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Seahouses / Farne Islands

North Sunderland Harbour (Seahouses) & The Farne Islands

Max. depth: 35+ m
Minimum grade: Advanced Open Water
Currents: Reduced near rocks, can be strong in places

The Farne Islands are undoubtably one of the best places to dive in the UK. Famous for the Grey seal colony, and breeding seabirds including Puffin, Tern, Shag, Cormorant and Guillemot.  With waters teeming with life, they are also from time to time, feeding areas for Gannets and playful Bottle Nose Dolphins that are becoming increasingly more frequent visitors to the area,

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. Most of the dive sites are around the outer Farnes with wrecks to explore as well as stunning reefs and walls.

There is a resident colony of around 4-5 thousand grey seals on the islands. They are clumsy on land but fast and agile underwater. The young seals are very inquisitive and often sneak up on divers to nibble fins. The best sites to dive with seals are the Hopper, Brada, Blue Caps, Big Harcar and the Knivestone.

Some of the more popular wreck sites in the area include: Chris Christiansen, St Andre, Abyssinia and close by but restricted by tides are the Somali and Acclivity. With depths between 15-35m there is a wreck for all abilities.

Many of the walls around the islands are covered in dead men’s fingers, anemones, soft corals and nudibranchs. The cracks in the rocks abound with squat lobsters, edible crabs, lobsters, blennies, butterfish and shrimps.

We organise a dive trip to the Farne Islands at least once per month, aboard one of the Glad Tidings fleet. This is a two-dive trip, leaving in the morning and usually returning to harbour by early afternoon. The boat leaves from the end of the main pier of Seahouses harbour, where there is ample parking and steps down to the boat. Don’t forget your flask and snack for between dives.

If you would like to join us on one of these trips check our Facebook page for the date of the next trip. We can also arrange kit hire and guided dives as well as drysuit training for those who would like to keep warm all day.

Seahouses Seahouses Harbour

NE68 7RN

58m / 1hr 20min £6 cash or card Food, nearby toilets

 

 

Lady's Hole

Max Depth: 10 m

Minimum grade: Suitable for supervised training of PADI OW divers.

Current: Negligible.

Approx. dist from shop Parking / Entry Fee Facilities
56m / 1hr 15min Free (on road) Toilets, sandwich van

We regularly use Lady’s Hole as a training site for PADI Open Water divers along with PADI Advanced diver training and PADI Rescue course for most of the year weather permitting.

The walk to the entry point is a little steep but well worth the effort, feel free to make more than one trip with your equipment, many divers do. Also take care on the rocks as you approach the entry point, the rocks can be slippery, take your time and a buddies arm if you need to.

Lady’s Hole has a reef wall to the south side of the bay, this is easily found by following a bearing of 110° when entering the water. The reef slopes gently upward to the north, the bay contains a reef on either side and a sandy area in the middle with a gully. Entry from the beach leads on to a rocky area which gradually becomes a sandy base. The bottom slopes gradually out till 10 metres deep, were it drops by another few metres in depth. Lots of growth and kelp around the reef area to the north. A selection of fish, as well as Lobsters and Scallops can be seen around the site, the Lobsters like to hide in the crevices so look carefully and you may see a whopper.

Finding your way back to shore is an equally easy task to navigate, just remember West is best, as you follow back towards the shore you will see the bay shallow off as you approach the entry / exit point.

Beadnell Point - North

Max. depth: 14 mtrs
Currents: Negligible except on surface at seaward end.

The north side of the point is reached in the same way as above, however it does involve a much longer walk to the end of the point. Especially at low water!

The submerged reef extends at least 150 metres seawards, curving slightly northwards, and in places the vertical face is five metres high. Being in the main current stream means that it’s covered in life – anemones and alcyonium etc.; it’s a pleasant swim over the full length and to finish off your air the wreckage of the Yewglen.

The Yewglen ran aground on Beadnell point in February 1960. Her remains now lie in 8 meters of water is less than twenty metres from the entry point. Among the wreckage which can still be seen are hatches, boiler, plates, girders and bits of machinery.

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