The Farnes

Over the May bank holiday we visited the Farne Islands. Just two of us as the others were in the warmer and more exotic waters of Hurghada so we decided to head up to one of the spots we’d wanted to dive for ages and see what all the fuss was about.

The journey from London to Seahouses was a bit of a struggle. We left early but bank holiday weekend starting and the M25 meant a fair amount of traffic and ten hours in the car. Next time? We’d probably book a cheap hotel about an hour south and shorten the evening drive if we need to after work again.

Our B&B was fab. Easy going landlady and our only complaint was that we can’t use her for a return club trip as we’ve got too many people. A short night of sleep and we were ready for the first day of diving. The pier is easy to find. There is parking available for £5 a day so keep plenty of cash available for that. Head to the end of the pier to dive as the boats come round to the steps at the end to pick you up. Keep the ticket for the evening when you may return for dinner.

The first day of diving was great. We were on board with a club who know the area well and they were a welcoming and helpful bunch. We had our first interaction with the seals although the second dive was more of a gentle paddle along. Tea and coffee were in supply and a highly technical toilet serviced our needs well enough (OK, not so technical but it did the job).

The second day and third day were seals galore. We had an interesting safety stop on the third day when the seals were playing with our fins and no less than five seals pulled on us! The dives themselves were very straightforward but the interaction with the seals need a bit of experience in terms of buoyancy and confidence.

The crew were superb. They asked us what we wanted to do (seals!!!) and were helpful and informative. On the third day it was just the two of us on board and they were still great, heading out early so we could fit in two dives before the weather rolled in. We also got away a couple of hours earlier which helped us on the A1 and the M25.

Was it worth 3 hours on the M25? Definitely. We’ll return as a club and I will definitely go back. The opportunity to play with seals in the beautiful surroundings of the Farne Islands is a diving highlight and I had one of the best dives I’ve ever done. Definitely worth heading up the road for.


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