Seal Watching at Flamborough Outer Headland

seal watching at Flamborough Outer Headland

We recently visited Yorkshire for the very first time, with the main reason being to enjoy the wonderful coastline and wildlife that come to it. We had heard that puffins and other amazing seabirds could be seen at Bempton Cliffs and then through some research we realised that we could see the grey seals at Flamborough too and, that you can even do both locations in one day! I have already written about our visit to Bempton Cliffs so now here is how we got on seal watching at Flamborough Outer Headland.

About Flamborough Outer Headland

Flamborough Outer Headland is a place of stunning natural beauty and abundant wildlife and due to this, in 2002 it was declared a Local Nature Reserve. With its dramatic white chalk cliffs and breathtaking views of the North Sea, it makes the ideal spot for spotting a variety of seabirds like puffins and kittiwakes. The headland’s rugged terrain, with its caves and arches carved by centuries of erosion, adds to its overall wild charm. This area is not just about the birds, though – grey seals are easy to see along the shore, delighting visitors with their playful antics.

With the historic Flamborough Head Lighthouse standing tall here since the 19th century, Flamborough Outer Headland combines natural wonder with a touch of history, making it a memorable destination for both nature lovers and history buffs.

the lighthouse at Flamborough Outer headland


  • Parking – pay and display
  • Toilets
  • Cafe and shop


There is part of a main path but this becomes rockier and then grassy at the cliff edges so it would be tricky with a wheelchair or pushchair. Unlike Bempton, there are no fenced off areas so you will need to keep children and dogs safe. Dogs should ideally be kept on leads. You cannot climb down to where the seals are. There are areas where you can access the beach but this is via steep steps.

the welcome to Flamborough Outer Headland sign with map

Visiting Flamborough Outer Headland

On arrival we found that it was very easy to park and it was clear to see where the toilets and cafe were located. Being this close to the North Sea there were very strong winds so I would highly recommend being prepared and taking coats, hats and hair ties.

the white cliffs at Flamborough Outer Headland

As soon as you walk towards the coastline, the views are just absolutely stunning. The vast sea, the white cliffs and interesting rock formations are just wonderful to see and take in. And it wasn’t long before we noticed some very sweet heads popping up. The seals are here all year round but activity increases between November to May as this is when they breed. As we wandered across the cliffs towards the Drinking Dinosaur (a rock formation coming out from the coastline that looks like a dinosaur having a drink from the sea) we were lucky enough to see seals swimming, sunbathing on the shore, moving around and having a bit of a play.

the drinking dinosaur

Seeing seals in the UK can often be quite hit and miss with most locations requiring a boat trip to head away from busy tourist areas in order to catch a glimpse of them but Flamborough has to be the best place I have seen seals so far. Even without binoculars, you can easily see them bobbing about and lounging, add binoculars into the mix and you get such an amazing view into how they all look (and what a variety of colours), act and a great view of their characteristic faces.

the grey seals on the coast
grey seals at Flamborough
me and my son looking down at the grey seals at Flamborough
grey seals on the rocks at Flamborough Outer Headland

What To Take:

I would recommend taking:

  • Layers of clothing
  • Coats
  • Sun cream and sunglasses
  • Binoculars
  • A good camera
  • Hat
  • Hair tie
  • Good walking shoes
  • Reusable water bottles
  • Snacks/picnic if you want to save money
  • Dog poo bags
me stood by the drinking dinosaur at Flamborough

Overall Thoughts

I am so glad we put Flamborough Outer Headland on our Yorkshire must-see list, it truly was fantastic to see grey seals so close and in their natural habitat. If you are a wildlife lover the Yorkshire coastline is a destination you need to get yourself to.

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