Donna Nook 2019

>>  Tuesday, December 17, 2019

I went to Donna Nook in 2013 and this year I went back.  It is a reserve on the North Lincolnshire coast. The seals spend much of the year out at sea and on sand banks but in late autumn they come ashore for a few weeks to have their pups.

It was as cold as I remembered it to be and this time very wet as well.  But the pup numbers were up, even if the car park was soggy.

(The price of the overflow carpark had gone up as well from £1 to £4)

The pups didn't seem to mind the weather though.
There were seals looking like they were sunbathing as far as the eye could see. A lot of placentas as well!
The pups weren't all white.
But they were hungry, saying 'mum, mum, mum'
They were extra cute.
And all the seals looked like smiling sun bathers.
This one was on the path we walked along, she was about to give birth, so we left her be and gave her a wide berth.
The path was often otherwise occupied!

The weather finally beat me, I was soaking wet from sideways torrential rain and cold to the bone.  So we retreated to the Axe and Cleaver at North Somercotes for a  cup of tea by a fire and a warming curry before the long drive home.

It was fairly quiet when we were at the reserve and the carpark we went in was a side field off the usual overflow carpark  both of which were looking like cars might need to be towed out. It turns out the Donna Nook warden had put a message out that morning on social media saying it was closed and not to go.  So do what I didn't and check whether they are asking for people to stay away before you travel!

My Donna Nook tips: Remember they are only there mid November to mid December.  Go straight to the overflow car park (if you don't need disabled access). It's no further to walk to the seals, it's less muddy and there are some porta-loos there. It cost £4 mid week, £5 at weekends in 2019.

The reserve walk way goes between the two car parks. The path is good, suitable for little children and and I saw a mobility scooter on it too.

Don't be fooled, this is a long drive from anywhere! The roads are mainly single track and muddy, give yourself plenty of time and take your time.

I spent about an hour watching the seals, this isn't a day out unless you want to stand for a long time with a camera.

Other top tips: Stop at the last services you can on the way for a loo break. Wear a lot of layers and a tight fitting hat, the east coast wind is bracing. A good pair of walking shoes would be good too.


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