My move last November from Bristol to Newcastle upon tyne was seen as madness by many southerners.
Unfortunately for many of them ,the north of England ends with Manchester, ignoring all the rest of the English territory up to the Scottish borders.
This lack of interest in the north has left isolated many locations of Durham county and Northumberland for years and only recently , after the Covid pandemic , a touristic interest has started to appear.
Therefore last week I decided to visit for the first time the Farne Islands, famous for the puffins, seals and other species of birds.
How visiting the Farne islands from Newcastle?
You need to rent a car or use the local buses even if I suggest booking a hotel if you opt for public transport to avoid getting stacked somewhere due to the frequency of buses.
If you travel by car from Newcastle you must arrive at the fishing village called Seahouses and book a ticket from one of the local touristic boats.
The boat trip over to the islands is a magical experience because you will be able to spot seals and seabirds, and, if you’re really lucky, dolphins and the occasional Minke whale have also been seen from the boat.
The best season to visit the island
The early summer months are the ideal time to visit the islands and see the puffins. By visiting, you help support the vital work of the rangers hired by the national trust on the Farne Islands to protect one of the country’s most important seabird colonies.
Do not forget you must be prepared to buy a ticket for the boat and the admission to one of the islands called inner Farne.
The admission is not cheap but with your money you are supporting the work of rangers who are busy counting the different species of animals and protecting them for long months.
Their life is not easy on those remote islands but rewarding if they love animals and nature.
There are different types of excursions .
I advise choosing that one allowing people to have one hour walk on the Inner Farne to take pictures of the strange puffins and other birds.
Remember your dog is welcomed on the boat but not allowed on the Inner farne island .
The trip with the walk on the inner Farne lasted three hours and it was amazing to see all these colonies of birds around.
Remember to wear a hat because small aggressive birds called Artic terns are ready to attack you to protect their egg.
At the end of the trip, you will be probably tired and hungry and for this, I suggest a stop at one of the local fish and chips in Seahouses.
After this excursion on the island, I suggest a trip to Bamburgh to visit an intact and inhabited Norman castle. The imposing location of Bamburgh, on top of a high basalt crag overlooking expansive sands and the wild North Sea, has made it one of the star attractions of many a book on castles. In medieval texts, it was identified as Lancelot’s Joyous Garde Castle in the Arthur traditions set nowadays for many historical films.
Not far from Bamburgh there is Alnwick castle known as a film location of Harry Potter and its beautiful gardens.
Honestly, Northumberland is a beautiful place to spend a holiday if you love nature, the ocean, silence and animals.
Just book in advance tickets, hotels and restaurants because summer nowadays can be busy.
Thanks for reading.