Northumberland is a historic county in the northeast of England just south of the Scottish border. Seahouses is a quaint little harbourside village with a variety of shops, pubs and café’s. They are scattered about 1 1 ⁄ 2 to 4 3 ⁄ 4 miles (2.4–7.6 km) from the mainland, divided into the Inner Group and the Outer Group. Search available accommodation in and around Seahouses, Doxford Hall Hotel And Spa in nearby Chathill, Relaxing in Burgas on the Black Sea Coast, Day Trip from Krakow: Wieliczka Salt Mine, Discover Ireland in Two Weeks – A Detailed Self Drive Itinerary. Think about getting a National Trust membership. Other seabirds – kittiwakes, fulmars, guillemots, razorbills, sandwich terns, common terns, shags – can be seen on the islands and are looking really nice on Staple with the cliffs packed to the rafters. We went on the Inner Farne boat tour as we wanted to get off on the island. If seeing the seabird spectacle is your goal, plan your visit between mid April and late July to see the largest number of birds. The two lighthouses on the Farne Islands were manned by a succession of keepers until the 20th century. Inner Farne and Staple islands are closed but grey seals and shags can be seen from boats – the seals are generally lolling about digesting their fish supper, while shags are a year-round highlight and fulmars could also be starting to arrive. Inner Farne is a small island of 16 acres. The puffins will also be strutting their stuff, pairing up and displaying dominant or submissive behaviour. The shags will be displaying their breeding crests. As you would expect from a Northumberland fishing village, you’ll find plenty of fresh fish in Seahouses including a plethora of fish and chip shops and an excellent fishmongers called Swallowfishthat even has its own traditional smokehouse. This is peak time for our fluffy seal pups, they can be seen gathering on the rocks in their thousands, peaking at the end of this month. On 7th September 1838 Grace Darling and her father rescued nine survivors from the paddle steamship Forfarshire which ran aground on Big Harca in stormy seas. When Bartholomew first arrived Aelwin was already living on the Inner Farne and finding the newcomer unbearable, tried to get him to leave. Seals: Grey seals can be seen by boat. Thankfully apart from a bit of wind, the weather was clear as we set off on the open boat. Eider ducks start returning mid-month and other seabirds – kittiwakes, fulmars, guillemots, razorbills, sandwich terns, common terns – start to arrive. There are many seals too… Tips when planning a visit to see the Farne Islands puffins. It’s a great time of year to look for the last few autumn migrants. Arctic terns nest until mid-month so you will still need a hat for Inner Farne only, there are plenty of almost fledged chicks running around the boardwalks. The fish was lovely and fresh, and there were also non-fish items on the menu for non-seafood eaters. The captain provided a running commentary as we were brought up alongside the island cliffs. It was fun watching their antics. Although I wouldn’t call myself a serious ‘birdwatcher’ I do enjoy watching them in the garden and when I’m out hiking either in woodlands or cliff sides. Grey seals can be seen from boats and you can get an early insight into how our monitoring is going. Please note also that all boat trips, including in the summer but especially in the winter, are weather-dependent, so check sailings with the boat trip operators. The adolescent seals are around and the water temperature is between 12-15°C (54-59°F). Shags can be seen from the boat. Staple and Inner Farne are open. For some family fun, head to the The Bunker crazy golf course, then grab a drin… The accommodation is quite limited in and around Seahouses, so book early, or consider staying somewhere else nearby and driving to Seahouses. Inner Farne and Staple islands are closed from January until the almost the end of March. By counting them we can help monitor growth or decline on the colony. If you make a purchase through a link, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. Îles Farne Farne Islands ... Les îles Farne constituent un habitat important pour la faune, en même temps qu’elles sont très visitées par des excursions en bateau au départ de Seahouses (en). The captain took us on a tour of the route taken by lighthouse keeper William Darling and his daughter Grace during their heroic rescue in 1838. I go out once or twice each summer, mainly to see the birds but we usually get to see a few dozen grey seals as well. The lucky ones then reappeared with a mouthful of food. Birds: Shags can also be seen on the islands. It’s a month of excitement as the first puffins arrive back on land, eider ducks start returning mid-month and other seabirds – kittiwakes, fulmars, guillemots, razorbills, sandwich terns, common terns – start to arrive. amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; Arctic terns nest until mid-month so you will still need a hat. Inner Farne is now open but Staple is still closed. In 2013 we recorded 39,962 pairs of Puffins on the Farnes, level with the previous year. Farne Islands Northumberland, England A boat trip from Seahouses onto the Farne islands is a must to see the many nesting birds. Search available accommodation in and around Seahouses. It was only in the late 1930’s that the business as we see it today really got going. There was a real buzz onboard the boat when we finally got to see the first puffins. If seeing the seabird spectacle is your goal, plan your visit between mid April and late July to see the largest number of birds. Seals at the Farne Islands. The seals are used to divers and love to interact with them, and are often referred to as the ‘puppies of the ocean’ due to their playful nature. Sadly dogs are not allowed inside the lighthouse. April Farne Islands seal colony sees first pups of season. “This has meant we’ve been unable to carry out our annual