One of the UK's best wildlife experiences is just a boat ride away - the Farne Islands lying off the coast of North Northumberland.
In summer the Farne Islands are 'home' for over 100,000 pairs of breeding seabirds, including 55,000+ pairs of puffins. When the birds leave in late summer the Islands become the pupping grounds for the second largest colony of grey seals in England.
Then there is the human story with St Cuthbert and Grace Darling taking centre stage, whilst the view from the Farne Islands back towards Bamburgh Castle rival any seen from the mainland.
The Farne Islands are open to visitors from 28th March to the 1st Nov.
The best time to visit, for the breeding seabirds that is, being mid-April through to late July, when landing is possible on Inner Farne, Staple Island, and Longstone.
The seal pups can be viewed from visitor boats from late October until mid-December.
Car parking available
In Seahouses - Pay and Display, non National Trust
Film / TV location
A Farne Island cruise is a must if you visit Seahouses.
Mick H, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Have been to the islands every year for the past 30 years. You never get enough of the unique wildlife. If you are lucky enough to visit late May or June you will see the full programme of seabirds and seals and also a visit on one or more of the islands. A special treat in the summer are the evening cruises around the islands and a visit to Holy Island for an hour or two Try George Shiel for a personalised tour a real gent.
Cruise with Serenity
Very much appreciated our ‘grey seals cruise’ - apparently October is the right period of the year for seals Very friendly crew - happy to answer any questions you might have Kids loved it (and toilet on board !)
A lfe on the Ocean wave
tonygolden48, Jarrow, United Kingdom
The Farne Islands are the jewel in Northumberland's crown and something which all visitors should see. Boats leave from the beautiful small town of Seahouses and trips are possible to three of the Farnes though every trip tours around all the Islands and allows visitors to see the many species of seabirds and also the grey Atlantic seals which breed on the rocks. A visit in June is particularly rewarding as the birds are nesting then in their millions. The sea journey can be rough but the boatmen are scrupulous in only taking tours when they know it to be safe. A boat trip with landing takes about two and a half hours. When selecting which tour to go on be aware that trips to Inner Farne and Staple Island incur a landing fee in addition to to the boat fee. To avoid this choose a trip to Longstone where there is no landing fee. It is possible to visit the lighthouse made famous by the Victorian Heroine Grace Darling who, with her father, rescued survivors from the wreck of the Forfarshire in about 1840. The Farne Islands are a special place imbued with the history of Northumberland.
a trip in a life time
the day out was brilliant we dropped on very good weather the trip was booked in Seahouses with Billy Shields and they could not have been more helpful, yes you need a hat on the islands not a hard hat put some bubble wrap under the hat trust me, If you are not a NT member they will get you a day pass on the harbour side, we went for the full day which was brilliant .
Boat trip to Farne Islands
Barbara W, Blackpool, United Kingdom
A great trip around the islands viewing wildlife before landing on the largest island in the group. Lucky to see a migrant Yellow Brower Warbler, recently arrived from Siberia. Buy crab sandwiches from the hut on the harbour before you sail, great eaten at the picnic area looking back to the mainland.