Oh half-term. I’m so glad it has finally rolled around. January in Cornwall is always so painfully quiet.

All of the attractions are shut off and the icy winds and open land, makes trips outdoors uncomfortable and short. 

February half term always injects a bit of life into the county again, and it’s so lovely to see everywhere open their doors, and for us to be spoilt for choice with places to visit once more.

We went on so many adventures this week, our first stop being the ‘Seal Sanctuary’ in Gweek.

Cornish Seal Sanctuary

It’s been so rainy and the local media boasted some fun muddy outdoor activities at the ‘Seal Sanctuary’. It was the perfect excuse to get out and enjoy the weather.

The ‘Seal Sanctuary’ is a fully operational seal rescue centre, situated in 40 acres of stunning Cornish countryside.

It’s home to stray, sick and injured seal pups that have been discovered around the Cornish coast, and is also a fun family attraction.

Seal Sanctuary CornwallYou can visit the seals, penguins, otters and some other equally adorable little farm animals.

It’s the perfect outing for little explorers wanting to learn more about sea life. You can watch the feedings, learn about the animals and why they are at the sanctuary, plus take part in lots of hands on, interactive activities that are dotted around the site.

The ‘Seal Sanctuary’ is perfect for bigger kids. There are interactive ‘rock pools’ where you can hold a starfish and see fish up close and personal, crafts such as bird feed making, giant wooden games to play, a bug hotel and welly wanging.

Seal Sanctuary Cornwall

Evie’s favourite part was the seals. She was in absolute awe of them.

We managed to catch them at feeding time and a few of them in different pools kept trying to get our attention so that they could entertain us. There were some real cheeky chappies including this little cutie…

Seal Sanctuary Cornwall

One particular pool could be viewed from below. I found it quite scary as you couldn’t see the seals coming towards the glass, and suddenly they would rumble past so quickly, close enough to touch.

Evie absolutely loved it and stood with her palms against the glass, for so long, waiting for them to do their laps.

Seal Sanctuary Cornwall

My favourite part of the walk was the ‘Wishing Tree’. It is such a beautiful idea. The idea is to leave a wish on the tree and then make a little gift for the fairies on the craft bench beside the tree.

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The tree also has some eery, yet enchanting clay faces carved into them for extra effect, and all around the trunks were little hand-painted fairy doors and toad stalls.

It looked so magical!

Some of the wishes on the tree were really adorable. From little ones wishing to become fairies, to adults wishing for an abundance of happiness in their loved ones life.

If the day hadn’t have been so icy, we would have taken part in a lot more activities. But Evie was so shivery, that we didn’t stay for more than an hour.

I’ve finally gotten myself a pair of wellies (regular readers of ‘Whatever The Weather’ will know how long I’ve been harping on about needing some) and I genuinely felt like a little girl again getting to jump in muddy puddles alongside Evie.

Seal Sanctuary Cornwall

She kept begging me to follow her to the big puddles and insisted I try out each and everyone with her. It was so much fun and so cute. Wellies were a very worthy investment.

Despite the cold and our short time there, Evie was so well behaved. We’ve had some serious boughts of ‘terrible twos’ recently and it’s been difficult getting through a day without meltdown, after meltdown. Today we only had one and that was on our exit!

Seal Sanctuary Cornwall

We even managed to snap some lovely pictures of Evie and myself. Another complete rarity, but I am so, so grateful to have some. I’m always the person behind the camera, so it was nice, but strange to be stood in front of it for a change.

Seal Sanctuary Cornwall

If you liked this post, be sure to check out some other attractions in Cornwall, including Dairyland and Paradise Park!

Have you had any fun half-term adventures? What do you think of the Seal Sanctuary?



  1. February 24, 2016 / 7:36 am

    Oh I love the photo of Evie and the seal. Looks a lovely and slighty muddy place to visit! It is lovely when everything starts to open again. It is the same on Jersey and it can feel like the whole island is hibernating #whatevertheweather

  2. February 24, 2016 / 9:24 am

    Wow, back in the 70’s/80’s, we used to come to Cornwall every year on holiday (Perranporth) and we always used to go to the Gweek seal sanctuary, back when it was just a shack and a couple of pools, with the owner driving people around in the back of his trailer !

  3. February 24, 2016 / 10:05 am

    Squeal!!! I love seals. When I was a teenager my Dad lived in Lincolnshire, and he used to take us to the seal sanctuary is Hunstanton, Norfolk. This half term we visited the London Aquarium, the kids adored it and we got to stroll about by Big Ben too. Sarah #whatevertheweather

  4. February 24, 2016 / 10:13 am

    I Just love these photos.

