No trip to the North of England or the South of Scotland would be complete without an encounter with our wonderful wildlife. Whether you’re a keen ornithologist or you simply love seeing red squirrels in the wild, we offer a host of unforgettable wildlife adventures including snorkelling with seals, setting off on a sunset boat trip to spot gannets on Bass Rock and wildlife ranger experiences for your mini explorers.
Sunset Bass Rock Birdlife Boat Trips
Described by David Attenborough as “one of the 12 wildlife wonders of the world”, Bass Rock is home to the largest colony of Northern gannets in the world. Experience these magnificent birds at close quarters on a private sunset photography and landing trip. Accompanied by an expert guide, and photographer, you will travel to, and land on, the Bass Rock enjoying a glass of chilled crémant on the way over. Once there you’ll learn more about the birdlife and the fascinating history of the island, which was once the site of a religious and political prison, before having the opportunity to capture images of the gannets on your camera or smartphone under the guidance of a wildlife photographer.
Prior to your trip to Bass Rock, the owner of the island and of stunning Leuchie Walled Garden will join you at the property to give you a talk about its history, outlining how his family came to own the iconic rock.
Exclusive to C&C guests staying at Leuchie Walled Garden. Prices from £155 pp for groups of 6-10 max.
Wildlife ranger experience
At Crabtree & Crabtree we’re all about holidays that rewild your children and get them connecting with nature. Let them follow in the footsteps of a local wildlife ranger on a half-day nature walk adventuring through the woods and along riverbanks in the Scottish Borders. Kitted out with binoculars, spotting scopes and thermal imaging equipment, as well as their very own ranger jumper, they’ll learn all about the local wildlife while looking out for birdlife such as buzzards, kingfishers and the great spotted woodpecker alongside species such as otters, red squirrels and roe deer.
With conservation at the heart of life as a ranger, your mini explorers will also get involved in community wildlife projects helping to top up bird feeders, planting or sowing wildflowers, building bird boxes as well as monitoring and logging birdlife or butterflies.
For those that want to get well and truly stuck in, there’s also an option to book onto a two-day ranger experience, which takes you through a series of ranger activities including optional extras such as osprey watching.
Ranger experiences typically take place in the woods near Selkirk. Prices from £400, for groups of up to 10 for the half day session. Ranger sessions can be held around your C&C holiday home, though this is area and property dependant and would need to be agreed in advance.
Snorkelling with seals
Located just off the rugged AONB Northumberland coastline, not far from the quaint village of Bamburgh with its legendary castle, you’ll find the Farne Islands. These magical islands are home to a plethora of wildlife, including puffins and one of the UK’s largest grey seal colonies. Working with local water sports experts, C&C guests can enjoy a private charter to the Farne Islands followed by a guided swimming and snorkelling session with the inquisitive seals who will play with you as you explore these rich waters.
Prices from £180pp, based on a minimum of four people. This price includes private boat charter and two guides, plus a donation to help protect the seals. Suitable for adults and children aged 12 or over, must be comfortable swimming in the sea.
Animal lovers are in for a treat, with a sunset stroll in the magical Cheviot hills in the company of a friendly alpaca or two. After meeting your regal companion, your guide will lead you to a viewpoint where a picnic will be laid on for you. Complete with twinkling lights, cosy blankets and a 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape of patchwork fields and rolling hills, you’ll be treated to a hamper full of local produce from the Borders and beyond to enjoy as you watch the sun dip below the horizon.
Prices from £140pp for a group of four.
Try your hand at falconry
With glossy dark brown plumage, chestnut brown thighs, distinctive white bared wing and tail feathers and a wingspan of up to 120cm, the Harris hawk is a sight to behold. Learn the art of falconry on a guided hawk walk in the spectacular surrounds of the Thorp Perrow arboretum. During your time with this magnificent bird, you’ll accompany it as it flies from tree to tree, hear a host of interesting facts about it and how it hunts, and have the opportunity to handle and – should you wish to – feed it too!
After your falconry session, you’ll then be treated to afternoon tea in a private flower-filled garden which overlooks the arboretum.
Prices from £102 for a family of four. Guests participating in the hawk experience must be aged 8 or over.