The Farne Islands is a group of islands off the East coast of Northumberland in the North of England. During summertime around 150,000 breeding pairs of seabirds cram onto the islands. More than twenty different bird species can be spotted here, including razorbills, guillemots, eider ducks and puffins. Scattered around the various islands that make up the Farne Islands is the largest breeding colony in of Grey or Atlantic seals in England. Around 1000 seal pups are born there each autumn. Atlantic Puffins which can be found here between April and late July with the peak breeding season in May and June, are the major attraction of the Farne Islands.
Organising a trip to the islands is surprisingly easy. Various companies based in the town of Seahouses offer boat trips to the islands. These trips include landings (weather permitting) on two of the islands; Staple Rock and Inner Farne island. On both you get around two hours to walk around and take pictures. The amount of birds on both islands is overwhelming. Puffins and guillemots are everywhere and it can be hard to get the shots you want just because there’s so much going on at the same time. Landing on Staple Island is often not possible due to weather conditions and the swell of the sea. I therefore recommend booking trips on multiple days to increase your chances of visiting both the islands. You pay only for the trips that you go on so if you don’t feel like going you can cancel the trip without losing money. I always book the All Day Bird Watch tour with Billy Shiel. I highly recommend him. This trip departs daily from Seahouses harbour between 9.30 and 10am promptly and only runs during the breeding season (May, June and July). It lasts approximately 6 hours and allows 2 hours on Staple Island in the morning and 2 hours on Inner Farne in the afternoon.