Cornish Seal Sanctuary,SEA LIFE Trust

Cornish Seal Sanctuary,SEA LIFE Trust

Cornish Seal Sanctuary,SEA LIFE Trust
4
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
The SEA LIFE TRUST Cornish Seal Sanctuary is a charity that rescues and rehabilitates grey seal pups from around the Cornish coastline. Each season, the Sanctuary rehabilitates over 70 seal pups that have been rescued for various reasons, from malnourishment to being separated from their mum. The Sanctuary also provides a permanent home to animals that need special care from our team of marine animal experts. When visiting the Sanctuary, you can experience wonderful marine animals up close and personal and learn all about their individual stories.
Meets animal welfare guidelines
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.

Top ways to experience nearby attractions

The area
Address
Reach out directly
See what travellers are saying
  • mikeandtraceyball
    Derby, United Kingdom52 contributions
    A highlight
    A fabulous visit and a highlight of our Cornwall trip. The work that this sanctuary is doing is phenomenal and we really enjoyed the visit. The ticket costs are reasonably high but forgivable as the proceeds clearly fund great things. It would get pricey for a large family to visit. The site itself is quite hilly so worth a warning for the less mobile. Plenty of toilets and food facilities and a lovely gift shop at the end.
    Thank you for your lovely review and supportive comments. Remember your tickets are valid for 12 months so you can return the next time you're in Cornwall if frequent visitors to Cornwall or even if you only visit Cornwall once a year, if you time your next visit right!
    Written 11 March 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 8 March 2023
  • williamskdn
    Pontypridd, United Kingdom994 contributions
    Great place, could watch seals for hours
    This is such a great place to go see as it great to see how much these are cared for. The seals as so amazing you could watch them for a long time. The staff were informative and helpful. Would recommend visiting if in area.
    Thank you for your lovely review and recommendation, we appreciate it.
    Written 12 March 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 11 March 2023
  • beccy12001
    Bicester, United Kingdom25 contributions
    Breakfast with the seals experience
    We had the breakfast with the seals experience on a rainy March day. Despite the weather, it was great. We arrived promptly at 10am and we were introduced to our guide Tristan. He took us on a wonderful tour of the seals including the hospital which contained four patients, and the various pools. The seal sanctuary contains a mix of resident seals and those which the sanctuary are seeking to place back in the wild. We learnt all about these magnificent creatures. We also saw penguins, a beaver and a sea lion called Diego. The highlight of our breakfast experience was being able to feed the seals and then have breakfast ourselves! Be aware there is no inside place to have breakfast (although there is shelter from the rain!) so bring appropriate clothing!
    Thank you for your 5 star review about our breakfast with the seals experience. We're so pleased you had a wonderful tour and learnt lots about seal pups and our residents. How exciting that you saw one of our beavers, they are nocturnal and not often seen during the day!
    Written 19 March 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 17 March 2023
  • Girlwith2dogs
    3 contributions
    Lovely Staff
    Visited today with my mum and three dogs, one of whom is terminally ill. When a member of staff asked about my dog and I explained, the sanctuary went above and beyond to make the trip an easy and enjoyable one. We had plenty of interaction with the seals and penguins, and could see how well looked after they were. We'll never forget the kindness the staff showed to us, especially my dog.
    Thank you for your lovely review. We were pleased to be able to make your visit with us that little bit better.
    Written 2 April 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 28 March 2023
  • Ray B
    15 contributions
    A wonderful experience
    Had an excellent experience as a keeper for the day. My day was hosted by Elliott and both he and all of the keeper team couldn't have been more friendly and helpful throughout the day. It was great to go behind the scenes and be so hands on with feeding the seals and sea lion. All in all, I would recommend this experience for anyone who has a love of animals.
    Thank you for your lovely review regarding our Keeper for the Day Experience. We're so pleased you had a great time with us and I'll make sure Elliot, and the rest of the team, see your lovely comments.
    Written 9 April 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 7 April 2023
  • Lozza
    10 contributions
    Great day out
    Best to go when the weather is dry. We had a wonderful time here. The staff were engaging , the site and grounds were spotless . Facilities dotted around the site, there is a land bus available for those that found the walk down or up a bit difficult. large outside play area located near toilets and cafe. Lots to see and do. Choices of scenic walks near the coast and woodland walks out of the sun.
    Thank you for your lovely review, we really appreciate it. So pleased you had a great day out with us.
    Written 12 April 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 11 April 2023
  • Salty Giraffe
    20 contributions
    It was a good experience but you have to be prepared to pay £50+ if you’re a family of 4 (dogs are also allowed!)
    It was a good thing to do for a few hours but you couldn’t spend a whole day there, although we did go when it was raining. If you went in the summer when it’s hot then you probably could fill most of a day there. You could also take your dog around all of it apart from the seal hospital, which was very good. The thing that made this an average experience was the price for what you get. We saw the seals (obviously the main thing that we went to see) but apart from that, there isn’t much else, we saw the penguins and a few goats and sheep but i don’t really think it was worth the money. I understand that the money goes towards helping more seals and other animals but if you want to go then you really have to prepared to pay over £50 for a family of 4. A good experience though, and obviously the weather can’t be changed, it is what it is.
