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Farne Islands, Northumberland

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The Farne Islands are a group of islands off the coast of Northumberland, England. There are between 15 and 20 islands depending on the state of the tide. They are scattered about 1½–4¾ miles (2.5–7.5 km) from the mainland, divided into two groups, the Inner Group and the Outer Group. The main islands in the Inner Group are Inner Farne, Knoxes Reef and the East and West Wideopens (all joined together on very low tides) and (somewhat separated) the Megstone; the main islands in the Outer Group are Staple Island, the Brownsman, North and South Wamses, Big Harcar and the Longstone. The two groups are separated by Staple Sound. The highest point, on Inner Farne, is 62 feet (19 metres) above mean sea level.HistoryMonks and hermitsThe earliest recorded inhabitants of the Farne Islands were various Culdees, some connected with Lindisfarne. This followed the old Celtic Christian tradition of island hermitages, found in England, Ireland and Scotland.The islands are first recorded in 651, when they became home to Saint Aidan, followed by Saint Cuthbert. Cuthbert isolated himself on the islands until he was called to the bishopric of Lindisfarne, but after two years he returned to the solitude of the Inner Farne and died there in 687, when Saint Aethelwold took up residence instead. Among other acts, Saint Cuthbert introduced special laws in 676 protecting the eider ducks, and other seabirds nesting on the islands; these are thought to be the earliest bird protection laws anywhere in the world.
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  • Recent trip to view the island on a boat trip. What a fantastic experience! Did a non landing trip as had the dog with me. Such a fantastic experience seeing a variety of wildlife including the amazin...  more »
  • There is something about small islands that provides food for the soul. The Farnes are a haven for wildlife including Puffins (early summer) Shags, Kittiwakes and seals. You cannot land without a Nati...  more »
  • This is one of favourite wildlife locations in the UK. The two most commonly visited islands are "Inner Farne, Staple Island and Holy Island. Here are some of the species you will be able to see close...  more »

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