Seals at Horsey Mere & Happisburgh Lighthouse

Today we headed to Horsey Mere to see the baby seals up on the beach at Horsey Dunes not too far from  Sea Palling.

It’s a tiny tiny village in North Norfolk but within The Broads, not too far from Great Yarmouth.  During the last census it had only 99 people in 40 households – that small!  The area is a big attraction to Naturalists and Wildlife seekers.  The big attraction is the coast next to the village, known as Horsey Dunes, home to the Grey Seals.  During the month of December & January, the colony heads on the beach to give birth to the seal pups.  Early the season, the Bulls can be seen trying to mate with the females and kill the pups.  Though a Seal Warden told us today to come mid-November to see them be born when there are so many or in the summer, when you can walk among seals.

Ready to go Mum!
I’m ready to see seals with my “goggles”
“No, not my goggles, my noculars”


The first sweet baby seal we saw.
Baby viewing area.  AKA no need to walk far per the Seal Warden, 6 were located here a bit ago
The first baby seal we saw and he was trying to get away from us.

Sleeping upside down
Soren climbing up the side of the dunes.
A Bull sleeping
White sweet one
Amazing beach – a bit like Cape Cod National Seashore.
View to the right.
Spotty Seal – perhaps female?
Two fun ones – I took a bunch of photos of these two as they were the closest
This is my favorite – he is playing peek -a-boo with me.
View of the area.  Loads of unique birds here too.
On the way out a huge puddle – Nils carried Jorinde over it.
Paparazzi Shot from afar.
Look an apple – let me throw it back to Papa.
Action shot of the flying apple.
Horsey Mill

It was such a muddy walk to go from the parking spot to the beach and was about a half mile or so.  We strapped on our Wellies and went to meet the others who were just ahead of us.  Lise, Mark, Vaughn and Morrison had to turn around as it was too muddy and they were not wearing proper shoes.  Poor Jorinde didn’t have proper ones either, but rather her Ugg boots, so we’re hoping she can get them clean again. Naturally due to the mud the stroller could only go so far, so we parked it and put Maebh on Nils’ shoulders for there rest of the way.

Afterwards, the 7 of us headed over to Nelson’s Head Pub.  It was nice time… the guys had a couple beers, and of course, we all shared chips (french fries) and onion rings before making our way up the coast.   I had a laugh at the sign they have up and their note on their website:

We are a free house offering a wide range of beers,  teas… welcome children
and dogs on a lead.  (That’s just the dogs on a lead!)

NEXT STOP HAPPISBURGH – pronounced “Haze-bruh” – Still a bit of a debate on pronunciation but I’m going with what I hear/see on the web.

I really really like Lighthouses and take photos of them all the time so naturally our next stop up the coast was to go view the beautiful Happisburgh Lighthouse.  The Lighthouse is the oldest working light in East Anglia and the ONLY independently run lighthouse in Great Britain. It is maintained and operated entirely by voluntary contributions.  It’s open on some Sundays and Bank Holidays and in the summer – so a return trip is a must.

The area of Happisburgh has made some International news due to beach corrosion and the actual loss of many seaside homes which literally fell into the ocean.  The sandy cliffs have been eroding since the Ice Age but man-made sea defenses installed after 1953 floods slowed the rate of erosion but have been failing since the 1980’s.  In a photo below, you’ll see over 100 homes which were washed way.  It’s really unbelievable and sad too.

In addition, Archaeological excavations on Happisburgh Beach have revealed that ancient humans lived in Britain more than 800,000 year ago – making them the earliest Northern Europeans!  More info and photos about the find can be found by clicking here.

Klagen and Corielle
This house will be gone in the years to come.  No idea how long but there is someone in there as the lights were on!
View from the beach – cliffs which were once full with homes on them.
View of the area where the homes were 20 years ago – 1990’s!!!
View to the left.

Author: Stars Stripes and Mayonnaise

I am an American currently living in the Netherlands. I enjoy snapping photos and blogging along the way about our family’s journey as we moved from USA to the UK for a couple years then onto Ireland for three & half years and now in our next adventure in the Netherlands where the kids and are are learning Dutch. As you can probably tell by the name of the blog “Stars, Stripes & Mayonnaise” our family is half American & half Dutch and if you know one thing about the Dutch is that they LOVE their mayonnaise! I seen ’em do it man, they fuckin‘ drown ’em in it. When I started this blog way when it was to capturing memories of our family – essentially a journal of our family adventures, their love of mayonnaise, my love of photography, D.I.Y., crafting, sea glass hunting and exploring with our two amazing kids.

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