Farne Islands Puffins!

The jewel of Northumberland’s birdlife.

Close up profile photo of puffin
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Charismatic and colourful!

An amazing 5-day photo tour to experience one of the most exciting bird colonies in the UK!

Dates and Times

Wed 13th – Sun 17th April 2022

Fitness Level Required

Low – Medium

Price

£ TBA

(~£850 + National Trust landing fees)

Availability

On hold due to National Trust only allowing 1h landings on Inner Farne in 2021.

Puffin with wings fully spread landing next to standing puffin

Included

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Professional photo guide

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Cottage Accommodation

R

Transportation (return from London)

R

Boat Trips to Islands (ex landing fees)

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Telephoto lenses to borrow

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Small tour (max 5 participants)

Join us on a magical 5 day / 4 night trip to experience one of the most exciting seabird colonies in the UK.  Not only have we scheduled three separate day trips to photograph the birdlife on the Farne Islands but we’ll also be staying within sight of one of the world’s great coastal castles, Bamburgh Castle! Along with Dunstanbugh Castle, this gives us the unique opportunity to indulge in some bonus landscape photography with two stunning subjects in the evenings.

We’ll be leaving London on Wednesday 19th of May and returning on Sunday 23th of May.

Northumberland’s Farne Islands are home to more than 20 bird species, with the highlight being over 80,000 incredibly charismatic puffins!  Along with the puffin extravaganza, the islands’ other species including four species of terns, guillemots, razorbills, shags, kittiwakes, eider ducks, plus grey seals basking in the sun by the water’s edge. More info can be found at https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/farne-islands/features/wildlife-calendar

Please note: 

1)  Due to Staple Island being a bird sanctuary and undeveloped, this tour may not be suitable for those with limited mobility.  Please contact us if you are unsure.

2)  The boat captain’s decision to delay if adverse weather conditions is beyond our control (which is why we go for 3 full days just in case).  In this scenario we’ll look to find suitable landscape locations in the area to photograph as an alternative.

 

Recommended equipment

Telephoto lens – eg 70-200mm, 70-300mm, 100-400mm, 200-500mm, etc.
Walk around//mid range/kit lens – eg 18-55mm, 24-70mm
Wide angle lens eg 16-35mm, 17-40mm (for landscapes and diving terns!)

Don’t have a telephoto lens?  We’ll have 3 telephoto setups available (please let us know at time of booking).

We also have 2 x branded 1.4x (Canon & Nikon) and 2.0x for (Nikon) available.
Tripod (for landscapes) and possibly a monopod if you’re using a heavy telephoto lens.  Due to the limited space on the boat and small island paths on Staple Island, at most a monopod is advised for the boat trips.

Filters (for landscapes). I’ll have some kits available (please mention at time of booking).

Included / Not included

Return travel from central London in our comfortable 8 seater vehicle.

Photographic Tuition

Camera and wide angle lens setup to borrow if required (bring a blank SD card & let me know in advance)

Battery charging facilities in vehicle if required (bring your USB or wall plug charger)

Not included

Food & drink, personal insurance

Where we'll meet

At 10am, outside Starbucks Coffee, Unit 1A Euston Tower Podium, Regents Place, London NW1 3DP.  We expect to return to London on Sunday 23rd between 6-7pm.

Meeting point map.

   Daily Itinerary

Puffin head visible whilst standing in vegetation

Day 1 – Journey to Northumberland

The first morning of your tour we will pick you up from our London meeting point at 10am and begin our journey to Northumberland.

En route we’ll get to know each other and have the opportunity to watch some videos about our subjects and locations on our flip-down TV screen to get the most out of our travel time.

We’ll stop for lunch along the way then press on to our accommodation.  After unpacking, we’ll have dinner locally and review images from past tours and discuss what we can expect over the next few days.

 

Puffin taking off in flight next to standing puffin

Day 2 – Farne Island and Staple Island

Today we rise and shine for the first of our three scheduled boat trips to the islands.  We’ll be at the jetty for 9am and expect to return around 3pm, giving us around two hours of photography on each island each day.  Expect to take thousands of shots so make sure you bring multiple extra memory cards!

Our first stop, Staple Island, is quite rocky with basic paths and no facilities.  Our second stop, Farne Island, is more developed with public toilets and shop.

After our boat trip we’ll rest, freshen up, have some food, and then travel to one of our sunset landscape locations.

Puffin in flight against white clouds and blue sky

Day 3 – Staple Island and Farne Island

After browsing your images from the previous day, you will have the opportunity to work on and expand your portfolio.  Our objective over the three trips to the islands is to capture a variety of images, including portraits, flight/action shots, and environmental images.