    We're so pleased you had a good time on your visit to the Sanctuary, and that our dog policy meant your could take your furry family member with you too! However, I'm sorry to read you thought the seal sanctuary was expensive for what was there. Children under 3 are free. Tickets cost £14.99 for a child, £17.99 for an adult and £16.99 for a senior or a student. We also have a family ticket for £58 (for 2 adults and 2 children). There are lots of vouchers available on the high street which can reduce the entry price. Tickets last a whole year and all the proceeds go towards supporting the many animals we rescue and care for. Ticket holders are welcome to return as many times as they wish in the 12 month period. It costs on average £2000 to rescue, rehabilitate and release one seal. We rescue between up to 70 pups every year and, despite some pups having life changing injuries, we have been able to successfully release a vast majority of seals thanks to the dedicated on site Animal Care Team and the help of our local veterinary team and advice of nationwide seal experts. Resident animals only remain with us if they cannot be returned to the wild due to medical issues and we support them with ongoing lifetime care. Pup season runs Sept to March usually so in summer months we run the VR in the hospital which shows rescue to release from a pup's eye view and 'sets the scene' for a visit to our sanctuary. We have many animals here at the sanctuary including 3 common seals, 10 grey seals, 1 sea lion, 8 penguins, 4 goats, 2 beavers and a small flock of rare-breed sheep (as well as a varying number of seal pups depending on the time of year). They all have areas they can go to in the shade or out of public view should they wish. We find customers usually spend around 2 - 3 hours with us, attending talks and feeds which we have on all day to hear all the individual stories about the animals that now reside with us, as well as learning about the pups we rescue, rehabilitate and release. We also pride ourselves on the location and, with 42 acres on site, there are lots of lovely picnic spots and walks that you can enjoy, as well as our popular Discovery Cove play area. This time, it sounds like the weather wasn't your friend but, if you can visit again to get the best value from your annual ticket, we do hope you can make the most of these wonderful outdoor areas next time.
    Written 12 April 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 11 April 2023
  • Katie V
    Truro, United Kingdom34 contributions
    Educational and fun for children. Friendly staff.
    We spent around 3 hours here. But could’ve spent longer having lunch and playing in the park area, however we got caught in a heavy shower. Walked our way around the different pools, paddocks and woodland walk. The talks were very informative and Isla who is 8 loved doing the activity trail, and Easter activity. Dawn was lovely and helpful when we arrived and sorted our year pass. Kirk was a great staff member who welcomed us on entering and helped Isla with the first question on the trail. Staff were all friendly and helpful, all said Good Morning as we were walking in. We have a year pass and will definitely revisit soon. We also noticed a family fun run in May, which Isla is keen to take part in to raise money for the charity. The great work she saw today has encouraged her to do this off her own back. Thank you for a lovely visit.
    Thank you for your lovely review. We look forward to welcoming Isla again during the fun run on 14/5/23. It is so good to hear of someone being inspired by visiting us.
    Written 30 April 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 13 April 2023
  • Sarah L
    12 contributions
    Keeper for the day
    I have visited the sanctuary once previously and fell in love with Ray so knew I wanted to visit again. I was given a keeper for the day voucher for my birthday and the experience was amazing from start to end. Polly and Bethan were my guides and not only were they fun and enthusiastic (you can see they love their jobs) they were also so approachable and knowledgeable. I got to touch and feed my favourite seal and spend time with all of the seals plus Diego (sealion) along with penguins, beavers and goats. The day was phenomenal from start to finish. I would Highly recommended this fun packed experience which exceeded my expectations.
    Thank you for your fantastic review of our Keeper for the Day experience. We're so pleased you had a fabulous time with us.
    Written 30 April 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 13 April 2023
  • Caroline B
    Peterborough, United Kingdom2 contributions
    Fantastic place to visit
    This Seal sanctuary is amazing, every member of staff obviously feels honoured to be able to work with these incredible animals and the enthusiasm and care shown from each staff member proved that. I was so impressed with the beaver enclosure and the work being done with them. A special shout out to Chantel on reception who was so welcoming and helpful throughout our visit-thank you- you are a star! I have worked with numerous species of animals throughout my life and I am very critical of how animals are kept in captivity, I am a big believer in wild animals being wild and free but for those that would not survive without human intervention this sanctuary is a wonderful place for them to be loved and grow old. Highly recommended - seeing Ray is worth the entry fee alone! Keep up the good work.
    Thank you for your lovely review, we appreciate it. I'll make sure Chantel sees your feedback.
    Written 30 April 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 20 April 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

