Blakeney Point, a 3 mile sand and shingle spit, is right at the top of the North Norfolk Coast and if visiting Norfolk, or if you live in Norfolk, and you haven’t visited the spit, then you’re missing a real treasure.
It’s one of North Norfolk’s most iconic landmarks with its infamous breeding and migrant birds and recognisable old blue lifeboat house, built in 1898 and now an information centre (giving information on the seals, flora and birds). Run by the National Trust, it is one of their UK wide National Nature Reserves.
You can reach The Point by walking, but it’s only really recommended if you know the area, weather forecast and tide times. It’s not something to be undertaken lightly, and although I’ve never walked to it, I know there is a lot of walking on shingle. But again, if you pick the right time to walk, with the tide going out, you’ll also find that you can walk on the firmer sand.
The easiest and more relaxing way to reach it is by one of the local ferry boat trips! If you're not a walker, this is the answer for you.
The boat times are obviously very much dictated by the tide, but once there, it’s a world away from everything. It's a magical time, like being on a deserted island.
Peace, tranquillity and nature!
At certain times of the year the boats will drop you off on The Point for about an hour, and pick you up again and return you to the quay. They go from Morston Quay or Blakeney Harbour, but booking is recommended - there's more information on this when I talk about the seal trips.
The Point has been managed by the National Trust since 1912 and is an SSSI area (Site of Special Scientific Interest) as well as being an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. What more could you ask for!
And it’s the nature on the spit that really attracts the visitors, particularly the colony of common and grey seals, as you’ll see from the photos below.
All year round there is plenty of wildlife to see, whether the nesting Sandwich Terns or rarer Little Terns, oyster catchers, the pink footed geese flying over, barn owls, birds of prey such as Hen and Marsh Harriers and Peregrins. The list could go on and on. Whether you’re an avid bird watcher or not, there’s always something of interest to see at Blakeney Point.
Rare Little Terns
Oyster Catchers on the spit
During the mating season part of the spit if cordoned off to visitors, and it’s important that this is respected, as The Point is a well-recognised important breeding ground for Terns.
Blakeney Point National Nature Reserve wouldn’t be as well known as it is today without its seal colony.
The seals in Norfolk are a truly spectacular site and
you would be mad to miss out a visit to see them. There is more information on the seals in Norfolk, seal trips and seals at Horsey on my seals in Norfolk page here.
Take the hour long seal trip on one of the local ferrys, Beans, Bishops, Temples or Blakeney Point, and get a close up of these serene but huge mammals dipping and diving in the sea, or basking in the sun on the shore.
Dogs and their owners also need to be managed carefully! The National Trust allows dogs onto Blakeney spit but there are restrictions as to where you can walk them between April and mid August and during the winter months when the seals are pupping.
Many of the breeding birds nest on the shingle and sand, so unruly dogs will definitely distrurb the birds. And as the number of some of birds is declining, particularly the ringed plover and little Terns, it’s important that their wishes are respected.
Some of the local ferry trips allow well behaved dogs too!
Just along the coast from Blakeney Nature Reserve is the Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Cley Nature Reserve, a slightly more accessible reserve with a state of the art visitor centre and board walks overlooking the marshes, or the RSPB site of Titchwell Marsh to the West.