If you've ever been lucky enough to visit the Farne Islands, you will already be aware that in the height of the breeding season, it is home to a deafening plethora of nesting seabirds such as terns, puffins, guillemots, shags, eider ducks and kittiwakes. You may also have seen grey seals lounging on the rocks at low tide, but follow them as they dive underwater and a whole other world opens up to you.
Diving in and around the Farne Islands is a real feast for the senses. Numerous wrecks litter the seabed, and inquisitive grey seals come and say hello. Whether you prefer a shallow dive or are prepared to delve that little bit deeper, there's something to suit everyone out at the Farnes. The Farnes consist of almost 30 small islands and rock outcrops lying between 2 and 4 miles off the Northumberland coast. They are split into two main groups separated by a stretch of water known as Staple Sound.
The islands are comprised primarily of a rock called whinstone, which is very prone to vertical weathering and faulting. This has produced a strange topography of steps and sheer faces above water that gives just a hint of the delights below. Most of the diving takes place at the outer Farnes.

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WRECK DIVING: The Farne Islands are one of the most dangerous shipping areas in the British Isles and have claimed many victims over the years. As a result, there are many wreck dives, which include the 'Somali', 'Chris Christianson', 'Abyssinia', 'San Andreas', Britannia' and 'Acklivety'. The best dive is reputed to be the 6810 ton Somali, a passenger-cargo steamer built in 1930 which was bound for Hong Kong via the Firth of Forth for convoy assembly, she was sunk in March 1941 after being bombed by a German Heinkel 111. The Somali sits upright in 30m of water near Beadnell. Much of the 450ft hull is intact and makes an impressive slack-water dive.
Gallery 1: image 1 0f 2 thumbs SCENIC DIVES: When diving the Farnes you need to become acquainted with the locals, the locals being a colony of 4-5 thousand grey seals out at the Farnes all year. An encounter with a mature bull seal is enough to get any heart racing. Weighing in at 300kg and clumsy on land, they demonstrate balletic movements under the water. The younger seals are even more inquisitive than the divers and often come in to take a closer look, even nibbling on fins! Other visual delights include a vast array of anemone, dead men's fingers and many different crustaceans. There are also several relatively unusual species that favour this cooler water - you may come across lumpsucker, Norwegian topknot, yarrel's blenny and the spectacular wolf fish. Another speciality is the huge, deep-water anemone, bolocera.
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  • Boats We have a fleet of 8 boats that operate out of Seahouses harbour, two of which are used for diving purposes with dive-lifts fitted for easy access from the water.
  • Air fills are available from our own air-station, we offer a cylinder pickup and return service from the harbour leaving you free to enjoy the rest of your day.
  • Safety All of our boats are certified under the MCA (Marine Coastguard Agency) and are fully equipped with safety equipment.
  • Location Seahouses is 6 miles from the A1, about 50 miles north of Newcastle and 20 miles south of Berwick upon Tweed. SEE LOCAL MAP
  • Parking There are parking spaces on Seahouses harbour, which provide easy access for loading gear to and from the dive boats.
  • Non-Divers Non divers may wish to take a trip on one of our other boats for a cruise round the islands or to visit one of the bird sanctuaries. We are also lucky enough to have several stunning beaches in the area and you can also visit Bamburgh Castle, which is situated 3 miles from Seahouses.

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Diving on the Farne Islands
Diving available All-Year
Price: £45.00/person/day
(Price includes 2 dives)
Cruising the fishing grounds
Billy Shiel M.B.E - Billy Shiel's Boats (established 1918) - Seahouses - Northumberland - Telephone: +44 (0)1665 720 308