The Farne Islands are a group of Islands off the Northumberland coast, scattered about 1 & 1/2 – 4 1/2 miles from the mainland, and Sophie and I went on a day trip with Billy Shiels boats, to Inner Farne. The earliest inhabitants were celtic monks, first recorded in 651, when they became home to St.AIden followed by St.Cuthbert. Cuthbert isolated himself on the islands until he was called to the bishopric of Lindisfarne, but after two years he returned to the solitude of the Inner Farne and died there in 687, when St.Aethelflod took up residence instead. Among other acts, Saint Cuthbert introduced special laws in 676 protecting the eider ducks, and other seabirds nesting on the islands; these are thought to be the earliest bird protection laws anywhere in the world. Today the islands have no permanent population, the only residents being National Trust bird wardens during part of the year: they live in the old pele tower on the Inner Farne, (the largest and closest inshore of the islands), and the lighthouse cottage on the Brownsman in the outer group. The pele tower was built c.1500, by or for Thomas Castell, Prior of Durham.
I love going on boats, so exciting 🙂 I took the Fuji XT1 with me, but also the Nikon S1 as I hadn’t yet got the new zoom lens for the XT, and the one I have for the Nikon is 110mm whereas the XT kit zoom is only 55mm.
This chap was sitting on the harbour wall before we set off.
all the white stuff down the cliffs is bird poo, and boy as you got nearer to it it really stank!
The islands also hold a notable colony of about 6,000 grey seals, with several hundred pups born every year in September–November.
The Farne Islands are associated with the story ofGrace Darling and the wreck of the Forfarshire. Grace Darling was the daughter of Longstone Lighthouse Keeper,(one of the islands’ lighthouses), William Darling, and on 7 September 1838, at the age of 22 years, she and her father rescued nine people in a strong gale and thick fog from the wreck of the Forfarshire, which had run aground on Harcar Rock. The story of the rescue attracted extraordinary attention throughout Britain and made Grace Darling a heroine who has gone down in British folklore
We had a good journey out, variable weather, and took about an hour to get to the Island as the Cap’n took us on a tour around the Islands to start with before landing us on Inner Farne, the pictures from there will be on the next post.