Farne Islands 2019

The Farne Islands on the Northumberland coast are a Mecca for bird photographers from all over the world.

Inner Farne opens in April for visitors. It’s a month of excitement as the first puffins arrive back on land, eider ducks start returning mid-month and other seabirds – kittiwakes, fulmars, guillemots, razorbills, sandwich terns, common terns, and Shags. Although only Inner Farne is open it’s a good time to go to the Islands to witness the mating behaviours and get those special shots.

In May both Inner Farne and Staple are open, when visiting Inner Farne a hat is necessary to protect you from the dive-bombing Arctic terns protecting their nests/chicks, the trick here is to wait for everyone to get off the boat and get some great shots of the birds hovering above the visitors heads. By June the pufflings are beginning to hatch and the adult birds are constantly bringing in mouthfuls of sand eels and small fish to feed their growing single chick. They have a constant battle with the Black backed gulls trying to highjack their catch and sometimes even taking chicks or whole birds, its brutal but that nature. July is very similar and by August the Puffins are first to leave followed by the Artic terns and other seabirds.

The Farne islands are a very special location and at least three trips are planned this year, it’s a place I never tire of and once you have this experience if you love to photograph and observe seabirds I think you will feel the same way. This location is very close to Bamburgh Castle and Lindisfarne and I hope we will get chance for a visit in the evening tide permitting. You need a reasonable level of fitness to carry your equipment and get onto the boat, although the staff always help passengers board.

This trip runs Mon-Friday the first day getting to Northumberland and settling into the accommodation, while Tues-Thursday are 3 full days spent on boat trips to Inner Farne and Staple, these trips are weather permitting.

We can spend time if you wish reviewing your images and suggesting ways to improve them. I will also give you tips on where to get the classic shots depending on the light and wind direction, camera settings and focal length. If you’re a complete beginner and you want to give bird photography a go without the outlay for the camera and lenses, I can hire these to you at a reasonable cost. Friday its time to pack up and head home.

This trip includes comfortable self-catering accommodation (en-suite), a well-stocked fridge and cupboards for self-serve breakfasts, more convenient for the early start, Packed lunch will be provided for the boat trip each day, evening meals will be taken at local pubs and restaurants. My help and knowledge to get the shots.

It does not include any alcoholic beverages or the National Trust fees charge to visit the Islands, last year this was £27 per day, however if you are a member its free, you need your own holiday insurance to cover yourself if for some reason you can’t make the trip. Please note deposits are non-refundable. If for any reason I can’t make it you will be given a full-refund. These are prices for small group trips for 4 people plus myself. Private tours with one to one tuition are available please contact me for more details.

Equipment & Clothing

The most important thing is to have a good set of outdoor clothes and shoes. These should include layers so if you get hot or cold these can be adjusted easily. Good waterproof/breathable coat and trousers and comfortable gortex shoes or boots. A thin waterproof mat to lay on is also very useful and can be folded to create a kneeing pad.

My photography equipment consists of: 2x Canon 1DX II, Canon 1x 7D II, and Canon 5D III bodies. I have an assortment of Lenses which includes Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS II US. Canon EF 400mm f 5.6 L. Sigma 100-600mm 5-6.3 DG C. Plus Canon EF 500mm f/4 L IS II USM. EF 1.4 III Extender and EF 2x Extender III.

All have their place but I find the Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L IS II paired with either the Canon 1DX II or the 7D II is a very good combination.

I can arrange camera hire for you. Please ask for details.

Please get in touch for more information regarding my Bird Photography Tours. Call 07813 007970 or use the Contact Form to send me a message.

Please also see my Booking Terms and Conditions



£900 Per Person May 20th – 24th 2019
£950 Per Person June 17th – 21st 2019
£999 Per Person July 8th – 12th 2019

Group Size 4

Tour Dates

May 20th – 24th 2019
June 17th – 21st 2019
July 8th – 12th 2019


  • Accommodation and packed lunches
  • 3 full day boat trips Inner Farne/Staple
  • Transportation

Not Included

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • National Trust fee
  • Travel insurance

Equipment & Clothing

  • Digital DSLR or Mirrorless camera system
  • Suitable lenses (please see details on page)
  • Spare batteries, charger and cards
  • Cable release & tripod
  • Walking shoes/boots
  • Waterproof coat and trousers