My day out: Cornish Seal Sanctuary

I have been been to the Cornish Seal Sanctuary before, but my children, aged eight and ten, wanted to return as they couldn’t really remember it. I took them and my friend along with her children which are around the same age.

We didn’t take our dog as we thought being an attraction with animals that they wouldn’t be allowed, but I was wrong. There were lots of dogs enjoying a day out as well, including a walk on its nature trail.

This place is a Cornish charity which rescues and rehabilitates seals from around the Cornish coast, so I expected it to have a good Cornish theme around the park with lots of mentions of Cornwall and the different seals that can be found around our gorgeous coast. There is a jeep safari bus which picks you up from the entrance to the seal pools with a stop off at the hospital (for seals of course). There were cafés on site for a hot meal, however it’s not as commercialised as Alton Towers and bigger theme parks. There’s a really good park area with lots of picnic tables perfect for a picnic, and the children can play in full view as well.

There were lots of activities for children to do around the site, which started at the reception with a free scratch card game with multiple choice questions to complete on our way around the site. This included lots of wildlife facts for the children to find out. They also have talks and feeding times throughout the day, so make sure to plan your day around this if you want to see the otters or comical penguins being fed.

The scenery across the Helford River really is beautiful, it makes the perfect backdrop to this family-friendly attraction. I often found myself looking out at the view, stood watching the paddock animals with the river behind them and thinking how lucky they are.

I don’t think there is anywhere else quite like the Cornish Seal Sanctuary. It’s such a fun and educational day out, and visiting this attraction helps the charity to keep up its good work. I missed them releasing the seals back into the river (a process they do when the seals have finished their rehab visit at the sanctuary). They don’t tend to mention when they are going to do this, but a little birdie told me it is great to watch. There’s always next time…

Most people would enjoy this day out as it really is for all ages. It is on a hill so maybe not the best place for the less mobile. I can’t wait to go back. I may even adopt a seal next time, as you get two free entries to the sanctuary and lots of other gifts which are well worth the money.

Top tips for visiting the Cornish Seal Sanctuary:

  • A car is the best way to get here, however there are buses which regularly run from Falmouth and Helston to Gweek village.
  • The car park does get busy, so it’s best to start your day as early as possible to ensure you get a space.
  • We spent all day at the sanctuary, taking about an hour for lunch and allowing the children some time to play on the park equipment.
  • They have special guests throughout the year, so it’s always worth checking the website to see what’s on. Last time we went we saw The Octonauts.
  • Take a gentle stroll around the woodland walk, who knows what you may see or hear…
  • You can save 30% if you book online before you go.
  • They offer a free carer policy, which admits one free adult with a paying disabled guest.

About the author: Emma is a holiday home manager, and visited the Cornish Seal Sanctuary in May 2019.