After our boat trip we’ll again rest, freshen up, have some food, and then travel to one of our sunset landscape locations.

Baby puffin in burrow on Farne Islands

Day 4 – Staple Island and Farne Island

 

For our final boat trip to the islands we'll look at putting the polishing touches on our puffin portfolio. 

Some may explore different pictures, such as using a wide angle lens to capture the terns as they swoop in to defend their territory.

After our boat trip we'll again rest, freshen up, have some food, and then travel to one of our sunset landscape locations.

Puffin in vegetation calling looking directly at camera

Day 5 – Return to London

With our memory cards full of amazing images we’ll wave goodbye to  Northumberland and start our return journey to London around 10am. 

We’ll stop off for lunch on the way and expect to return to London around 7pm.

 

Guide

Dion Hitchcock - Photo Tour Guide

Your Guide:  Dion Hitchcock

Dion is an expat Australian based in London, United Kingdom. A prodigious traveler, after visiting 40+ countries he decided it was high time to learn about photography so he could better document his travels and quickly caught “the bug”. He became involved in several camera clubs assisting them running workshops and now runs his own, including in the UK, Iceland, and his home country of Australia. A qualified pharmacist, he’s now swapped helping patients and teaching pharmacy students for helping clients with both the technical aspects and artistic side of photography. Although an unconventional transition, he sees this as a natural progression as both of his parents are artists who instilled in him an appreciation of the beauty of the wondrous world around us.

Booking Form

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Terms of Service

Please note that our tours and workshops are always in high demand and usually sell out.  We historically have over 90% occupancy so we strongly advise to book early.

As photographers ourselves, we always do our utmost to ensure each participant has the opportunity to get the best shots possible on every tour.  However, we are dependent upon the weather, which is highly unpredictable.  Your photo guide will monitor local weather conditions and adjust any proposed itinerary according to conditions and any local weather warnings.

We highly recommend that you have your own travel and medical insurance.  For our overseas clients, please be aware that your own domestic medical insurance and private health scheme may not cover you whilst you are overseas.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

We strongly recommend you to get a Trip Cancellation & Travel Insurance after booking your trip.  If you cancel your booking and the tour is otherwise filled, we will refund you the full amount you have paid towards the tuition, minus a £150 service fee. If you cancel and the tour does not fill, then you will be refunded according to the following schedule, based on the full fee of tour:

Greater than 90 days from the start date of the Workshop: full refund minus the £150 service fee.
75 days or more: 75% refund
60 days or more: 50% refund
Less than 60 days: no refund

Refunds will be paid by the same method that the original payment was made. 

If UK Photo Tours have to cancel a tour then you’ll be offered another place on an existing tour or a full refund.  We cannot be held liable for any loss of any kind resulting from the cancellation of a tour beyond the tour ticket price.

 

Pricing

Prices listed on the UK-Photo-Tours.com website are per person, unless otherwise specified.

Prices are based on the local tariff at the time of quoting, converted at the prevailing foreign-exchange rate as determined by UK Photo Tours.

Price quotations are subject to change without notice, until a booking has been confirmed.

Unless otherwise specified, prices do not include any local taxes or use-fees, including foreign departure, security, port charges, park fees, customs, immigration, agricultural, passenger-facility charges or international transportation tax.

Prices do not include tips/gratuities to tour directors, drivers or local guides; passport and visa fees; baggage and personal insurance; any items of a personal nature; and any beverages or food not specifically listed under “Included” on the product pages of the UK-Photo-Tours.com website

 

Tour start/end

Our tours have a designated start and end point and it is each participant’s responsibility to ensure they are at the designated starting point on time and the tour price does not include any flights, accommodation, transport, taxes or charges, etc prior to our start or after our end points/time.  We are happy to give advice on such should it be needed.

Passports, Visas, & Insurance

It is the responsibility of all passengers, regardless of nationality and destination, to check with the consulate of the country they are visiting for current entry requirements.

As visa and health requirements are subject to change without notice, we recommend that you verify health and visa requirements with the appropriate consulate prior to departure.

 

Disclaimers & Limitations of Liability

UK Photo Tours cannot be held liable for any loss, damage, accidents, injuries or sickness during your tour.  The same applies for any changes in tour schedule due to weather, strikes, industrial action, viral pandemic, civil disturbance, wars, floods or sickness, or any other force majeure.  UK Photo Tours reserves the right to change routes, schedules and itineraries if needed because of weather, road, boat route conditions or should the necessity arise because of unforeseen reasons.  We advise all travellers to purchase comprehensive travel insurance to minimize possible losses due to unforeseeable situations during your travel.

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