This isn’t really about a walk; in fact there is no walking what’s so ever apart from the small walk from where you park the car and walk down to the harbour at Seahouses and if you feel really lazy you can park quite near the harbour providing you get there early in the morning. No today we would be taking it very easy and playing at being sailors, yes we would be taking a boat trip to the Farne islands to see the wildlife. It’s something that we had been meaning to do for some time.

As we know nothing about the islands or the wild life I got this info off the net via the all knowing Google

The Farne Islands lie between two and three miles off the Northumberland Coast between Seahouses and Bamburgh. As well as being the most famous Sea Bird Sanctuary in the British Isles they also have a large colony of Atlantic or Grey Seals. Birds that use these islands for nesting include Puffins and several breeds of Terns. There are some 100,000 pairs of breeding birds in the height of the season and they are remarkably tolerant to visitors, almost ignoring their presence for the most part. This allows you to get close up to these wonderful creatures and the photo opportunities are endless. There are between 15 and 28 Islands here depending on the tide at the time of your visit. The islands are owned and protected by the National Trust and are roughly divided into two groups, the Inner Farnes and the Outer Farnes.

The Inner Farne has a religious history, from the year 678AD it was the home of St Cuthbert, he retired to the Inner Farne after 12 years of being prior at Lindisfarne Priory on nearby Holy Island. He eventually died here in 687AD and there is still a church that was constructed in his memory in 1370AD. St Cuthbert is also said to be the first person to protect birds, even allowing Eider Ducks to nest on the steps of his alter! It is also home to 1,000's of nesting birds in summer including the stunning Puffin, Shags and four type of Tern. Breeding is at its peak from May until the end of July but it is still worth visiting the Inner Farne outside of the breeding times. Other buildings of interest include St Cuthbert's Chapel and the medieval Pele Tower that is now home to National Trust staff who man and look after the Island and its wildlife for nine months of the year. Please note there are public toilets available on Inner Farne, but there are no public toilets on any of the other islands.

Staple Island is a Bird Sanctuary and can be visited in the breeding season between the beginning of May and the end of July. The Islands is exposed and rocky, which makes it not ideal for visitors with limited mobility, but perfect for nesting birds including the Guillemot, Kittewake and Razorbill. This is probably the best of all the islands to visit if your primary reason for the trip is ornithology.

Longstone Island is most famous for its lighthouse and for the legendary tale of Grace Darling. Built in 1825 the lighthouse was made famous by Grace and her Father William, who in 1838 rescued 9 survivors from the steam ship Forfarshire that had grounded on rocks at Big Harcar in stormy seas. They looked after them inside the Lighthouse for two days until the viscous storm died down. There is now a Museum dedicated to the story of Grace Darling in the nearby Village of Bamburgh. The lighthouse was manned until as recently as 1990 and is open to the public between April and October where visitors can see Grace's tiny bedroom from where she saw the sailors clinging to the rocks.

The Outer Farnes are less 'populated' and are home to between 3,000 and 4,000 of Atlantic Grey Seals. It is the second largest sea colony in the UK and there are around 1,000 seal pups born in late autumn each year. They can often be seen 'sunbathing' on the slopes of the volcanic rock that runs through most of the Outer Farne Islands.

So now you know as much about the place as I do. The only thing we had to decide was should we get off the boat and have a mooch around the islands or be really lazy and stay on the boat. Yvonne (aka the hack) decided that today we would just stay on the boat .and who was I to disagree.

Info about prices and the trips please see:-

And a few photos from the day, I won’t even try to identified the different types of birds .

Not a bird or a seal but me!


Again not a seal or bird but my better half with a rare smile on her face