Emergency

If you see any wildlife in difficulty please contact FoHS - 07706 314514 or the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999

Your visit

Planning your visit

All the information you need to know about planning your visit. Disclaimer - FoHS does not own either site. Whereas we do all we can to ensure the safety of visitors to the site, the charity does not accept responsibility for accidents or injury suffered by visitors or loss or damage to their property.

Where to find us


Horsey Gap

Horsey is a quiet village with just about 100 residents. Traffic on the village roads increases during the summer season but residents traditionally expected the quiet life to return when the summer ended. In recent years this changed and now around 70,000 visitors come to Horsey between November and January to see the grey seals and their pups.

Horsey Gap grid reference - TG464242
Crinkle Gap grid reference - TG473233

Winterton Beach

Winterton on Sea is an unspoilt seaside village not far from Horsey. The traffic and visitors increase during the winter months as the seals have now started giving birth on the beach.

Winterton Beach Grid Reference TG498197

The Horsey site

Sand dunes, reinforced by a concrete wall, separate the sandy beaches of north-east Norfolk from a low-lying landscape of fields, waterways and villages which links to the Broads National Park. Well drained and warmed by the sun the dunes provide shelter for a variety of plants, insects and small animals, and nesting sites for birds and other creatures. The dunes at Horsey include areas designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), and connect with the National Nature Reserve at Winterton Dunes. The National Coast Path, managed by Natural England, and maintained locally by Norfolk Trails (a section of Norfolk County Council), follows the coastline here and is indicated by fingerposts and local information boards.

Horsey beach

In summer Horsey Beach is a magnet for families looking for unspoilt quiet beaches. In winter a voluntary beach closure is operated while grey seals give birth to their pups (November to January). From Horsey Gap car park marked paths on the dunes lead to the best places to watch the seal rookery without disturbing the seals. Friends of Horsey Seals (FoHS) volunteers are on hand at weekends and daily throughout the Christmas/New Year holiday period to help visitors and talk to them about the seals – look for their yellow high-visibility vests.

Winterton Beach

Winterton beach is miles upon miles of sandy beach. Winterton Dunes are a national nature reserve, a haven for birdwatchers and wildlife with little terns and seal colonies.

Car parking

Car parking at Horsey Gap Beach Car Park is contracted by the Buxton estate to East Anglia Parking Services (EAPS) and is entirely separate from FoHS. There is ample pay-and-display car parking at Horsey Gap and at Horsey Mill. Horsey Mill is managed by the National Trust (NT) and also has public toilets (open on some days during the winter) and a shop and café (check NT website for opening times). Parking at Winterton can be found at the top of the road near the dunes café. Please do not park on the road leading to the beach as this causes blockages and congestion

Toilet Facilities

There are no toilet facilities at Horsey Gap car park or elsewhere on the site. Toilets and car parking are available for customers of Poppylands Tearooms, and Horsey’s Nelson Head Public House, both close to the site. There's public toilets opposite the Dunes Café at Winterton

Photographing Wildlife

There are excellent opportunities for photographers at Horsey & Winterton whether your interest is in getting pictures of grey or common seals during the winter months, or wild birds, flowers, and butterflies in season. Visitors are reminded that the welfare of the subject is more important than the photograph.

Dogs

Dogs are welcome but please remember that you are responsible for cleaning up after them. There is a dog waste disposal bin in Horsey Gap car park. Do not allow dogs on to the beach where there are seals. Use a close lead to keep your dog safe. Seals are protective of their pups and will bite if a dog approaches. Also be aware that seals may be in the dunes.

Lone Seals

It is not unusual to come across a pup which appears to be on its own. Females will leave their pup to refresh themselves in the sea. They usually remain close by and return to the pup after a short absence. If you are concerned about a pup that appears injured or unwell please advise a seal warden of your concerns. Your report will be passed to FoHS volunteers who will monitor the pup and take action for care if it is considered necessary.

Responsible Seal Watching

Helpful tips for responsible seal viewing
Natural England Norfolk Coastal Partnership