Regular boat trips from the little village of Seahouses provide access to the Farne Islands with their impressive colonies of seabirds, including puffins, kittiwakes, terns, shags, and guillemots, and barking groups of gray seals. Inner Farne, where St. Cuthbert, the great abbot of Lindisfarne, died in AD 687, has a tiny chapel. Look out for the ruined lighthouse beacons as you pass Brownsman Island. Four boats are currently licensed to make the trip to Farne and the other islands. Of these, Glad Tidings (01665/720308 www.farne-islands.com ) has the most reliable advertised schedule; they cruise to Inner Farne in April, August, September, and October, daily on the hour from 10 to 3; and in May to July from noon to 3. They also visit the rocky Staple Island May to July, daily at 10, 11, and noon. Cruises to each cost £15 and take 2½ to 3½ hours, including an hour's landfall (in good weather only). The other operators are Golden Gate
(01665/721210 www.farneislandsboattrips.co.uk), Serenity (01665/721667 www.farneislandstours.co.uk), and St. Cuthbert (01665/720388 www.farneislands.co.uk); call or check online for their daily schedules. All boat services leave from Seahouses harbor—look for the tiny booth selling tickets or the outlet in the main village parking lot. Each company offers a variety of other cruises, such as seal-spotting expeditions. Visit the individual websites to see what's on offer this season.