seal pup count on the ground. We love them, but appreciate that not everyone wishes to be dive bombed by them; dont let this put you off a visit - there are plenty of options for a tern free visit. I loved the way the guillimots flew like torpedos zooming through the sky and landing rather ungracefully in the water with a splash. The islands are also the permanent home for a large, and inquisitive colony of Atlantic or Grey Seals. Sandwich tern July* Islands: Both Staple and Inner Farne are open. * During the breeding season, May – July, the Inner Farne tours are only available in the afternoon. Farne Islands can be almost dived all year-long but if you want to increase your chances of an underwater encounter with grey seals, September is the right period to go. amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart"; Seals: Grey seals and can be seen from boats. If you make a purchase through a link, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. Land on Inner Farne, Staple Island, and Longstone when the islands open in spring until autumn time. SYNOPSIS: The peaceful Farne Islands, off England's Northumberland coast, have for years been one of the most popular breeding grounds of the grey seal. Other seabirds – kittiwakes, fulmars, guillemots, razorbills, sandwich terns, common terns, shags can be seen on the crowded island cliffs. They were so cute with their sad eyes. A good day out. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); I’m Colleen. amzn_assoc_region = "US"; Inner Farne is  open but Staple is closed. It has a wooden boardwalk circuit, suitable for disabled visitors, that takes you in a circuit around the island. Credit: PA Images An annual seal census in Northumberland has had to be carried out from the air because of the coronavirus pandemic. We booked the first departure of the day, so arrived at Seahouses early in the morning and parked at the main carpark just of the Main St roundabout. It’s a time of firsts and lasts – will you spot the first puffins in the water, a spring migrant or the last couple of furry white seal pups? From puffins to seals and Arctic terns to eider ducks, there's bountiful wildlife for you to discover on your visit to the Farne Islands. Birds: Puffins, eider ducks, kittiwakes, fulmars, guillemots, razorbills, sandwich terns, common terns, shags, and many more birds can be seen on the islands. Birds: Puffins can be seen on the islands. It was a beautiful June day and the sea looked calm. It’s not all over, though – you might spot some overwintering birds arriving to re-fuel before they head to the mainland (keep an eye on the stick bundles near the Pele Tower). Golden Gate Farne Islands Boat Trips is a Family Attraction in Seahouses. Staple and Inner Farne are open There is more chance for visitors to roam on our beaches after the birds have gone and the weather is warm. Birds: Puffins are departing, but you may catch some at the beginning of the month. Grey seals and seal pups can be seen from boats. Puffin season on the Farne Islands is between April and July. This post may contain affiliate links. Diving with Seals in the Farne Islands with Miss Scuba UK - Duration: 11:42. Famously home to 55,000+ pairs of puffins, the largest breeding colony of grey seals in England and an array of other seabirds including terns, razorbills, eider ducks, shags, kittiwakes and guillemots, the Farne Islands offer one of the best wildlife experiences in the UK. Social distancing and furlough have meant National Trust rangers have not been staying on the Farne Islands, in the North Sea, where in normal years they monitor the wildlife. An annual seal census at one of Britain’s most important colonies has had to be carried out from the air due to the coronavirus pandemic. The shags look wonderful this month, with their beautiful breeding crests making them look most like a cross between a dragon and a punk. It seems in the summer, the grey seals prefer sunbathing in the sun than playing with divers. If you’re not looking for unusual birds, this is when our islands offer the ultimate Easter activity – will you go to one of the UK’s most remote chapels or spot the first razorbill egg? Record number of seal pups born at Farne Islands colony. Counting the pups. But when we moved to the UK, I found out about the wonderful Farne Islands in Northumberland, and was excited that I would finally get the chance to see them. Farne Islands can be almost dived all year-long but if you want to increase your chances of an underwater encounter with grey seals, September is the right period to go. The first seal we saw on this visit was asleep at the top of steps on Staple Island, at least until we approached. amzn_assoc_asins = "B06XH9MJRC,0753726289,B01HSE4EPW,B01BV14I40"; It... Rīga is a large sprawling city where a third of Latvia's population lives. Your email address will not be published. Last year the islands' seal pup numbers reached a record high of 2,737 - … In April, you could visit Inner Farne later in the month, when most other birds will be present, but not Arctic terns. Our work to care for the Farne Islands is critical to puffins' ongoing breeding success. Harbor Seals Just Want To Play - Duration: 2:56. Islands: Inner Farne is open but Staple is closed. We have been members ever since we moved to the UK. Bring a hat to protect you from the dive bombing Arctic terns who will be protecting their chicks. See all tours & tickets . In fact, the Farnes are home to one of the largest grey seal colonies in Europe. Farne Islands Northumberland, England Terns, Puffins seals and much more wildlife Farne Islands Northumberland, England Worth a visit in nesting season Farne Islands Northumberland, England Grey Seals sunbathing on the rocks. However, if you are a NT member, then you can land for free. The spectacle of arriving at Staple right in front of the nesting cliffs is hard to beat! We were excited to see puffins and other sea birds all over the island