Guide To Visiting The North East: The Farne Islands

December 29, 2021 3 min read

The Farne Islands are a group of islands off the coast of Northumberland. Home to thousands of seals, puffins and over 100,000 seabirds that call our special place home each year. Though, people have been living on the islands for centuries; hermits, monks, lighthouse keepers, soldiers and even shipwrecked sailors. An amazing place to visit for nature lovers and historians alike, here's your ultimate guide to visiting The Farne Islands!

Things to do

Admire the local wildlife

The main reason to visit the Farne Islands is the wildlife! In fact,Sir David Attenborough called the Farne Islands his favourite place in the UK to see 'magnificent nature'. The islands hosts England’s largest breeding population of Atlantic grey seals and up to 23 different species of bird, so make sure you bring a camera and binoculars to help capture the most amazing views.

Top tip: look out for rangers on the islands, they sometimes have some rock pool creatures for you to look at. 

Take a boat trip 

The Farnes are two to three miles off the Northumberland Coast and can only be reached by boat. There are boat trips all year round, depending on the weather. Sailing round the Islands and some land on Inner Farne and Staple is the best way to make the most of what the Island has to offer.

Visit St Cuthbert's Chapel

On Inner Farne, St Cuthbert's Chapel, built in the 14th century and heavily modified in the 19th, is open to the public. The chapel on Inner Farne was once part of a larger monastic complex including the present visitor centre - once itself a chapel - and the surrounding courtyards.

It was built in the early fourteenth century and was used by the holy community up until Henry VIII's Dissolution. It was heavily renovated to its present state in the nineteenth century. There are other buildings to be seen on the Islands such as a medieval pele tower and a Georgian lighthouse, however they are not open to the public and can only be seen. 

Places to eat/drink

St Aidans Bistro

If seafood is what you’re looking for then head down to St Aidan’s Hotel & Bistro for some delicious food! Located not far from the Island Boat Tours dock in Seahouses, they offer a wide range of seafood including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options for those with particular requirements.

They are rated as the number one restaurant in Seahouses with a spectacular 5 star rating on TripAdvisor and have some outstanding reviews describing their experience as ‘food heaven’ with delicious food and outstanding service. Give it a try the next time you make a trip! 

Where to stay 

The Lord Crewe 

If you’re looking for a romantic hotel in Bamburgh, look no further than The Lord Crewe Hotel & Restaurant. Just 2.4 miles away from the Farne Islands, it’s the perfect stay especially if you’re on a budget with prices ranging from £80-£105 for a standard room.

The hotel has WiFi, it’s own car park and is pet friendly. They also offer free breakfast in their accompanying restaurant. With a 4 star rating on TripAdvisor and over 600+ reviews, it’s surely a good find! 

How to get there

Getting to the Islands is pretty simple; by boat! Make sure to book your boat trip in advance and head down to the Seahouses Harbour. There are 28 islands, of which 3 are accessible; Inner Farne, Staple (May-July only), and Longstone.

And that’s it! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading all about the best things to do in The Farne Islands. Let us know in the comments if you’re planning a trip there yourself, or if you’re a local, what are some of your favourite hidden gems? 

Caitlin Steele
Caitlin Steele

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