We perform checks on reviews.
Tripadvisor’s approach to reviews
Before posting, each Tripadvisor review goes through an automated tracking system, which collects information, answering the following questions: how, what, where and when. If the system detects something that potentially contradicts our community guidelines, the review is not published.
When the system detects a problem, a review may be automatically rejected, sent to the reviewer for validation, or manually reviewed by our team of content specialists, who work 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on our site.
Our team checks each review posted on the site disputed by our community as not meeting our community guidelines.
Learn more about our review moderation.
4.0
2,972 reviews
Excellent
1,516
Very good
821
Average
327
Poor
186
Terrible
122

Sam F
10 contributions
Feb 2024 • Solo
I was really looking forward to visiting and bought a locals pass to go regularly. The staff are super friendly and welcoming, however I have just found out that Merlin Entertainments holds a big role in the sanctuary as they are partnered with Sea Life Trust and that really, really doesn’t sit well with me because Merlin Entertainments own the horrific sea world sites where so many dolphins, orca and seals are kept in appalling conditions just for the entertainment of visitors. It’s a shame because I wanted to support a local sanctuary helping marine rescue and I’ve no doubt that was the original intention but the idea of Merlin Entertainments holding a share and therefore probably being able to make a percentage off of the profits, leaves me cold.
Written 22 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cngj
Chelmsford, UK777 contributions
Mar 2023 • Family
We visited here last March with our two young children. We spent an enjoyable few hours watching the seals, eating our lunch, listening to talks and doing the quiz. We're hoping to visit again soon before our ticket expires as it's valid for a year.
Written 18 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wendy@liss
Liss, UK42 contributions
Feb 2024 • Couples
A great day out. A great dog friendly place to visit (dogs on leads of course). Lovely to support the great work, see the seals and have lunch in the cafe.
Written 12 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your lovely review, we're pleased to hear you had a great day out with us.
Written 17 February 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

lightsource
somerset14 contributions
Jan 2024 • Couples
The Seal Santuary is absolutely worth a visit. Whether you’re a family, a couple or on your own, I highly recommend it.
There are not only rescued seal pups and seals being rehabilitated but there are lifelong inhabitants who cannot be released due to injuries etc.
there are also penguins, a fantastic view of the estuary as you walk along towards the beavers sanctuary and we were lucky enough to see the 3 new kits, who arrived not so long back.
We left the sanctuary smiling from ear to ear and were in our 50’s 😁
This place, the people who work there (all lovely), and the joy of seeing animals being given a second chance is food for the soul.
They need your funding and you need them, you’ll feel all the richer for visiting.

(£19.00 each per adult but you can return numerous times within the year for free with the same ticket + the money goes towards the running of the centre and looking after the animals, money well spent).
Written 19 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your awesome review and recommendation. We genuinely appreciate it and hope to see you again soon.
Written 21 January 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sam B
2 contributions
Dec 2023 • Couples
What a special place tucked away in a beautiful part of Cornwall. Visited in December with my partner from North Cornwall and were thoroughly impressed with the sanctuary. We were warmly welcomed at reception and given a map of the park with timings of the talks and feeds throughout the day.
As you can see from my attached photographs the sanctuary is in a beautiful spot and our first stop was the seal hospital. Obviously a lot of money and time goes into rescuing and caring for a seal so starting here gave the trip some meaning, a good place to start. The site has a good selection of farm animals who have quite large enclosures which is good to see! We made our way down to the Otter enclosure where we made Acer for his first animal talk. He explained the Otters haven’t been in the park for very long and we might not be able to spot them! That was fine, these things happen but did a very good talk nonetheless. The enclosure for the otters was massive and it’s obvious that they do a lot for otter conservation.

The next stop, the penguins, we missed the feed unfortunately however they are always fun to watch. A smart enclosure, lots of water and space for the penguins and two fantastic viewing areas, one underwater and one elevated.

We went to the Cafe after, wasn’t sure what to expect being the park was relatively quiet as it was a midweek December day! Polite staff, I’m sorry I didn’t catch their names but two lovely ladies. Fantastic food selection at reasonable prices, was able to have a good lunch! Would have been nice if there was an indoor seating area because it was a tad cold but it was fine.

Then onto the seals in the afternoon! Wow very impressed. Certainly well maintained enclosures for the seals and it was good to learn about the stages the seals go through in the sanctuary alongside the residents. Acer was a fantastic talker, was personable, funny and good at answering questions, a valuable member of staff for sure!

