Grey seals can be spotted on most of the British Coasts excluding the South East and can be found across north Europe and Canada. They are normally spotted basking on a rock to raise their body temperature. You can tell the difference between sexes in Grey seals by their fur colour; males have grey-brown fur with few patches and females are paler with a grey tan coat. Both male and females have an angular nose with small eyes and widely separated nostrils. All seals have a layer of blubber beneath the skin to provide insulation for the cold temperature habitats they live in. This layer also aids buoyancy, protects the body's organs and is an energy source. To aid the seal's diving time, the seal has wide nostrils and big eyes. Both ear passages and nostrils can be closed under water to stop sea water entering the body.
Their diet mainly consists of fish and eels but can consist of lobsters and other exotic fish. They help maintain the ocean's ecology by eating weak, dying or dead fish; this prevents the build-up of bacteria and effectively stops the decaying of fish.
Grey seals are among the only seal species that don’t compete for mating territory. There are three groups of Grey seal: Northwest Atlantic, Coastal Northeast Atlantic and Baltic Sea Seals. You will only spot the Northeast Atlantic Grey seals. These seals mate from September to February. Seal pups are born with a thick white fur which is shed within a month after birth. After one month the seal pup has its full adult coat and begins to fish for itself.
Hope Cove is a perfect place for spotting seals with many breeding pairs coming back year after year. The entire Bigbury Bay provides unforgettable opportunities for spotting seals and seal pups from upon the cliff or from the Cottage Hotel itself. There have been many seal pups born on the Hope Cove beaches.