Puffins Photography Workshop - The Farne Islands

An amazing 7-day / 6-night photo tour to the jewel of Northumberland’s wildlife.

(plus some bonus castles and landscapes!)

Last updated: 2 Jul, 2024

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Tour Dates / Price / Availability

Dates & Times


Sat 31st May – Fri 6th June 2025

Guaranteed Departure

Fitness Level


Low- Moderate

Price


£1495pp (own room)

With en-suite (+£150)

(+ NT Landing fees if required)

Availability


Single Occupancy Room

Available

 

Single Occupancy with En-suite

Available

Included

Professional Photo Guide

Transportation (return from London)
Cottage accommodation with own room

Boat trips to islands (ex landing fees)

All booking funds are 100% protected by our insurance

Small tour (max 5-6)

Join Us…For Puffins!

Experience a magical 7-day / 6-night trip to one of the most exciting seabird colonies in the UK! 

Not only have we scheduled five separate day trips to the islands to photograph the birdlife, we’ll also be staying less than 10 minutes away from one of the world’s great coastal castles, Bamburgh Castle! Along with Dunstanburgh Castle, this gives the enthusiastic among us the unique opportunity to indulge in some potential bonus landscape photography with two stunning subjects in the evenings.

Puffin with wings fully spread landing next to standing puffin

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) As of 26th January 2024, the National Trust has opened up landing on Inner Farne. We have booked tickets to land on the island multiple days but should the island be closed, the boat operator will substitute our tickets for a bird sightseeing tour around the islands.

2) This tour may not be suitable for those with limited mobility due to steps, uneven ground, and narrow paths.  Please contact us if you are unsure.  

3)  The boat captain’s decision to delay if adverse weather conditions is beyond our control (which is why we go for 5 full days just in case).  In this scenario, we’ll look to find suitable landscape locations in the area to photograph as an alternative or do post-processing sessions. 

Puffin in vegetation calling looking directly at camera
Recommended Equipment
  • Telephoto lens (300mm+) – eg 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, including 1,000mm+.  Please let us know at time of booking.
  • We also have 2 x 1.4x teleconverters/extenders (Canon & Nikon) and a 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). Kase filter kits available. Please mention at time of booking if required. A polariser is an option for bird photography from the boat to cut down glare.

A full packing list will be provided prior to the tour.

Included / Not included

Included:

  • Professional photo guide & tuition.
  • Return transportation from central London in our comfortable 8-seat vehicle.
  • Cottage accommodation including own room,  There may be supplements for Premium rooms or en-suites (if available).
  • Backup camera equipment in case of failure. Even borrow the guide’s pro equipment periodically if interested.
  • Kase award-winning filter kits for landscapes if required
  • Battery charging facilities in vehicle

Not included:

    • Personal & travel insurance
    • Food & drink
    • Travel to start point or from end point of tour.
    • Anything not specified as “Included”
Fitness Level
Easy to Moderate

This tour involves walking of up to 30 minutes along paths/trails and requires occasional short steep steps or inclines.  A person of average fitness level should have little difficulty.

Where we'll meet

Central London start/finish point.

At 9am, outside Starbucks Coffee, Unit 1A Euston Tower Podium, Regents Place, London NW1 3DP.

The meeting point is close to Warren Street, Euston Square, Euston, & Great Portland Street tube stations.

Meeting point map.

The return journey will have two drop-off points. The first is in central London, close to Warren Street, Euston Square, Euston, & Great Portland Street tube stations.

The second drop-off point will be West Acton Station.

We expect to return to London between 6-7pm on our final day.

Daily Itinerary

Puffin head visible whilst standing in vegetation

Day 1 – Journey to Northumberland

The adventure begins! You and your fellow travellers will be collected by your photo guides from the scheduled meeting point in London. From there, you’ll begin the journey to Northumberland. 

En route we’ll get to know each other and have the opportunity to dicuss all things photography 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 – Puffin Seabird Cruise and Inner Farne Island

Today we rise and shine for the first of our six scheduled boat trips to the islands.  We’ll be at the jetty for around 9am and embark on a two hour “2 hour Puffin Seabird Cruise with Seals” to whet our photographic appetite. On returning, we’ll head to lunch, have a quick browse through our images, and return to the jetty for another boat trip. Our afternoon Puffin Photography session will see us land on Inner Farne Island giving us an up close perspective of our charismatic subjects.  Expect to take thousands of shots so make sure you bring multiple extra memory cards and extra batteries! 

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 – Inner Farne Island (and Staple Island if open)

After browsing your images at the end of the previous day, you will have the opportunity to work on and expand your portfolio.  Our objective over the six scheduled trips to the island(s) is to capture a variety of images, including portraits, flight/action shots – including Puffins with mouthfuls of sandeels, 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 – Landscapes or Boat Trip (Weather Dependent)

Today is marked as a possible landscape location exploration day, or if the weather is too good to pass up, then we may decide as a group to purchase extra boat tickets to take advantage of it.

 

Your photographic guide will be keeping an eye on the conditions to see what landscape location is best suited, including Holy Island, Bamburgh Castle, or Dunstanburgh Castle – all amazing subjects!

Three Puffins on Staple Island Rocks - UK Photo Tours - Farne Islands Puffins Tour

Days 5/6 – Inner Farne Island (and Staple Island if open)

Having reviewed our captured wildlife images of puffins over the past few days, we’ll look at capturing certain shots to round out our portfolio, such selecting backgrounds, or slower shutter speeds.

Puffin in flight with colourful background

Day 7 – 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 9-10am.   

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

Testimonials

I just wanted to thank you again for a wonderful trip which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I have learnt so much on this trip – taking the most amazing photos! Yourself and Phil gave me so much help which I am very grateful for.

If you do another trip to the Lake District I would love to join you again!

Debbie A.

Many thanks for a wonderful trip last week, I really enjoyed it and have taken away so much 😊.

I’m about 80% through post processing, it’s really difficult to choose as there are so many great shots!

I’ve been considering buying Kase filters too!

Siu C.

Guide

Dion Hitchcock UK Photo Tours workshop guide

Dion Hitchcock

UK Photo Tours is owned and operated by professional photographer, Dion Hitchcock.

Dion brings over a decade of expertise in teaching and guiding photography. He is an expat Australian and when not running photography tours, resides in London, UK, running photography workshops or as a locum pharmacist. His extensive travel experiences, spanning over 40 countries, ignited his passion for photography as a means to chronicle his journeys. This passion quickly evolved into a profound interest, leading him to actively participate in various camera clubs, assisting them in conducting workshops. Today, Dion independently operates his own workshops mainly across the UK, and occasionally internationally.

His London-based photography Meetup groups have 7,000+ members and over 500 5-star ratings.

Dion still maintains his registration as a pharmacist professional, dedicating his time to aiding patients and educating pharmacy students. However, he has transitioned his time into the realm of photography, where he assists clients in understanding the craft’s technical and artistic aspects. This shift, though unconventional, aligns with his upbringing; both of his parents were artists who nurtured his appreciation for the world’s inherent beauty. His extensive photography experience, professional background, passion for teaching, and numerous five-star reviews ensures you’ll be in the best of care whilst on tour.

You can reach Dion at info@uk-photo-tours.com

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