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
Billy Shiels boat trip to the Farne Islands
scotchbeeies, Dingwall, United Kingdom
This round trip for One and a half hours was excellent and informative. We saw dolphin, seals, puffins, kittieakes, cormorants and guillemots, fulmars, eider ducks...you name it we saw it. The staff in the booth selling tickets were really friendly and showed us where we could park our car and the boat crew were so helpful in making sure we got on and off safely. Excellent!
Ian D, Bury St. Edmunds, United Kingdom
Visited the island today and apart from getting the timing wrong regards the tide being out, (had to wait an hour for it go out so that we could drive over the causeway). The island is beautiful no matter what the weather, (our day was windy and overcast), and we were lucky enough to see seals and arctic terns. Next time we go will definitely take a boat trip to see the puffins, weather permitting of course.
Visit with Serenity cruises
Paul S, Binfield, United Kingdom
Four of us did the 90 minute boat trip in a catamaran on what we thought were rough seas. Cost £15 each. Boat was fine and crew helpful and knowledgeable. Saw close up loads of grey seals, guillemots,puffins etc etc. Absolutely fascinating and wonderful. A quite superb trip and very highly recommended.
Great trip out on the boat from sea houses, one recommendation whatever the weather take a coat as it gets cold out there! Very informative people running the boats and they get as close as possibly to the wildlife around the islands. The island itself it’s great for birds and even spotting rabbits. 1 hour on there is about enough though don’t need much longer
We went on a boat trip to the Lighthouse but there are a variety of boat trips, some are a lot more expensive than others, mainly the ones that take you to the islands which the National Trust own. If you don't belong to the National Trust these trips end up costing a lot. We thoroughly enjoyed our boat trip. We had about 20 minutes on the island and a chance to have a look around the lighthouse if you wanted. There was lots of wildlife to see (mainly seabirds) and a good lot of history information to absorb.