101 places to go – The Farne Islands

farneislands

Our new recommended destination is a true one-off and, since it re-opens in the spring, truly one to look forward to. There really is no other destination like the Farne Islands; located off the beautifully desolate Northumbrian coast, they offer sumptuous landscapes, fascinating history and, through their native inhabitants, one of the most spectacular wildlife attractions you could hope to enjoy on a UK holiday cottage break!

There are 23 species of seabird located across the twenty-eight islands, including terns, 37,000 pairs of puffins, razorbills and more. Last year, for the first time in 87 years, visitors to Staple Island were granted the opportunity to meet the native seal colony, comprised of 4,000 Atlantic Grey seals and their 1,500 pups. A sea tour setting off from Seahouses on the mainland will typically land at both Staple in the morning and Inner Farne in the afternoon.

Alongside their wild inhabitants the Farne Islands offers some wonderful displays of man-made heritage. There’s an old pele tower that houses the National Trust’s bird wardens throughout the year. There’s also St Cuthbert’s Chapel which dates from the 14th century and commemorates the hermetic life of the medieval saint and two lighthouses, one of which, the Longstone Lighthouse, has a connection to a very well-known piece of British folklore…

In 1838 the Forfarshire paddle steamer ran aground whilst sheltering from a storm off Big Harcar. Grace Darling and her father, Longstone lighthouse-keeper, William Darling took to the waters and rescued 9 people from the wreckage. The 22 year old received several commendations and her tale eventually passed into folklore as an example of selfless heroism. Today, the life and actions of Grace Darling is one of the many reasons people pay a visit to the Farne Islands.

Spring to September is the best time to pay a visit to the Farne Islands. Ensure you wrap up warm and check local weather conditions to make the most of your time there. Other accessible attractions include Bamburgh Castle, Alnwick Castle and Gardens and the majestic Cheviot Hills.

If you fancy flocking to the Farne Islands this springtime take a look at our featured holiday cottages in Northumberland for a fantastic selection of holiday homes in the region.

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