Seal and Puffin Spotting

Farne Islands, Northumberland

Visit Farne Islands to see thousands of seabirds and a huge Grey seal colony.

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Once home to saints, soldiers and legendary lighthouse keepers, the Farne Islands off the Northumberland coast are now a sanctuary for seabirds and seals. In fact, the Farnes are home to one of the largest grey seal colonies in Europe. Lounging languidly on the rocks the seals act like they own the place - having been on the islands for over 800 years, surviving fur hunters and numerous dangers, they pretty much do.

Each autumn, the beaches on Brownsman Island become overrun with grey pups and although the Island is closed to the public, you can see all the activity from a boat. To see the thousands of seabirds that nest on Inner Farne, including puffins, shags and terns, head out in the summer months.

The unmistakable flash of a puffin’s orange bill is the signal to get snap happy with the cameras – you’ll do well to capture just a fraction of the vibrancy of these islands but then that’s the best kind of challenge.

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©National Trust Images/Joe Cornish
©National Trust Images/Joe Cornish
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