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Best Bargain Birdwatching Holidays In The UK - From £9.99

  • Birdwatching holidays can be pricey, especially for those in the south
  • This is because many great birdwatching spaces are in the north of England and Scotland
  • However Latest Deals has revealed the best ways to travel to top birdwatching locations
  • Tips include the cheapest transport options and which bird species can be spotted

Birdwatching is all about timing your visit and ensuring you explore a range of different places to maximise your chances of catching that rare species on camera. Such trips can be an obstacle for some if they’re on a budget, but travelling to these locations doesn’t have to be expensive.

Tom Church, Co-Founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, said: ‘There are lots of beautiful places in the north of England and Scotland to see a variety of species, but for those who would have a long way to travel the prices can be off-putting. I’ve put together the cheapest ways to travel to these locations, along with a guide to which birds you’re in with a chance of seeing there.’

Northumberland - The Farnes and Lindisfarne

Located roughly 44 minutes drive north of Newcastle, Northumberland is one of the two English counties which border Scotland. It’s an excellent place to go bird watching, and no trip to this part of North East England is complete without trips over to the Farnes and the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve.

The peak time to visit is between May and June if you want to see beauties such as Atlantic puffins, kittiwakes, fulmars, razorbills and common guillemots. If you head a little further north into the Cheviots, you will also have a chance of seeing the tree pipit, redstart, spotted flycatcher and red grouse.

If you can only get there in Autumn, you’re still in for a treat. Take a day trip to the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve and see grey plovers, bar-tailed godwits, wigeon, barnacle geese and light-bellied brent geese to name but a few.

Getting to Northumberland by public transport from somewhere like London generally involves going to Newcastle first. The cheapest way is by coach or bus - National Express costs around £14 and Megabus is £9.99. This will take around 8 hours, so some may want the plane instead - but while this only takes an hour or so, it will cost £70 or more on a good day. By car, you can drive directly to Seahorses - where you would get the ferry to the Farnes - in around 6 hours for an average of £46 in fuel.

Suffolk - Benacre Broad and Dunwich Heath

There are numerous spots in Suffolk to enjoy coastal walks and see a range of diverse wildlife. For example, the isolated coastal lagoon Benacre Broad offers ample opportunity for sighting linnets, wheatears and meadow pipits. You could also see short eared owls, marsh harriers and kestrels by going inward to the West Kessingland Levels.

If you go to the Blyth Estuary, you will see bittern, woodlark, marsh harrier and black tailed godwit while enjoying a walk along the public footpath. Located just off the A12, it’s open all year round. Nearby is Dunwich Heath, also on the A12, and you will be able to photograph some stunning views as well as potentially some woodlarks and Dartford warblers.

Another good option is Carlton Marshes, located on the edge of Lowestoft. Here, you’ll find bearded reedling and Cetti’s warblers. Suffolk in general is also known for its lapwing, little tern and redshank visitors.

The train is a good option for those going out to Suffolk from London, as you can go to Darsham from London Liverpool Street with a change in Ipswich from just £11 if you shop smartly. This is cheaper than taking National Express, which is just over £25 from London to Lowestoft. By car, a trip from London to Dunwich will cost around £16 in fuel.

Lancashire - Forest of Bowland, Leighton Moss

Lancashire is home to over 350 recorded bird species, and its diverse rural landscape provides a great option for relaxed countryside holidays. Many upland birds can be found in the Forest of Bowland, such as the peregrine, red grouse, ring ouzel, snipe and curlew. This part of the UK is classed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - one of 46 across a fifth of the island.

Leighton Moss is another good area to explore. This RSPB reserve is home to species such as marsh harriers, avocets, breeding bitterns and bearded ****. You will see the marsh harriers performing some impressive aerobatics during the summer. Generally speaking, the saltmarshes are a good place to spot whooper swan, greylag goose, pintail, wigeon and gadwall.

If you visit in the winter you will see a number of migratory birds, such as the nuthatch, tree sparrow, marsh ***, siskin and lesser redpoll. Scandinavian species which could be in sight during the colder weather include the twite, Cetti’s Warbler and the kingfisher in either the wetlands or exposed land.

In terms of transport, you can get to Lancaster from London directly on a Megabus for just under £20, but the National Express coach will involve a change and can cost up to £45 if you don’t pick your travel times wisely. To get to Carnforth on the train, you’re looking at paying £80 or more, and if you drive the fuel cost will typically be around £45 - so the bus may be the most cost-effective option for those on a budget.

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