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“A Happy Convert.”
Review of Farne Islands

Farne Islands
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A group of islands on the very north-east of England which represent one of the greatest dangers to shipping around the entire British Isles.
Reviewed 31 July 2014

I’m not a huge fan of small boats, birds, or for that matter the National Trust. Small boats simply scare me and make me seasick. I certainly turned down the offer of a crab sarnie prior to the voyage and took some water and oat cakes with me. I can take or leave birds and when I heard that the latter were going to sting me for £6.90, on top of the boat fare to the Inner Farne Islands, I took against them too, handing my money over with a grunt of disapproval on arriving at their island. Sorry to everyone concerned as the three hour Billy Shiel voyage last week was truly brilliant. The boat trip was far too interesting to freak me out and the commentary excellent. We saw seals and loads of seabirds and the only downside was the vile stink of rotting bird poo. The Inner Farne was like something out of Alfred Hitchcock’s movie – The Birds and they were absolutely everywhere, including all over the ground. You shouldn’t really even consider going there if you have any kind of bird phobia and certainly need some protective head gear. As for the National Trust, their young warders were helpful, pleasant and really informative and I don’t now begrudge them the landing fee due to all their hard work. I haven’t bought a small boat or joined the National Trust yet, but have since returning to York have been enjoying the birds in my own garden. Not terns, puffins, gulls, shags etc. but just starlings, sparrows, tits and the like.

1  Thank 456Alfred_g456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 31 July 2014

We did the same trip 15 years ago when the kids were small, but as we had to be during summer school holidays, we were too late for the puffins and they had all flown.
Back in Seahouses and this time during Puffin season and it did not disappoint. Took the same Billy Shiels boat trip and last time we landed on the Inner Farne but this time it was the NT owned Staple Island with its large colonies of Puffins , Shags Guillemots and Razorbills.
You have to stay within the blue roped area but I still could not believe how up close and personal you can get to the birds. The puffins and shags must be so use to human presence because you can literally get within feet of them and they do not bat an eyelid. And whatever wildlife programs you may have seen on the tele nothing comes close to seeing in the raw a Shag chick thrust its whole head down its parents throat for its feed.
Staple Island is quite a rocky island, so will not be the best island for the less able, but if you are capable of rock climbing I thoroughly recommend a June /July visit here. Head over to the NT hut and take the walkway to the right of the hut. This will take you through the puffin burrows to the cliff edge where a large part of the colony sit and land when coming back from the ocean, and therefore a good spot to get the iconic photo of a puffin with its beak full of sand eels..
As like others have said, we also did many things and visited several places whilst in Northumberland. But the visit to the Farne Islands will live in the memory the longest.

Thank Steve_of_N21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2014

We booked a boat trip from Seahouses to the Farne Islands on a sunny, calm day in July. Six of us ranging in age from 4 - 67. I think we all agreed it was a trip we will always remember, even if the rocking of the boat sent our youngest to sleep! The trip lasted 3 hours with an hour on Inner Farne. Our boat was Glad Tidings 3. The skipper gave a running commentary which was informative and amusing. We saw puffins, shag, kittiwake and other sea birds with their young in their nesting grounds, huge towers of rock rising from the sea. There were seals basking on the rocks and swimming close to the boat.

The lighthouse that was manned by the Darling Family was viewed from the boat and the story of Grace Darling was told.

Having reached the outermost limit of the Farnes we turned landward and landed on Inner Farne a bird sanctuary owned by the National Trust (make sure you have your membership timers with you). The noise from the Arctic Tern was overpowering but wonderful as they swooped down to feed their chicks.

I would thoroughly recommend visitors to take this trip, or one similar. Old and young alike had a wonderful, memorable afternoon.

Thank warwicker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2014

An absolute must place to visit-travelled with 2 children who were enthralled with the boat journey, seals, jelly fish and ah... the puffins!

Thank Jaysyk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2014

We travelled with the Billy Shiels company out of Seahouses on "Glad Tidings VII" and enjoyed a great round trip with informative and not-too-intrusive commentary from the skipper. Alighting on one of the inner Farnes we were able to see puffins, kittiwakes, arctic terns and other birds at close quarters.

1  Thank andrew W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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