Visit Baby Seal Pups at Donna Nook in Nov & Dec

Posted on 27th October 2023

Baby seal pup with its mother at Donna Nook

Baby seal pup with its mother at Donna Nook © Ruth Taylor, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.

Grey seals return every year during November and December in large numbers to the Donna Nook National Nature Reserve on the east coast in Lincolnshire and give birth to their pups right next to the sand dunes.

The Grey seals return to Donna Nook every year during November and December to give birth to their baby pups.

The total number of baby pups born during the November and December 2023 birthing season was 2,207 baby seal pups born at Donna Nook in Lincolnshire, the very last pup was born on 21st December 2023.  So the viewing season has now ended.

However, the seals will return to Donna Nook during November and December 2024 in their thousands so now is the time to arrange your visit and to stay here at Greetham Retreat.

Cow seal with her pup at Donna Nook

Baby seal pup at Donna Nook © Ruth Taylor, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust

Further Information about the Seals at Donna Nook.

The seals at Donna Nook are very close to the public viewing areas, that sometimes you feel that you can almost touch them (however, this is not recommended, and they are on the other side of a safety fence). PLEASE DO NOT FOR GET TO TAKE YOUR CAMERA AS SOME GREAT PHOTOS ARE GUARANTEED!


You can find lots of useful information on visiting Donna Nook including parking charges, weekly pup count and Visitor Guidelines on the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust website:

If you plan to visit Donna Nook in 2024 do not delay and plan your midweek or weekend short break now, you can stay with us at Greetham Retreat Holiday Cottages which is one of Lincolnshire’s premier award-winning self-catering establishments.  We have several holiday cottages available to suit your needs and accept bookings of 3 or more nights all year round.

View our pet friendly holiday cottages in Lincolnshire → by clicking here

For those with a Touring Caravan or Motorhome, we can offer five level hard-standing all-weather pitches with 16amp electric hook ups, shower and WC, on our Exclusive Caravan and Motorhome Club CL site which is fully equipped and is open all year round.

View our Touring Caravan Site in Lincolnshire → by clicking here

Greetham Retreat is within an easy travelling distance of Donna Nook and is also near to the Horncastle, Louth, Woodhall Spa and the historic city of Lincoln which is only a 30 minutes’ drive away. Greetham Retreat provides an ideal base, as it is centrally located within Lincolnshire making it ideal for visiting may attractions throughout the county as well as Donna Nook.

Donna Nook is a fantastic place to visit when staying at Greetham Retreat and you will be able to get up really very close and personal with this magnificent colony of grey seals with their lovely pups throughout November and December. The pups (baby seals) are so very photogenic too, so please do not forget to bring your camera!

Sign 'To the Seals' at Donna Nook

Sign “To the seals” pointing to the safe public viewing walkway at Donna Nook © Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.

It is very busy when visiting at weekends, if you are able, we recommend that you visit at during midweek to see this spectacle with many hundreds of pups born at Donna Nook each year. Britain’s population of grey seals is of international conservation importance.

Please remember when you are visiting Donna Nook to follow the Visitor Guidelines: – Stay within the viewing area behind the fence – No dogs (leave them in your car on the car parks) – Don’t get too close to the seals – Never feed or pet the seals – No unaccompanied children – Strictly observe all red flag and other bombing range warnings – Please be considerate when visiting: park only in designated areas – If possible, visit during the week. At weekends, the narrow lanes and car park get very congested

If you choose to visit Donna Nook during the first full weekend in December, you could also visit the famous Lincoln Christmas Market which takes place over the 1st weekend in December each year. Greetham Retreat is about halfway between Donna Nook and the City of Lincoln.

All about Donna Nook Breeding Seal Colony Donna Nook is home to over 3000 Grey seals at certain times of the year. For most of the year, the grey seals at the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trusts’ Donna Nook National Nature Reserve are at sea or hauled out on distant sandbanks.

Seal Pup at Donna Nook

Seal pup at Donna Nook © Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust

Every November and December, these seals give birth to their pups near the sand dunes, a wildlife spectacle which attracts thousands of visitors from all over the UK.

Stay at Greetham Retreat self-catering holiday cottages in the Lincolnshire & visit Donna Nook

Meeting lots of seals at Donna Nook is guaranteed, as this is effectively a seal maternity hospital.

Large bull seals arrive at Donna Nook in early November, coming ashore to set up territories and wait for the females to arrive. Cow seals arrive shortly after and are herded into harems by the bulls, where they give birth to a single creamy-coloured pup. These young pups are suckled for three weeks during which time their weight will almost triple, and they will gradually lose their pale coat.

Once pups are weaned, the females become available for mating giving rise to much competition among the bulls. Each bull will try to hold his harem against all the challengers. Fights can be vicious and bloody. The action peaks about mid-December. By the end of January, it’s all over and the seals are back out at sea.

Donna Nook is only a short drive (about 35 minutes) from Greetham Retreat luxury self-catering holiday cottages. Our accommodation is modern, stylish and uncluttered, they can accommodate between 1 to 4 people in each of our cottages.

There is so much else to see and do in the area or just take the opportunity to relax and chill at our wonderful country retreat. Our Cottages @ Greetham Retreat in the Lincolnshire Wolds.

Please view your preferred holiday cottage on this website and just check the Availability Calendar for your chosen cottage, then just complete the on-line booking form to secure your accommodation here at Greetham Retreat Holiday Cottages in Lincolnshire.

Greetham Retreat Holidays

Award-winning holiday retreat in the heart of the Lincolnshire Wolds offering high quality luxury self-catering holiday cottage accommodation and 5 pitches on a small touring caravan site.  Centrally located in Lincolnshire, perfect for exploring the county.  Within easy reach of the seaside with wide sandy beaches and the market towns of Horncastle, Louth, Spilsby, Alford or the City of Lincoln.

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