Grey Seal Pups!

Grey Seal birthing season on England’s Norfolk coast.

Included

Professional Photo Guide

Transportation (return from London)

Cottage accommodation with private rooms

Telephoto lenses & camera bodies available to borrow

Small tour (max 5 participants)

Dates


1) Wed 23rd – Sun 27th November 2022

2) Tue 13th – Sun 18th December 2022   (+ Meteor shower!)

3) Wed 4th – Sun 8th January 2023

Availability


1) Nov 2022 – selling fast!!

2) Dec 2022 – selling fast!

3) January 2022 – available

Guaranteed Departures!

Fitness Level


Easy – Moderate

Price


1)  £795

2)  £895 (meteor shower!)

3) £795

Join Us

Join us for an amazing 5 days / 4 nights to explore one of the gems of the UK, Norfolk, where our star attraction will be photographing the adorable newborn Grey Seals at pupping season!

We’ll travel to the picturesque coastline of Norfolk, England to photograph some of the largest Grey Seal colonies in the world. Over 5,000 adorable cotton-white pups are born each year in the Norfolk area. On our tour we’ll visit multiple beaches at different times of the day, allowing for a variety of shots, all at a safe distance with our telephoto lenses so as to respect and not disturb the wildlife, particularly the newborn pups.

Grey Seal pup playing with mother on the sand

One of the rarest species of seals in the world, the UK is home to over 40% of the world’s Grey Seals and provides a unique opportunity to photograph this unique and charismatic species on land.

We’ll observe the behaviours of the pregnant Grey Seal cows as they lay sunning on the beach ready to give birth, the tender interaction between the newborn and its mother, and the maternal ferocity of the cow defending its young from the lurking bulls.  We’ll also witness the aggressive behaviours between the competing bulls as they fight for territory on the beach for the right to mate with the cows, who breed again immediately after they finish lactating – just two weeks after they give birth.  If we’re really lucky, we may even witness a live birth!

We’ve got you

To help you get those cute baby seal photos we have several telephoto lenses available for Canon, Nikon, and Sony. These include Nikon 200-500mm, Canon 100-400mm, plus an adapter for Sony to use the Canon lens or a Sigma 70-300mm. We also have multiple teleconverters available (1.4x & 2.0x Nikon & 1.4x Canon).

Along with the seals, we’ll also have the chance to visit some of the stunning landscapes of the area which lends itself well to long exposure, or “fine art” photography. As a bonus – as if the amazing scenery isn’t enough! – the best filter company in the business, Kase Filters, is kindly providing multiple sets of their Pro filters just for us, so you can get the most out of this amazing workshop! (over £3,000 worth of filters!)

White fluffy Grey Seal pup next to rocks

We’ll head to the best locations for the given light on each day. Along with the seal birthing beaches, our options include local windmills, lighthouses, abandoned churches and abbeys, and some of the most unique seascapes for long exposure in the country!

Daily Itinerary

Young curious seal peeks over sand dune

Day 1 – Arrival and Journey to Norfolk

The adventure begins!

You and your fellow travellers will be collected by your photo guide from the scheduled meeting point. From there you’ll begin the journey to the Norfolk coast in our comfortable 8 seat vehicle.

Our arrival time may permit a bonus afternoon photographic session so pack your wildlife camera gear ready for easy access.  Afterwards we’ll check into our lovely accommodation for the evening, call into a large food shop to gather any supplies needed, then head for dinner to discuss the days ahead, advice on settings and shooting techniques,  and get to know each other.

White, fluffy, Grey Seal pup yawning

Day 2

Each day we’ll consider the possibility of starting the morning with a sunrise shoot at one of our stunning landscape locations.  Your guide will check the weather forecast the previous night and assess if any locations are suitable for the conditions.

Following our potential sunrise shoot (or a sleep in) we’ll head to Horsey Gap, regarded as the best location in Norfolk to observe the seals.  We’ll take a lunch break at a local cafe to recharge ourselves, head back for an afternoon session, potential sunset shoot, and then back to our accommodation or local pub for an evening meal.

Close-up of Grey Seal pup looking at camera

Day 3

After breakfast on the third day, we’ll either capture an opportunistic sunrise at one of our windmill or lighthouse locations, or head straight to the beach to catch some early golden light on the seals.

Following our morning session we’ll take a break at our favourite award-winning cafe for lunch, then head back to one of our beach locations for an afternoon with the seals.

