Wildlife activities in Northumberland

Wildlife and birdwatching
Don’t forget your binoculars when you visit Northumberland. The sheer diversity of our landscape makes for some of the best wildlife discovery in the country, where you can spot everything from seals, dolphins and seabirds, to red squirrels, deer and a huge variety of other birdlife.

Sightings to remember

When the Daily Telegraph described Northumberland as "a birder's paradise", they weren't exaggerating. Spot puffins and a myriad of other seabirds on a boat trip, tuck into pizza while you watch out for wildlife with Wild Intirgue, or treat yourself to a day out with a professional birdwatching guide. We have rare species of international significance to admire when bird and wildlife watching.

We have two areas of outstanding natural beauty, the Northumberland Coast and the North Pennines, as well as the Northumberland National Park; the least-populated of the National Parks, and England’s most tranquil place.

The Northumberland National Park and the North Pennines are the place to see black grouse, golden plover and other moorland specialities, like the curlew with its evocative haunting call, and you'll find crossbills and secretive goshawks in woodlands like Kielder Water & Forest Park. A pair of ospreys has also hatched chicks for the last two years running – a record first time this has even been recorded in Northumberland. The county's rivers are home to dipper, goosander, common sandpiper and grey wagtail.

Take a boat trip from Seahouses to the Farne Islands between May and July and enjoy the frantic, bustling seabird colony on the islands, with terns, puffins, razorbills, kittiwakes, shags and guillemots. Around Coquet Island you can see Britain’s rarest breeding seabird, the roseate tern.

During the spring and autumn migration periods, the Northumberland coast is an excellent venue for keen rarity-spotters and, through the winter, we have the Svalbard-breeding population of Pale-bellied Brent Geese around Holy Island and the Lindisfarne nature reserve.

With so much to see you can explore on your own, or head out with a professional birdwatching guide, whose intimate knowledge of the area will take you to the best spots, at the best times of the year.

Boat trips


Spot dolphins on The River Tweed, puffins at The Farne Islands, and grey seals on Coquet Island by booking a boat trip. Our fantastic boat trip businesses let you get up close and personal with our striking coastline and spectacular wildlife.
Dark Skies

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