Do you sometimes travel and find places of interest spread far and wide? A long and tedious journey between the high points?
Do you find it difficult to please everyone and find a happy compromise to suit all tastes?
Take a look at the Farne Islands where you can find something for everyone.
History, adventure, religion, wine, romantic castles, heroines of the sea and, of course, the wildlife abounds.
Lindisfarne: The Holy Island.
Lindisfarne is a tidal island, accessible by causeway only at low tide immediately adding a sense of mystery and excitement.
The Island is dominated by it’s Priory and Castle, both of which you can visit.
The Priory was home to monks who first settled in the 7th century but were driven away by Viking raids. The ruins that can be seen today date back to the 13th Century.
The monks produced Mead which is still sold on the island today and the winery producing it has free sampling. A craft shop and show room for artisan foods provide further interest on site.
Within walking distance of the priory is Lindisfarne Castle, a fortress in wartime, now owned and recently restored by the National Trust. It has fabulous views to Bamburgh Castle and the rest of the Farne Islands.
For the horticulturalists, a tour would not be complete without a visit to the Gertrude Jekyll garden near the castle.
The rest of the Farne Islands are only reached by boat, with regular trips from Seahouses. Two main interests are the abundant wildlife and Longstone Lighthouse.
Depending on the time of year, there is the opportunity to see the seal colonies. They are very inquisitive and can be seen close by the boat as you pass or basking on the rocks.
A variety of sea birds breed on or visit the Islands. It’s worth breaking your boat trip for a stop on one of them. Just make sure you take a hat!
Puffins, Cormorants, Kittiwakes, Guillemots, Arctic Terns and many other species can be seen. They allow you to get quite close too.
The comical Puffins are one of my personal favourites, with their brightly coloured beaks and feet at odds with their black and white attire.
The Arctic Terns gather in numbers, swooping around at high speed, their acrobatics dizzying to watch.
Shags in their dark plumage with iridescent green overtones nest precariously on the cliff tops. Bright green eyes stare out piercingly.
Also of interest is the Longstone Lighthouse, scene in 1838 of the Rescue of those aboard the shipwrecked SS Forfarshire, by the young Grace Darling, who rowed out in the height of a raging storm and colossal seas.
There is a visitor centre detailing the history and events of the lighthouse and it is possible to visit the lighthouse itself which still runs but is now fully automated from Harwich.
The boat trips to the Farne Islands sail from Seahouses, a quaint seaside port full of character. It’s a great base to explore Lindisfarne, the Farne Islands and Bamburgh Castle. When planning your visit, keep an eye on the weather as if it gets too windy the boats won’t sail.