We’ll look at sunset at one of the lovely windmills that Norfolk is famous for, then back to our accommodation to freshen up before our evening meal.

Common Seal at English beach in afternoon light

Day 4

Day four sees us return to Norfolk’s beaches for our last full day’s photography of the Grey Seals and the Rookery, where once again we’ll see the new mothers feed and protect their amazingly cute newborn pups.

We’ll take a lunch break at our choice of cafe or pub before returning for an afternoon photography session, then possibly a sunset location, and returning home for dinner.

White fluffy Grey Seal pup on back haing fun in the rocks

Day 5

Our final day may start with another landscape sunrise opportunity.  Then it’s time to pack our bags, wave goodbye to Norfolk’s loveable seal characters, and start the return journey back to London with our memory cards full of gorgeous photos.

We expect to return back to our first drop off point in central London (near Warren St Station) in the early afternoon and our second drop off point, West Acton Station, around 30 minutes afterwards.

Close-up of Grey Seal pup looking at camera
Recommended Equipment
  • Telephoto lens – preferably 300mm+, eg 70-300mm, 100-400mm, 200-500mm (we have some options available to share)
  • Wide angle lens – 16-35mm, 10-24mm, 14-24mm (for landscapes)
  • Walk around/kit lens – 18-55mm, 24-70mm, 24-105mm (less used)
  • Don’t have a telephoto lens?  We’ll have 3 telephoto setups available (please let us know at time of booking)
  • We also have 3 branded teleconverters/extenders available Canon (1.4x) & Nikon (1.4x + 2.0x)
  • Monopod or tripod & gimbal if using a lens that’s heavy for you.
  • Tripod (for landscape opportunities)
  • Extra Batteries
  • Battery Charger (we have charging facilities on our vehicle)
  • Extra memory cards  (please bring a blank spare SD card to use our setups)
  • ND Filters – optional/recommended for sunrises/sunsets or any long exposures during the day – we have multiple sets of Kase ND filters available to borrow (please let me know the filter thread size of your lenses prior to the workshop)
  • Shutter trigger for landscapes (wired trigger recommended)
  • Full head to toe wet weather gear – it is England, after all! 

A full packing list will be provided prior to the tour.

Included / Not included
  • Included:
    • Professional photo guide & tuition.
    • Return transportation from central London in our comfortable 8 seat vehicle.
    • Accommodation – Cottage style with own private rooms.  Shared facilities.  There may be supplements for Premium rooms (if available).
    • Kase filter kits to borrow if required
    • Battery charging facilities in vehicle

    Not included:

    • Personal & travel insurance
    • Food & drink
    • Travel to start point or from end point of tour.
    • Anything not specified as “Included”
Fitness Level

Easy to Moderate

This tour involves walking of up to 30 minutes along paths/trails and requires occasional short steep steps or inclines.  A person of average fitness level should have little difficulty.

Where we'll meet

Collection point for tour is outside West Acton Station at 10:30am.

West Action Station is on the Ealing Broadway branch of the Central Line.  Post code is W3 0DS.

Return journey will have two drop off points.  The first is in central London, close to Warren Street, Euston Square, Euston, & Great Portland Street tube stations.

Second drop off point will be West Acton Station.

We expect to return to London around 1-2pm.

Testimonials

Thank you so much Dion for another great photo excursion. Very well thought out though flexible and as usual you were on hand to offer useful tips and helpful advice.

Great to use the Kase filters again too!

Nigel R.

Many thanks for a wonderful trip last week, I really enjoyed it and have taken away so much 😊.

I’m about 80% through post processing, it’s really difficult to choose as there are so many great shots!

I’ve been considering buying Kase filters too!

Siu C.

Guide

Dion Hitchcock - Photo Tour Guide

Dion Hitchcock

Dion is an expat Australian based in London, United Kingdom. A prodigious traveller, after visiting 40+ countries he decided it was high time to learn about photography so he could better document his travels and quickly caught “the bug”. He became involved in several camera clubs assisting them running workshops and now runs his own, including in the UK, Iceland, and his home country of Australia. A qualified pharmacist, he’s now swapped helping patients and teaching pharmacy students for helping clients with both the technical aspects and artistic side of photography. Although an unconventional transition, he sees this as a natural progression as both of his parents are artists who instilled in him an appreciation of the beauty of the wondrous world around us.

