on this route toward the beach is tricky and can get very slippy, please take caution and make sure to wear appropriate footwear. We do not advise this route for those with mobility issues, very young children or prams. If you’re up for an adventure, a whole lotta mud, the odd scramble and climb. This route will reward you! As always, make sure you check the tide times before visiting, the whole beach floods at high tide here.

Give seals space

Grey seal pups are born in November, common seal pups are born in June and July. Sadly, many die when their mums get majorly disturbed or disturbed by dogs, meaning they then abandon their pups. The pups also become very distressed by dogs. The nearest distance to a seal should be extended to around 50 metres if there are pups around. We advise that you simply do not take your dog on this adventure. Take a pair of binoculars and a decent camera instead and you will get a great view.

Visit The Yorkshire Seal Group

Visit The Yorkshire Seal Group, a team of passionate volunteers who are committed to helping protect and preserve iconic grey and common seal populations. Here you can learn more about these incredible animals and the work that they do for them. 

Help save the seals
You can learn more about the seals around the Yorkshire Coast at Sea Life Scarborough. They have a seal hospital, which rehabilitates injured seals from the area.

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