Before the half term a few weeks ago, Little A came home with 2 tickets in his school bag which we could use to get money off at The Seal Life Sanctuary in Gweek. Because it's a bit out of the way it would normally cost a fortune to get to the sanctuary let alone go in and have a good time. In the half term however it turned out Pops and Grandma had some time off and took us all to the sanctuary for a lovely family day: Yey!
I haven't been to The Seal Sanctuary since I was a young girl and used to holiday in Cornwall before we moved here when I was 10. I'm so pleased I took Midge and A during half term because we had a wonderful time. We had amazing weather and as it was the first day of the half term (and a Monday!) the Sanctuary wasn't really busy so everyone could see the seals and penguins without being pushed and shoved!
Mum and Dad in front of the Helford River
The first thing we did was to walk the short walk to the start of the sanctuary instead of taking the make shift bus they have (it looked fun though, we just wanted to see the view walking) as you go up you pass the hospital where poorly seals are kept. We did go in but there were no poorly seals (good news! we said) we had a wonderful view of The Helford River which was a perfect photo opportunity for all of us. We then went down to the rehabilitation pools to see the seals before heading to the larger pools.
Seal standing up waiting for his fishy lunch
We got to see the seals playing and then being fed, we then had a lovely picnic on some seats with the same beautiful views before seeing some rather large and shy sea lions. Occasionally they poked their heads out but mostly they stayed hidden in the cool water; I remember wishing that I had a pool to slip in to myself! After the seal lions we headed over to see the Humboldt penguins (who blush by the way!) before checking out the rock pools where you can look close up at the fish and learn more about star fish (there are some ace facts that we all enjoyed learning about)
In the underground spying on the penguins
Lots of Humboldt Penguins
A, Pop and Grandma looking close up at fish and starfish
After we checked out our fishy friends the children played for 15 minutes in the park. The play park is very basic consisting of a wonderfully built pirates ship which has slides, ropes and various other bits and bobs attached to it. There are more picnic tables here and loads of bins so no one has the job of carrying the rucksack with the rubbish in! Behind the play area is a wide area of grass which stretches back up to the top of the sanctuary and there are some ponies behind the fences all happily grazing. We didn't visit the farm animals, we chose to walk down to the otter enclosure and had a walk around the woodland area before returning to do some sea life based crafts.
Artwork by Midge and Little A
Midge and Little A at the Mister Maker station
You used to be able to see this little place, now it's pretty overgrown but makes a lovely photo
Before we left we had a walk back to say goodbye to all the lovely seals and sea lions. By the time we were going they were all sunning themselves, yawning, stretching, looking so relaxed and cute I love the below photos in particular. It was such a lovely day. The staff were friendly and knowledgeable, there were so many places to eat your lunch and a nice cafe selling food and drink (and ice cream of course) there's also a shop and a bus stop so you don't have to walk back to the exit. We decided to walk back again to get a last glimpse of the scenery and find the loo (make sure you use the loo! There isn't one after the seal medical center so unless your toddler feels like holding it in up a hill I'd recommend using the loo before enjoying the fun!)
This Sea Lion reminded me of my dog when she's be lazy and stretching!
I adore seal pup eyes!
If you fancy checking out The Seal Sanctuary while on holiday this year (or even if you're a local!) then their website is really good, plus if you book online you'll get cheaper tickets which is something most attractions do these days; don't forget that!