Seal Colony ECO Tour

Harwich, Essex
"Lovely paddle across the estuary to the 'secret seal section' of the wetlands. The sea was like a mill-pond &..."
(15 customer reviews)
Common harbour seals on the Seal Colony Eco Tour by kayak Sit-on-top kayaks on the beach during a break on the seal colony Eco tour NOMAD Sea Kayaking sit-on-top and decked kayaks ready for our trip to the seal colony. Guests clearing trash from a sandy beach on the seal colony eco tour Sit-on-top kayaks & touring kayaks on the grass awaiting paddlers for the seal colony eco tour A small group of guests preparing to launch for the seal colony eco tour Sea kayaks on sandy beach for the guided seal colony eco tour by kayak. Stable sit-on-top kayak showing the rudder. A sea kayak of one of the guides to the wild seal colony Jack Russell sitting in a sea kayak.

Seal Colony ECO Tour

Visit a wild seal colony by kayak, the quietest, gentlest way to get close to these wild mammals.

£99.99 p/seat

A great trip to a wild seal colony over a total distance of 8-9 nautical miles & anything from 3 to 5 hours total. We depart Dovercourt beach (just past Harwich cricket club) & paddle southeast down the coast towards the Walton backwaters. We don’t divulge the exact whereabouts of the colony for obvious reasons & we maintain a strict interaction policy, which means the seals approach us, we don't approach them. This minimises their stress. Your Guide will give you information about the seal's habits before we enter the area & he/she will take questions when you leave. Your Guides will manage the interaction between paddlers & seals, ensuring that only seals in the water get close to paddlers. We stand off any seals that are on the banks.

A 30-40 minute lunch break (subject to a beach landing where there are no nesting birds) with a beach clean & launch into Harwich Bay for a deep water crossing, returning to our original launch location. We return to Dovercourt in the afternoon heading directly across the bay for a total event duration of 3-5 hours (dependant on the group & sea conditions). This is a one-off trip that you'll find difficult to do on your own; a most memorable experience.

NOMAD Sea Kayaking tries to complete a beach clean (conditions permitting) of any beach we land on during your event, usually at the end of our lunch break & we ask our guests to participate. Please bring along a strong bin bag and gloves (if they need them) to help us with the cleanup. This isn't compulsory but we all use the environment & we want to take care of it for future visitors & the marine wildlife that lives there. After all, this is our coastline.

Would you like to paddle as much as you like & as often as you want? Take a look at our 

Karen Tarling

July 10th 2021

What an amazing day - the seals are gorgeous and came so close. A very welcoming group with lovely, helpful instructors ( and not a hint of criticism because I had mistakenly thought we were starting from Walton and arrived late 😬🤣 ). The only negative was that the kayaks were heavy to paddle. Thank you all 😁

Steven Danylenko

July 10th 2021

This is my second time on this trip and it wont be my last, no 2 trips are the same, conditions vary so much, so times the weather can be tough on us making the trip harder but so rewarding once you arrive at the colony, but other times the weather can be so calm and the ocean like a mirror, when i arrived for my latest trip the weather was glum with rain forcast but it made the conditions just perfect with some amazing cloud formations and a little rain cooling me down on a calm mirror like sea which was bliss, the seals were out on the banks this time too so no blue skys and baking sun is not always best. Thanks to the Nomad team another great day in my kayak👍

Myra VanInwegen

July 10th 2021

This is the third of fourth time I've done this trip. I love it because it's a good distance so I get a bit of a workout, and it's always great to see the seals. They pop up their heads, look at you for a bit, and then go back underwater. This time, for the first time, I saw pups swimming with their mums, so we'd see seal heads in pairs - one big and one small. So cute!

Fabian Poppenwimmer

May 29th 2021

The communication was good, great kayaks and seeing the seals was a real highlight. The trip itself was not what I expected. On the homepage, it says that no previous experience is necessary and that participants don’t even have to know how to swim. We spend more than three hours in rough seas with strong winds and the current constantly pulling. In my opinion, this is definitely no trip for beginners. We struggled to keep up the pace and later heard that another member of our group had to rest on a beach midway because they were so exhausted. The guides were nice and helpful but expected the group to keep up with their pace. Overall a good trip for experienced Kayakers but not suitable for beginners.

This is our longest trip, some 8-9 nautical miles in total with anything from 3-5 hours on the water. I can confirm that no particular skills are needed for this trip & there is a ratio of 5:1 guests to (full time) Guides so it is indeed appropriate for beginners. The pace is determined by the tide & when it turns to ebb. Sea conditions are changeable due to turning tides & changeable weather & the latter is outside of our control. I remember that you both finished just fine on the day with big smiles & we appreciate you taking the time to feedback. P.S. It's kayaking, no swimming required.



Launch location

West End Lane Car Park, Dovercourt, CO12 3FA

Next Departure time

25th September 2022, 10:30 AM


Sit-on-top kayak, paddle & buoyancy aid included.


Pay and display.

Additional Notes

Please bring along extra warm clothing, hat, gloves et cetera, whatever you need to stay warm. In very hot weather please bring a sun hat, sun cream, sunglasses. We recommend leaving your electronics onshore unless it is waterproofed and secured. The more expensive the item, the quicker it sinks!! We offer Peli waterproof hard cases for rent that will guarantee they do not get wet or damaged. Please select your Peli waterproof box when placing your booking.

NOTE: This is a wild seal colony & as such can be difficult to reach due to tides, weather or group ability. N.S.K. cannot guarantee that we will reach the seal colony at every event. The Lead Guide may, at his/her discretion, make adjustments to the route &/or distance in the interest of safety & to provide the best possible experience for the guests. This is at the discretion of the Lead Guide responsible for the event.

Sixteen years of age and over.