Fun for all ages at Amble Puffin Festival

This year's Amble Puffin Festival starts on Saturday. Picture by Jane ColtmanThis year's Amble Puffin Festival starts on Saturday. Picture by Jane Coltman
This year's Amble Puffin Festival starts on Saturday. Picture by Jane Coltman
A talk from a best-selling author, guided nature walks, live music, arts and crafts and a skiff regatta, among many other highlights '“ the fourth Amble Puffin Festival promises to be a fun-filled family event.

The week-long celebration of the iconic birds starts on Saturday and takes place at the best time of year to see the puffins on nearby Coquet Island as they care for their newly-hatched pufflings.

The festival, which runs until Saturday, June 4, promises to be an action-packed affair, with a busy calendar of events and activities, catering for all ages and being held in a variety of locations around the town. The programme includes bird watching, local history talks, photo exhibitions, watersports and puffin-themed crafts, to name but a few things.

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Among the highlights, the opening day will feature the Northumberland Puffin Kayak fishing competition, while on Saturday evening, best-selling author Jenny Colgan will give a talk about Neil the puffin – a character in several of her books.

Her visit comes after the puffin festival committee sent her a replacement soft-toy puffin, after her daughter Delphine lost her own cuddly companion. The talk is being held at 42 Queen Street at 5pm and tickets are £1 per child.

The Radcliffe Club Family Fun Day takes place on Bank Holiday Monday from noon to 4pm, with fun, games and disco and character appearances. Wristbands can be purchased for £4 for admission onto the castle and slide.

An exhibition of Amble football memorabilia to coincide with the 50th anniversary of England winning the World Cup takes place on Saturday and Sunday at St Cuthbert’s Hall, Dovecote Street, with a screening of footage from the 1966 World Cup Final on Saturday at 7pm, with donations going to the towns’s St Cuthbert’s Football Club.

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Other events include children’s amusements and craft fair in the Town Square, (Saturday to Tuesday) and an evening talk plus live streaming of the birds on Coquet Island at Fourways 2 (Tuesday), with tickets £3.

A busy day is on store on the festival’s final day, which includes a food festival and baking competition, a dog show with seven fun classes plus Best in Show, the popular Colony Music Festival and skiff sprint racing.

Throughout the festival, there will be a Pete the Puffin trail, children’s puffin artwork will be displayed in various shop windows, appearances from Tommy Noddy the giant puffin, a fishermen’s ganseys display at Amble Harbour Village and puffin cruises from the harbour (weather permitting).

As part of the festival, Coun Helen Lewis has created a new children’s book, featuring the adventures of one of the event’s mascots, Arty.

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It is £4 and available to buy from Amble Town Council office, Queen Street Post Office, 42 Queen Street, Spurreli, Harbour Post Office, the harbour village and the Marina office. 50p from each copy will go towards helping the puffins on Coquet Island. The remaining profits will go towards community events in the town.

For more information, including the full programme and ticket information, visit the Amble Puffin Festival Facebook page or follow @AmblePuffinFest on Twitter.