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Has anyone been whale watching in the UK?

(17 Posts)
MrsDeVere Tue 06-May-14 13:19:34

Whales and Orcas are one of my autistic son's 'things'.
I would love to take him on an ethical whale watching trip but haven't the first idea where to start looking or how complicated it would be.

I can drive but DS is not good on long car journeys so train/plane would be better.

Any ideas?

(I realise Orcas might be a long shot but whales and dolphins generally would be good)

Catsmamma Tue 06-May-14 13:26:19

It's pretty hit or miss around the UK I'd say.

There's allegedly lots along the Moray Firth, we went for a week and saw one.

We did just see a pod cavorting when we went to Gigha a month back (see pic!) and we do occasionally see dolphins from the house, we are just a field away from the North Sea. Saw a whale once, we've been here 15 years.

rachyconks Tue 06-May-14 13:34:30

We always have lots of basking sharks, porpoises, seals, dolphins and the occasional orca on the north coast of Northern Ireland. Plenty of local companies do boat trips etc, but obviously they can't guarantee you will actually see anything. It's just the luck on the day.

MediumOrchid Tue 06-May-14 13:36:15

We went Whale watching on the South coast of Ireland a few years ago, I can't remember exactly where it was but I don't think it was that far from Cork where you can fly to. We saw some Minke whales.

MrsDeVere Tue 06-May-14 13:52:20

It has to be UK or near. I can't do long haul.

Thanks for the ideas. I will give it some thought.

We sometimes see seals when we are on the East coast but not quite the same thing grin

AlpacaLypse Tue 06-May-14 13:55:20

I'm sure we went on a specific whale safari in West coast Scotland area, I think it left from Mallaig or nearby - but that was a long long time ago.

SisterMerror Tue 06-May-14 13:55:23

How about the west coast of Scotland? Whale watching trips here

HesterShaw Sat 10-May-14 20:04:45

Come to Cornwall! We have all of those and more besides. There are some very reputable companies who run trips from Padstow, Falmouth and Penzance.

Medium, I know the guy you are on about. Baltimore, County Cork yes?

barmybunting Sat 10-May-14 20:22:34

We lived in Moray (North East Scotland) for a number of years and were lucky enough to see dolphins fairly frequently from our local beach, and whales a few times from the coast near Inverness. Look up whale and dolphin trips from Cromarty Point which is North of Inverness, we went on a few of these and they were brilliant!

Fly to Inverness and Cromarty (or other local options) are nearby but you will prob need to hire a car to drive from the airport as local transport is limited in the very rural areas of Northern Scotland.

MrsDeVere Sat 10-May-14 20:29:51

I think I will look into Cornwall. I can stop in on my family on the way down.

I think too much changing of transport and car hire would worry my DS unduly. He gets very worried if we are going somewhere I haven't been before.

Its going to be a big trip for him as it is. If I whip out a sat nav the game will be up grin

HesterShaw Sat 10-May-14 20:38:11

Have PMed you.

Sail from Portsmouth to Santander. We saw dolphins and cuvier's beaked whales on the sailing to Northern Spain at Easter. A great start to our holiday- we didn't realise they are a regular sighting!

HesterShaw Sat 10-May-14 20:59:00

Yes that crossing is a dedicated survey route operated by MarineLife. They have guides on board. They get amazing sightings in the Bay of Biscay but it can be a very rough crossing!

The MarineLife guides were amazing. So knowledgable and keen to help with spotting. The crossing over was lovely, bumpier on the way back possibly the bottle of wine and 2 cocktails didn't help .

Meglet Sat 10-May-14 21:37:58

We saw basking sharks down on the Lizard last August. And a seal or two.

CrotchMaven Sat 10-May-14 21:49:51

You'll have to go north to be in with a chance of orca. Rarely seen elsewhere. There is a massive pod of dolphins in the Irish Sea - try the Rosslare ferry. Often get minke there too.

I don't blame him. I have been sailing for 30 years and never get tired of seeing sea life. It's always like the first time.

Can I make him jealous? When we sailed from the V
Canaries to the Caribbean, a false killer whale appeared every afternoon for 5 days at cup of tea time and stayed for about an hour. That's 700 miles of ocean, but it only appeared for about 6 of them a day. Weird.

Btw, I would probably shit myself if I saw an orca when I was on a boat. Too clever by half.

CrotchMaven Sat 10-May-14 21:56:00

I've heard good things about the trips from mull. Bit of a trek to get there.

Seen lots round there when sailing too.

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