    I wish I lived close by; I’d love to take Little Miss there, I just know she would be over the moon seeing all the seals. x

  5. February 24, 2016 / 10:57 am

    What a lovely day out, the kids are keen to visit Cornwall again after our lovely holiday there in the October half term in 2014 – I will add this to my list of places to go! #Whatevertheweather

  6. February 24, 2016 / 11:56 am

    Nice wellies! What a fab place to visit – we love seals in our family (did I ever mention that before…?!) so I know the girls would adore the sanctuary if we’re ever close by. Looks like loads of other outdoor fun to be had there too.

  7. February 24, 2016 / 1:58 pm

    Love the sounds of that place. Seals can be so cute and that wishing tree look wonderful and a lovely idea.
    Love the wellies and i agree, definitely worth the investment to join in the fun. x

  8. February 24, 2016 / 2:25 pm

    We visited Somerset at the end of November and I was amazed at just how little was open so I can totally understand your frustration. Looks like a great place to visit and thanks for hosting x

  9. February 24, 2016 / 3:42 pm

    What a great way to be introduced to seals – up close and personal! My little one loves animals of all sorts so this would be right up her alley. Just need to find something similar around here.

  10. February 24, 2016 / 5:22 pm

    How cute is that seal! I’d love to visit a place like this – looks fab! Lovely photos of you and Evie 🙂

  11. February 24, 2016 / 6:28 pm

    Oooh this looks fab – we’ve never been but think we will have to add it to the list of days out for our annual Cornwall Holiday!

  12. February 24, 2016 / 7:07 pm

    Looks like a lovely day out and the seals are so cute! The seal sanctuary in Northern Ireland has been closed for a year or so for refurbishment but reopens this summer. Seeing your photos definitely makes me want to make the trip as soon as it reopens. Cornwall’s a bit far for us!

  13. February 24, 2016 / 7:41 pm

    I love the idea of the seal sanctuary, they are so beautiful and so graceful in the water. It looks like you had a lovely day out, and thank goodness for wellies!

  14. February 25, 2016 / 2:18 am

    Awe, what a fun place to explore!I have never seen a seal up close and can imagine it to be quite entertaining. The Wishing tree is awesome! I love the magical feel with the fairy faces and doors. Congrats on your puddle jumping! I think you did your daughter proud! 🙂

  15. February 25, 2016 / 11:39 am

    What a lovely outing and sounds like a fab place to visit. Glad Evie enjoyed it so much and that you got some lovely photos of the two of you. Xx

  16. February 25, 2016 / 3:04 pm

    What a wonderful place to visit, we live in South Devon so maybe the Seal Sanctuary is a place for us to visit in the future. I especially love the look of the tank, my toddler would find that fascinating. Evie looks like she was thoroughly enjoying herself 🙂 #whatevertheweather x

  17. February 26, 2016 / 9:55 pm

    Ah, I remember visiting this place when I was little – I loved it! I got a pretty snazzy seal t-shirt from the gift shop that I wore to death – how cool was I?! It looks like you had a lovely day – I love the wishing tree and that pic of you and Evie is just lovely.

  18. February 27, 2016 / 8:10 am

    What a fantastic place to visit. And such a good cause as well. I know what you mean about always being behind the camera. I have very few photos of me and Harry together. Lovely snaps x #whatevertheweather

  19. February 27, 2016 / 9:58 pm

    We will be camping at a national park for our break. I am very excited. The Seal Sanctuary looks amazing.

  20. February 29, 2016 / 12:37 pm

    The Seal Sanctuary looks like an amazing place to visit…will bear it in mind next time we are in Cornwall. The seals are so cute, I could look at them swim all day. I need some new wellies too, have been looking at the high-end ones & wishing I could afford them! #whatevertheweather

  21. Jenny - Monkey and Mouse
    March 2, 2016 / 8:46 pm

    Such lovely photos of you and Evie. It’s great to get some photos of you together, so she remembers those times too, I have to try hard otherwise I forget to get in the photo too! My A would love the seals, he’s ery into penguins at the moment (pingoos in his words!) and I can see him loving the seals too. I must get to the Sealife centre at Queensferry with them soon. Hope you get some warmer weather again soon, although I think it must still be warmer than here, we had snow this morning! 🙂 x

  22. March 2, 2016 / 10:08 pm

    What a wonderful looking place to go to! Doubt we will ever make it to Cornwall but would be on our list of we do.

  23. March 4, 2016 / 9:24 pm

    Ah this looks like such a brilliant place! We are heading down to Cornwall in the summer so I’ll have to see if it’s close enough to visit. I bet our girls would love it. Like your new wellies too and the pictures of you and Evie are beautiful xx #whatevertheweather

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