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The little town of Churchill is situated in northern Manitoba on the edge of Hudson Bay.

This is an area of unique diversity where taiga, tundra, boreal forest and coastal estuary meet.

Established early in the 1700s the town grew into a prosperous trading post but declined in the 19th century when it was bypassed by faster overland routes. Even today this is a rather dishevelled community, made up of Inuit, Cree and white settlers, that has only recently found a new role as the ‘Polar Bear Capital of the World’.

Polar bears of Churchill

Each autumn the area’s polar bears venture onto the newly-frozen pack ice to hunt for seals, but there are good reasons to visit in the summer months too: beluga whales and birds abound. Sights to see in town include the Polar Bear Compound which houses orphan cubs and antisocial adults, an excellent Eskimo Museum and Cape Merry National Historic Site.

Other places to see nearby include Prince of Wales Fort and York Factory, site of the Hudson Bay Company’s first trading post.

Wildlife of Northern Manitoba

Polar bears near Churchill, ManitobaIn northern Manitoba the lake-studded boreal forests of the interior plains converge with the endless tundra of the Canadian Shield. This remote wilderness spawns native wildlife that is some of the most thrilling on the continent.

The Seal River and the southern shores of Hudson Bay are the summer haunts of polar bears and thousands of beluga whales, whilst caribou and countless migratory birds flock to the flower-strewn tundra landscape.

October sees the gathering of polar bears on the shores of the Hudson Bay as they wait for the winter pack-ice to form into seal-hunting platforms. To encounter these magnificent animals, the largest of all bears, at such close quarters is truly awe-inspiring.

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who's been there

Audley Travel Specialist Hollie

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Churchill and Northern Manitoba by contacting one of our Canada specialists

Suggested itinerary featuring Churchill and Northern Manitoba

This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Churchill and Northern Manitoba, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Churchill and Northern Manitoba

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Churchill and Northern Manitoba

    Our expert guides to exploring Churchill and Northern Manitoba

    Written by our specialists from their own experiences of visiting Churchill and Northern Manitoba, these guides will help you make the most of your time there. We share both our practical recommendations and the best ways to appreciate Churchill and Northern Manitoba at its best.

    • Polar bear watching in Canada
      Polar bear, Churchill

      Polar bear watching in Canada

      Polar bear watching in Canada

      Churchill in northern Canada is known as the polar bear capital of the world. Every year, hundreds of bears congregate around nearby Hudson Bay waiting for the water to ice over so they can hunt seals. Canada specialist Emily shares the best ways to see them.

      10 min read

      Read this guide
    • Canada's Arctic, the Yukon & Prairie Provinces
      Polar Bear in Fireweed near Churchill

      Canada's Arctic, the Yukon & Prairie Provinces

      Canada's Arctic, the Yukon & Prairie Provinces

      Canada's northernmost territory is a remote and starkly beautiful landscape. We can recommend lodges or expedition cruises to provide the best opportunities of seeing wildlife and exploring the highlights of this spectacular wilderness.

      2 min read

      Read this guide

    Accommodation choices for Churchill and Northern Manitoba

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Churchill and Northern Manitoba. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.