I have to admit that thirty years ago I worked with sea mammals as part of my higher education and travelled many hours to observe them in breathtaking environments like the sub-arctic and the south pacific but I always considered human interaction with them to be rare and unpredictable in the UK, so when I heard that there was a ‘Seal Beach’ here in Moray I scoffed and imagined spending the entire day searching the waves for a distant domes head. How very wrong I was.
Seal Beach, Newburgh is a long sandy estuary where the river Ythan widens and quickens to meet the sea. The beaches on both sides are backed by towering sand dunes making it a naturally protected environment for the seals. So perfect that hundreds rising to thousands of estuary seals and common seals can be found here from about June through to November.
We visited in early September and while it wasn’t busy there were a few people walking back and forth while the seals observed from a few feet away.
Once you reach the end of the estuary the beautiful, deserted beach continues for miles and the endless pristine dunes and hollows are well worth exploring. This would rate in my top-5 coastal walks even if the seals failed to turn up.