Nanny Pat’s days out: the Cornish Seal Sanctuary

Child watching a penguin through the glass at an aquarium.

For a great family day out, head to the Cornish Seal Sanctuary. This one definitely has the awww factor!


Based in the pretty village of Gweek on the Helford Estuary, the Cornish Seal Sanctuary rescues and rehabilitates lots of common seals, grey seals and sea lions each year. Many of these are pups, which are sick or have been injured or orphaned. They’re cared for at the sanctuary, and most of them are released back into the wild once they’ve recuperated.

The sanctuary isn’t just home to seals and sea lions – many other creatures live here too, including Humbolt penguins, Asian short clawed otters, ponies, goats and sheep.

Feeding times take place a several times throughout the day and are always popular. My grandchildren love the underwater viewing areas where you can see seals and penguins in their element.


There are lots of videos on the Cornish Seal Sanctuary website, so you can get a taste of what it’s like before you visit – great for sharing with the kids when you’re preparing to go away.

And while you can’t take the seals or penguins home (even though you might want to!) you can help support the sanctuary’s work by sponsoring one of them. Ours is called Gilbert!

Useful information

The Cornish Seal Sanctuary is open daily 10am – 5pm (except Christmas Day), and you can save 30% on the door price if you book tickets in advance online.

Dogs on leads are welcome, so you could combine a trip to see the seals with a walk. Gweek is a special place full of wading birds and changing creek views, so it’s definitely worth taking the time to explore the area.

When to visit

Any time of the year!

The Cornish Seal Sanctuary runs a variety of events throughout the year, including special themed events during school holidays – like pirate-themed festivals and rock pool adventures.

Getting there

The Cornish Seal Sanctuary is in Gweek, close to Falmouth, and is approximately 50 minutes’ drive from Bosinver. You can find detailed directions on their website. Postcode for SatNavs: TR12 6UG.

Have you visited the Cornish Seal Sanctuary yet? Share your thoughts below, tweet @Bosinver, or post on our Facebook page .

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