Farne Island

Often called Clowns of the Sea, thanks to their big faces and colourful bills, puffins are a popular breed of bird.

There are several different species of the comical birds and The Atlantic Puffins nest all over the North Atlantic.

But there’s a very special island in the UK where a huge colony have made their home: Northumberland’s Farne Islands.

There are actually over 150,000 birds on the island, including guillemots and kittiwakes, but it’s the puffins that really draw in a crowd.

The last puffin census revealed that there were 39,962 pairs on the islands.

A breeding pair will only have one shot at parenthood each year. One white egg is laid and it won’t hatch for around 45 days.

They make large burrows in about one metre and constantly tended to.

The birds are cared for by their parents until they’re ready to fly, but the time they emerge they’re almost the same height as the parents.

It’ll be five years before the fledgling birds return to the island to begin their own journey as parents.

The only way to get to the island is from the regular boats at Seahouses Harbour on the mainland.

Tours run regularly and they’re inexpensive and usually around £10 for a two hour round trip.

You’ll also have to pay a small landing fee of around £8 if you want to disembark, unless you’re a National Trust member.

You can choose to land on Inner Farne or Staple Island and it’s best to visit between early May and Late July so now is the ideal time to plan a visit.

The National Trust islands take you right into the middle of the action from the second you step off the boat.

The area is often very busy with photographers snapping the funny-looking birds, but there are so many of them that there’s space for everyone to experience this incredible British wildlife.

The islands are also worth visiting in Autumn, when around 1000 grey sea pups are born. These can usually be seen around October.

Farne Island



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