Hopes of limited visitor trips to the Farne Islands have been raised by the National Trust as lockdown eases

Tourists have been given some hope that they might be able to visit the Farne Islands this summer.

Wednesday, 15th July 2020, 2:32 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th July 2020, 2:34 pm

The islands, off the Northumberland coast, have been closed to visitors all season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the National Trust is now reassessing the situation following the further easing of lockdown measures.

In a statement, the Trust said: ‘We're continuing to closely follow Government guidance, and we are now considering the updated easing of restrictions in England announced on Tuesday, June 23, and how this affects the opening of the Farne Islands and Lindisfarne Castle. For now, both remain closed.

The Farne Islands.

‘The unique access arrangements on the Farne Islands brings additional challenges as we assess whether we can open to visitors this year.

‘As of July 4 a number of the tourist boat companies, who travel to the islands, are resuming sail-a-rounds to a limited number of passengers.

‘Now with the potential for access we are beginning to ascertain how we could work to re-open the Farne Islands to limited numbers.

‘In view of the government’s current guidance on social distancing, re-opening Lindisfarne Castle will be particularly challenging due to the layout, confined spaces, narrow passageways and single exit/entrance.

A puffin on the Farne Islands. Picture by Jane Coltman

‘As the guidance evolves, we are constantly reviewing our position. The grounds around the castle are open to visitors to enjoy this iconic part of Northumberland.’

The National Trust is gradually opening gardens and parklands in England, Wales and Northern Ireland through advance bookings with social distancing measures in place to protect the public and staff.

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Boat trips to the Farne Islands. Picture by Jane Coltman

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Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island.