WP_20150910_12_46_17_ProOur recent stay in Northumberland featured a boat trip to the Farne Islands.The National Trust says:

‘The Farne Islands are possibly the most exciting seabird colony in England with unrivalled views of 23 species, including around 37,000 pairs of puffin.

It’s also home to a large grey seal colony, with more than 1,000 pups born every autumn.

Historically, the islands have strong links with Celtic Christianity and St Cuthbert, who lived here in the 7th Century.

There’s also a medieval pele tower and Victorian lighthouse here, plus a visitor centre and easy access boardwalk.

Many of the islands hide underwater at high tide…’

 

We loved to see the birds and seals of the islands and to visit the main island to explore St. Cuthbert’s Chapel with it’s memorial to Grace Darling.

This young girl shot to fame nearly 200 years ago as she and her father helped to rescue survivors from a shipwreck. As the Grace Darling website says:

‘Grace was born on 24th November 1815 at Bamburgh, Northumberland and spent her youth in two lighthouses (Brownsman and Longstone) where her father, William, was the keeper. In the early hours of the 7th September 1838, Grace, looking out from an upstairs window of the Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands, spotted the wreck and survivors of the Forfarshire on Big Harcar, a low rocky outcrop. The Forfarshire had foundered on the rocks and broken in half; one of the halves had sunk during the night.  Amidst tempestuous waves and gale force winds there followed an amazing rescue of the survivors.  Grace’s life would never be the same.’

November 24th will be the 200th anniversary of Grace’s birth.

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I also loved seeing the cliffs where bird nests can be seen up close. Unfortunately the main nesting season had passed so we weren’t able to see puffins and other birds who had moved on to new homes for the winter, but it was, nonetheless a great trip.

Old School Gardener

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