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Terms of Service

Please note that our tours and workshops are always in high demand and usually sell out. We historically have over 90% occupancy so we strongly advise to book early.

As photographers ourselves, we always do our utmost to ensure each participant has the opportunity to get the best shots possible on every tour. However, we are dependent upon the weather, which is highly unpredictable. Your photo guide will monitor local weather conditions and adjust any proposed itinerary according to conditions and any local weather warnings.

We highly recommend that you have your own travel and medical insurance. For our overseas clients, please be aware that your own domestic medical insurance and private health scheme may not cover you whilst you are overseas.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

We strongly recommend you to get a Trip Cancellation & Travel Insurance after booking your trip. If you cancel your booking and the tour is otherwise filled, we will refund you the full amount you have paid towards the tuition, minus a £150 service fee. If you cancel and the tour does not fill, then you will be refunded according to the following schedule, based on the full fee of tour:

Greater than 90 days from the start date of the Workshop: full refund minus the £150 service fee.
75 days or more: 75% refund
60 days or more: 50% refund
Less than 60 days: no refund

Refunds will be paid by the same method that the original payment was made.

If UK Photo Tours have to cancel a tour then you’ll be offered another place on an existing tour or a full refund. We cannot be held liable for any loss of any kind resulting from the cancellation of a tour beyond the tour ticket price.

Pricing

Prices listed on the UK-Photo-Tours.com website are per person, unless otherwise specified.

Prices are based on the local tariff at the time of quoting, converted at the prevailing foreign-exchange rate as determined by UK Photo Tours.

Price quotations are subject to change without notice, until a booking has been confirmed.

Unless otherwise specified, prices do not include any local taxes or use-fees, including foreign departure, security, port charges, park fees, customs, immigration, agricultural, passenger-facility charges or international transportation tax.

Prices do not include tips/gratuities to tour directors, drivers or local guides; passport and visa fees; baggage and personal insurance; any items of a personal nature; and any beverages or food not specifically listed under “Included” on the product pages of the UK-Photo-Tours.com website

Tour start/end

Our tours have a designated start and end point and it is each participant’s responsibility to ensure they are at the designated starting point on time and the tour price does not include any flights, accommodation, transport, taxes or charges, etc prior to our start or after our end points/time. We are happy to give advice on such should it be needed.

Passports, Visas, & Insurance

It is the responsibility of all passengers, regardless of nationality and destination, to check with the consulate of the country they are visiting for current entry requirements.

As visa and health requirements are subject to change without notice, we recommend that you verify health and visa requirements with the appropriate consulate prior to departure.

Disclaimers & Limitations of Liability

UK Photo Tours cannot be held liable for any loss, damage, accidents, injuries or sickness during your tour. The same applies for any changes in tour schedule due to weather, strikes, industrial action, viral pandemic, civil disturbance, wars, floods or sickness, or any other force majeure. UK Photo Tours reserves the right to change routes, schedules and itineraries if needed because of weather, road, boat route conditions or should the necessity arise because of unforeseen reasons. We advise all travellers to purchase comprehensive travel insurance to minimize possible losses due to unforeseeable situations during your travel.

Covid-19

We are taking great care to follow the current guidance from the government regarding Covid-19 ( https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus ), along with up-to-date advice from tourism organisations such as VisitEngland.com and VisitScotland.com in order to keep safety a priority.

All of our guides are fully vaccinated and have had booster doses. We encourage participants to be fully vaccinated if clinically able to.

To further reduce risk, we’re continuing with requiring masks to be worn in the vehicle (unless medically expempt). Vents will be open and windows lowered in the vehicle to increase fresh airflow. We provide antiviral hand gel in the vehicle and at any accommodation, along with spare surgical 3-ply face masks for participants if required.

We’ve adopted the tour industry standard of requesting a negative Covid-19 lateral flow test within 72 hours of the start of the tour, and ideally for the result to be logged on the government website. This test can be done at home.

By asking for a negative test we hope you’ll agree it is for everyone’s protection and helps to provide a smooth and safe tour. In the UK, you can obtain free lateral flow tests from either your local pharmacy scanning a QR code, or sent direct to your home through the website https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests , or by calling 119.

We ask or participants to please be vigilant in reducing their exposure risk to Covid-19 in the 10 days leading up to the tour, and remember to test if you have any symptoms and ensure that you have adequate travel insurance in place.

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