Suggested Walks around this area

The Birder's Market | Resource | Birding locations | Birding sites England | Birding sites Northumberland | Farne Islands |  Suggested Walks around this area

Farne Islands Map

Billy Shiel Farne boat tripsThe 'Shiel' family (Billy Shiel's father and grandfather) started taking boat trips to the Farne Islands in 1918 - just after the first world war. In those days, after an early morning hauling pots for lobster and crabs, a few keen ornotholgists would ask to be taken over to the Farnes to see the birdlife on the islands.

It was only in the later 1930s the business as we see it today really got going. Billy Shiel joined his father at the age of 14 years and has now been operating out of Seahouses for over 60 years. Today he is joined by his son William. Truly a family tradition. Starting with an open Northumbrian coble, built in the the 1920s at Harrisons boatyard just along the coast in Amble, Billy Shiel M.B.E. now operates a fleet of 7 passenger boats each named 'Glad Tidings and numbered from 1-to-7.

Click here to book your boat trip to the Farne Islands
St.Cuthbert Farne Islands Boat Trips

St.Cuthbert Farne Islands Boat Trips

Trips with a landing on NT Bird Sanctuaries
These trips are normally two-and-a-half hours in duration which includes an hour on either of the two islands. These islands are owned by the National Trust who charge a landing fee to land on these islands. Members showing a valid card will gain free admission.
Inner Farne is the largest of the Farne Islands, being about 10 acres in size. During the breeding season, the Island is home to thousands of seabirds including Puffins, Guillemots, Razorbills, Sandwich Terns, Common Terns, Arctic Terns and Eider Ducks.
Inner Farne was also the home of Saint Aidan and latterly Saint Cuthbert who lived and died on the Island in 687 AD. There is a church on Inner Farne, said to have been built around 1400 on what was the site where Saint Cuthbert lived the life of a hermit in a crude stone cell. The church was renovated at the beginning of the Twentieth Century and also in later years. Around 1540, a Prior named Castell, built a large square "Pele" tower which housed monks who lived on the Island at the time, this has also been renovated and now houses National Trust wardens, five of whom live here for about nine months a year. Other buildings on the Island include a National Trust Information Center, Public Toilets and a Lighthouse which was automated in 1910 (closed to the public).

Disabled access is not too bad on this Island with fairly wide pathways.

Staple Island

Staple Island is probably the main bird sanctuary for people who want to see the birds of the Auk family namely Guillemots, Razorbills and of course Puffins. Staple Island's cliff faces afford fantastic views of the birds in their natural habitat and is an excellent site for nature photographers.

However, the down side of this is that Staple Island being an exposed rock is a much more difficult Island to land at than Inner Farne and occasionaly landings can not be made. This however is not so frequent as it once was thanks to the building of a new jetty, but it is always advisable to ask the conditions before booking a trip. As always, all landings are made entirely at the discretion of the Skipper who will at the time take into account the conditions of the weather and tides etc., and what the situation will be like for people returning to the boat.

Click here to book your trip.....

The Birder's Market | Resource | Birding locations | Birding sites England | Birding sites Northumberland | Farne Islands |  Suggested Walks around this area

Support Our Free Resource
Unlike other sites our birding resource including the constantly updated world site guide is free to use.This takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce so any support would be most welcome. You can set a monthly rate below and cancel at any time. Thank you.

paypal subscribe

birding expeditions
add this
Project Godwit


Today' Best Deals



Compact Mini Rubber 8 x 21 Kids Binoculars



Rare & Collectible Books at

Information Pages

Valid CSS!