Cornish Seal Sanctuary

Tucked against the picturesque backdrop of the Helford River, explore behind the scenes at the heart of marine rescue in Cornwall’s only working Seal Hospital. The Cornish Seal Sanctuary is the perfect day trip in Cornwall with (or without) the kids.

Located in Gweek, in a small picturesque village on the Lizard Peninsula, each year, the sanctuary rehabilitates over seventy grey seal pups from local coastal waters and brings them to the on-site specialist seal hospital. The seal sanctuary is also a retirement home for some seals that would otherwise not survive in the wild.

The aim of the Cornish Seal Sanctuary is to rescue and provide expert care for sick, injured, or distressed seals and other marine animals in need of help who are found around the nearby shores. The sanctuary then releases the animals back into the environment in full health.

Learn how they carry out life-saving work with their animals and nurture new arrivals, and experience what it takes to be a marine expert. From a sneak peek at their food preparation area to getting hands-on in their hospital pup pen, a visit will give you an insight into the science behind the sanctuary. 

The sanctuary has expanded since opening in the ’70s and now has a wide variety of animals, including Californian and Patagonian sea lions, otters, penguins, sheep, ponies and goats. Hear about dramatic rescues and meet the seal and sea lion characters whose individual stories are brought to life during your visit.  

Located on the banks of the Helford River, the view and the walks through the woodland and around the sanctuary make it a full day of entertainment. There is also a cafe, gift shop and tractor to ferry you around the site. You can also experience the hospital, underwater chamber and rockpool area. The seal sanctuary allows well-behaved dogs, making it a full-family attraction.

Debbie loves...

It’s so lovely to visit this Sanctuary and learn about how the rescued seals are looked after and hopefully returned to the sea where possible.  Such a quiet, peaceful location.  If you visit in the winter months you might see some pups.

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