As mentioned in the previous blog (The Pilgrim’s Path to Holy Island) we walked across the causeway to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, a tidal island off the Northumbrian coast in North East England.
Lindisfarne was considered an important holy site from which Christianity spread in England from the 6th century beginning with St Aidan. The patron saint of Northumberland, St Cuthbert, is also buried here, pilgrims have followed the path across the causeway for many centuries.
Interestingly, it was probably one of the first places the Vikings invaded when they arrived in Britain circa AD 793, causing some concern within the Christian church as it put one of their holy sites at risk!
As also mentioned before – timing is everything on this island as you don’t want to end up stranded, do plan ahead and check the tide timings!
Here (again) is the link to the Lindisfarne tide forecast
Thankfully we did have a ride back so didn’t have to walk back across the causeway, meaning we had a couple of hours to have a look around Lindisfarne.
Lindisfarne village itself is not big.
You can wonder around the streets (there are about 5!) quite happily but here some interesting things to have a look at:
The Priory – managed and maintained by English Heritage – Do have a look around the little museum at the main entrance (English Heritage ticket office). It sets the scene rather well. The Priory ruins are also quite impressive and make great pictures.
The Statue of St Aidan – looking at the Priory.
St Mary’s Church – this is right next to the Priory and formed part of the original site. It is a now a registered ancient monument and we had heard that the interior was well worth a visit. (Unfortunately, we can’t really comment as being a functioning church, there was a private service on the day we were there, so we couldn’t go inside.)
Lindifarne Mead – well of course. Mead aka alcohol made from honey. Excellent gifts.
Pilgrim’s Coffee House – A lovely coffee shop if you just want a cuppa and a nice piece of cake. They also do sandwiches.
There are some art shops heading from Pilgrim’s Coffee towards the castle. The National Trust shop is on the right and ‘The Ship Inn’ pub on the left.
The Castle – you can see the Castle in the distance from the Priory ruins. It dates back to the 1550s and is associated with events in British history including the Tudors and the Civil War. It is also linked to Sir Edwin Lutyens, architect of many famous international buildings, who refurbished the interiors. The view from it is fantastic! Don’t forget to visit the lime kilns and the little garden. If you fancy, create your own stone cairn on the beach. All managed and maintained by the National Trust.
Just to note – it takes 20 – 30 mins to walk to the Castle from the main village. Remember this with regards to timings!
At the time of visiting – there was still pre-booked entry required for both the Priory and the Castle, so please check the English Heritage and National Trust websites accordingly.
And as always, remember to check the tide times!!
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All images used are personal photographs taken during a visit to Northumberland in October 2021.
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