It was a fun day, a brilliant day and knowing that we’ve got a year pass is music to our ears and can’t wait to return in the summer/ autumn. We might even do one of the experiences as a birthday treat.

Thank you for a great day for a fantastic cause. The work the Cornwall Seal Sanctuary does is incredible and would urge anyone to visit. Some of the reviews on here suggest that the entrance prices are expensive but we felt that this was definitely value for money and can go back again for a year!

Thanks again! Highly recommend.
Written 4 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for your lovely review and recommendation. We're pleased you had a great day with us. The otter enclosure was refurbished as a beaver enclosure a couple of years ago now. We do have beaver kits in the small enclosure which will be moved into the larger enclosure once they are big enough to fend for themselves. The talk at the beaver enclosure is about our beaver project. I think Asa was explaining why you wouldn't see otters as it's now beavers. Some guests have been lucky enough to see the beavers during the day recently and I'm sorry you didn't see them, they are such cuties! We have a TV showing video clips caught on our motion detection cameras so that guests can see them albeit not in the flesh. We thank you again for taking the time to leave such positive feedback and look forward to seeing you again soon.
Written 7 January 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tracey O
Littlehampton, England, United Kingdom238 contributions
Dec 2023 • Couples
Great site for seeing the work they do with the seals and the stages they go through for release. Can be hilly in places. They do talks at certain times of the day. Shop on site lovely setting. Toilets accessible on site with picnic areas
Written 1 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your 5-star review, we appreciate it.
Written 7 January 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Stacey D
9 contributions
Dec 2023 • Family
10/10 the venue is so family friendly. The lay out is lovely. The place is clean. It is all child friendly. The shop is reasonably priced. The young gentleman that served us in the shop was beyond polite and helpful. We are coming back from the cotswolds in the summer.
Written 29 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your lovely review following your visit to our sanctuary. We're pleased you enjoyed your time with us and look forward to seeing you again in summer.
Written 1 January 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lempin
Surrey77 contributions
Nov 2023 • Family
What a wonderful place! This is one of the best things I've done in a long time, so utterly rewarding. Every single staff member we met was so lovely and knowledgeable, you could see their passion for the Sanctuary/Seals. It's so well laid out, the viewing areas have you so close and at times under the water with the seals. There were pups in the hospital recovering and recuperating, penguins, a sea-lion and the original and oldest seal aged 49. We wandered up to where the beavers had been damming the river. They have quizzes you can do along the route, toilets and a little cafe where we had delicious hot chocolates. They have screens and boards with information about the seals and their rehabilitation and members of staff are always around to answer any questions. There are events throughout the day, feeding times and talks. They also interact with the seals at feeding time, getting them to allow touching etc. (for the ease of medical and other care). There's a gift shop. The whole area is set in such a beautiful landscape and has free parking. I would highly recommend going and also supporting the wonderful work they do, saving sea life. The entry fee last you for a full 12 months and all their proceeds go directly to the animals. They told me that It costs on average £2000 to rescue, rehabilitate and release one seal, so they certainly need support. They're also fund raising to update the main areas for the seal, which looked wonderful.

P.S. Please note, this is not a zoo, no performing animals or captivity. Thank you :)

P.P.S. Cornish Seal Sanctuary told me this: We rescue between 70 and 80 pups every year and, despite some pups having life changing injuries, we have been able to successfully release a vast majority of seals thanks to the dedicated on site Animal Care Team and the help of our local veterinary team and advice of nationwide seal experts. Resident animals only remain with us if they cannot be returned to the wild due to medical issues and we support them with ongoing lifetime care.

Written 12 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for your very lovely review! We really appreciate all of the support, look forward to seeing you again soon!
Written 23 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Great Granny
Surrey, UK81 contributions
Oct 2023 • Family
What an amazing place. The work, love and care that is given to the seals is incredible. We left with some information. There are a few sheep and goats there. There is a programme reintroducing Beavers. The views are amazing. We loved our visit. All ages will full in love with the seals and penguins. Each has their own story. The ones who cannot be released are cheeky and very clever they entertain without being asked or made to.
Written 8 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your informative and supportive review, we genuinely appreciate it.
Written 12 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jorgen_laan
Banbury, UK29 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
Had a lovely visit here, staff very friendly and helpful.
Lots of information to be found about the seals they house either temporarily or as residents.
Restaurant has some lovely food.

Preferred this above the Eden project
Written 5 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your lovely review, we're pleased you enjoyed your time with us.
Written 12 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 2,935
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

CORNISH SEAL SANCTUARY,SEA LIFE TRUST: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Cornish Seal Sanctuary,SEA LIFE Trust

Cornish Seal Sanctuary,SEA LIFE Trust is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 - 17:00