and I loved how we were able to get up close to see them. Each year more than 1,500 seals are born on the islands off the Northumberland coast, which are managed by the National Trust. During this time, two islands are open to the public for birdwatching: Shags are on the islands and grey seals can be seen from boats. Longstone Lighthouse. Our ranger team undertakes an annual census (previously every 5 years). A visit to Staple Island in the peak breeding season (between May and July) offers a guaranteed tern free visit. Arctic terns are nesting on Inner Farne so you will still need a hat if you visit this island – the terns will dive bomb humans to protect their chicks. Visit Farne Islands to see thousands of seabirds and a huge Grey seal colony. Inner Farne will be open from March 30 (Staple is closed), between 10am … amzn_assoc_tracking_id = "howbeautifullifeis-20"; Not only do you get free entrance into the islands, but there are lots of amazing NT properties to visit in the area and car parks around the UK. It took us a few moments to realise it was there to protect an eider duck that had made its nest on the paths edge. Rob Corby reports on a trip he organised to the Farne Islands to swim with seals. We had a spectacular boat trip with lots to see. After the landlady of The Hides had put doubt in our minds about the recent lack of seals in the Farnes we were pleased to see on site lots of seal heads looking out of the water at us. Our son was excited as he learnt about Grace at school. Sir David Attenborough’s favourite place to ‘see nature at its best’ is surely somewhere worth checking out. This is one of the top grey seal pupping sites in England, with more than 2000 pups born out at the islands every Autumn/Winter. See all tours & tickets ... We went out to the Farne Islands with Billy Shiels and saw the cormorants, guillemots and kittiwakes and the seals. amzn_assoc_linkid = "6457c912f12bd8c0f26397ee2df80bb6"; Warsaw is often overlooked by visitors for the more popular city of Krakow, but this... Sigulda is a short drive from Riga and is set in the stunning Gauja National... Brač is a gorgeous Croatian Island easily accessible by ferry from Split or Makarska. The name 'Shiel' has long associations with the Sea on this rugged Northumberland coastline. Visiting the Farne Islands. Islands: Both Staple and Inner Farne are open. Billy Shiel joined his father at the age of 14 years and now Billy Shiel’s Farne Island Boat Trips have been operating out of Seahouses for over 60 years. Or you could visit Inner Farne between August and October for a bird free trip, following in the footsteps of St Cuthbert or Grace Darling. There's a reason people refer to Castle Combe as the prettiest village in England. About The Farne Islands & Seal Diving The Farne Islands are located just below the Scottish border on the east side of England and are known as one of the best locations in the UK to dive with seals. Our journey since 1918. Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, I paid for this trip myself. Arctic terns are nesting on Inner Farne. Other seabirds – kittiwakes, fulmars, guillemots, razorbills, sandwich terns, common terns, shags – can be seen on the islands, and many other species besides. Birds: Shags are a year-round highlight and fulmars may be starting to arrive. The visibility here is usually around 10 metres and you can experience some fantastic interaction with these inquisitive creatures. At the start of the walk we found warning tape cutting into the path edge and wondered why it was there. The islands have the largest breeding colony in England with some 1,000 pups born here each autumn. During this time, the seals gather in their thousands on the shores of the Farne islands, with the end of October being the peak time for the pups, and the best time of year to be out looking for them. I love sharing my passions with others and write about my travel experiences as well as other interests including health, beauty, and home, This post may contain affiliate links. June We headed to main office by the carpark (here is also an office you can buy tickets at their booth on the harbour) to check in, then we were directed to head down to the NT booth on the harbour to show our NT cards for our pass to the Inner Farne island. You may have heard a story about Grace Darling. Jumplings (baby guillemots) are leaving the cliffs by jumping into the sea – normally in the evening but occasionally in the daytime. The Farne Islands are just off the coast of Seahouses and are really very special indeed - David Attenborough named the Farne Islands his favourite place to spot UK wildlife and we couldn’t agree more. Islands: Both Inner Farne and Staple are open. Birds: Puffins can be seen on the islands. To see the thousands of seabirds that nest on Inner Farne, including puffins, shags and terns, head out in the summer months. As we wanted to see the puffins, we visited at the end of April. Inner Farne is open and Staple is closed. Puffins, eider ducks, kittiwakes, fulmars, guillemots, razorbills, sandwich terns, common terns, shags, and many more birds besides, can be seen on the islands. Take a look at our boats, our trips & tours, then plan your visit and if you wish, reserve your place online now! Inner Farne and Staple are open They were crowded and raucous sea birds including guillimots, razor bills, shags and kittiwake. Please note that all timings are approximate, as weather and other factors can affect migration, nesting and breeding times. Wildlife is the main draw on the Farne Islands, which are most famous for puffins and seals plus many other species, including shags, kittiwakes, razorbills, eider ducks and guillemots. And a walker weather and other factors can affect migration, nesting and breeding times trust to get boat! Islands for a leisurely day of seal and bird spotting reports on a tour around the islands from October. 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