Bird Watching breaks

Bird Watching breaks

Independent Hostels, Bunk Houses and Camping Barns are useful resources when planning bird watching breaks in the UK.  Not only do they offer great value accommodation, but many have remote locations and particularly welcome those who enjoy the outdoors.

Bird watching breaks in the West Country

There are plenty of Independent Hostels, in the open heath and grassland of the West Country’s Moors ideal for bird watching breaks.   Situated among the moors of Dartmoor are Sparrowhawk Backpackers, Fox Tor Cafe Bunkhouse and Harford Bunkhouse.   Base Lodge in Minehead is ideal for days on Exmoor where 170 species of birds have been recorded.  Notable sightings include:-  Night Heron,  Shearwater and Grey Phlarope at Dunster Beach.  Ringneck Duck and  Long Tailed Duck at Wimbleball.   Moorland sighting included  Dottrel, Snow Buntings, Wryneck along with Woodchat, Shrike and Great Grey Shrikes. Red kites have also been spotted proving they are moving into the South West of England.

Bird watching breaks in the Mid Wales and the Welsh Borders

The Welsh Borders and Powys are well known hotspots for Red Kite, one of the more distinctive predatory birds of the UK, whose population has grown in recent years partly helped by feeding stations giving them meat on a regular basis. Red Kite Country is the nickname for the area around the Cambrian Mountains and ideal accommodation is available at Mid Wales Bunkhouse, Plasnewydd Bunkhouse, Stonecroft Lodge, Beili Neuadd Bunkhouse and the New Inn Bunkhouse.

Bird Watching Breaks in Mid Wales. Red Kite feeding station.
Bird Watching Breaks in Mid Wales. Red Kite feeding station.

Bird watching breaks in Northern England

The hills and  valleys Yorkshire and Northern England provide the chance to see Dippers, Goosander, Pied Flycatcher, Ring Ouzels, Ravens, Twite, Rock Pipit and Siskin.  There are many hostels in these areas and that would make a great base for your holiday.

Bird watching breaks near Estuaries

Estuaries throughout the UK provide lots to interest birdwatchers, being rich feeding grounds for migrating or wintering waders, geese and ducks Try this great hostels by the  Mawdoch Estuary BUNKORAMA .  Great accommodation for spotting a  variety of birds.

Bird watching breaks in Norfolk

North Norfolk is a bird watchers paradise with lots of nature reserves on the coast set up primarily to protect bird populations. Here also are great places for observing grey seal breeding colonies.  The hostels at Burnham Deepdale are a perfect base for your stay where you can book a private room and join in the evening BBQ, or get together with a group of friends.

Bird watching breaks on Islands and near Sea Cliffs

The sea cliffs of the British Isles are the breeding grounds of many species of sea bird, such as Gannets and Kittiwake, in such huge numbers that they are often called ‘seabird cities’. The cliffs of the North West Scotland and Wales are also home to Ravens and Choughs.  Over 100 independent Hostels are situated within 5 miles of the coast and many of these are on the remote islands of Scotland. The hostel owners often have in-depth knowledge of the local area and can give useful advice.  The North Ronaldsay Observatory Hostel  (OBSERVATORY HOSTEL) in Orkney is a favourite of anyone interested in wildlife  the island witnesses spectacular bird migrations in spring and autumn, as well as being home to the famous seaweed-eating sheep.  Millhouse Hostel on Tiree has reported common sightings of  Golden Plovers, Lapwings, and  Greylag Geese. Also  Hen Harriers, Peregrines, Merlins, Sparrowhawks,  Kestrels and  Buzzards.  It sounds like Tiree is a birdwatchers paradise at any time of year!   The Shetland Camping Bod Network are surrounded by wildlife; over a million seabirds inhabit the cliffs. The inland hills and moorland host a variety of breeding birds, such as Red Throated Divers, waders and Skuas. Many rare migratory birds are also recorded annually. To find out what is there now see the latest bird sightings report here.

Why not try an Independent hostel as your base, next time you are planning a bird watching trip.  After a day’s spotting you or your group can retire to the social, comfortable environment of a shared lounge and self catering with a private room for sleeping.

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Independent Hostels UK (IHUK) is a network of 350 hostels, bunkhouses, camping barns and bothies across England, Wales and Scotland. IHUK's handbook The Independent Hostel Guide is printed annually and this website give details of all the accommodation in the network and holiday ideas as weekly blogs. Follow our facebook, twitter, pintrerest, Google plus and YouTube to keep in touch.