Puffins! - The Farne Islands Photo Workshop

An amazing 5-day photo tour to the jewel of Northumberland’s wildlife!

Last updated: 12 Sep, 2023

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Dates & Times

Currently on hold due to avian flu restricting access to islands.


Fitness Level

Low- Moderate


£895 (+ NT Landing fees)


Currently on hold due to avian flu restricting access to islands.


Professional Photo Guide

Transportation (return from London)
Cottage accommodation with own room

Boat trips to islands (ex landing fees)

Kase filter kits available

Small tour (max 5 participants)

Join Us

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 the islands to photograph the birdlife, we’ll also be staying within sight of one of the world’s great coastal castles, Bamburgh Castle! Along with Dunstanbugh 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)  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. 

Puffin in vegetation calling looking directly at camera
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, including 1,000mm+.  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). Kase filter kits available. Please mention at time of booking if required.

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

Included / Not included
  • Included:
    • Professional photo guide & tuition.
    • Return transportation fom central London in our comfortable 8 seat vehicle.
    • Cottage accommodation including own room,  There may be supplements for Premium rooms (if available).
    • Kase filter kits 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.

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

Meeting point map.

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. From there, you’ll begin the 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 – Inner Farne 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 Inner Farne

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 three trips to the islands is to capture a variety of images, including portraits, flight/action shots – including Puufins 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 – Staple Island and Inner Farne

Day four sees us continuing the daily journey to Staple Island and Inner Farne.

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 and have some food, then travel to one of our sunset landscape locations.

Puffin in flight with colourful background

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.


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.


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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