A guide to Lindisfarne - Holy Island
The Holy Island of Lindisfarne is a truly unique place to visit and has a remarkable history for such a small scrap of land. Cut off from the mainland twice a day, the island features a small village next to the famous Lindisfarne Priory. This priory was once at the very heart of Christianity in Anglo Saxon times, spreading its teachings to the ancient kingdoms of Britain on the mainland. Probably the most famous artefact associated with Holy Island is the Lindisfarne Gospels, an 8th century manuscript of the Biblical gospels in Latin that feature a stunning collection of illustrations.
Getting to Lindisfarne
Lindisfarne is famous for its causeway, allowing visitors and residents access to and from the island when the tide is out. It’s very important to check the times of daily tides, as well as the weather, as it’s possible to become stranded if you’re not careful. You can walk or drive onto the island, and you can reach it in just over an hour’s drive from Newcastle on the A1 to Berwick-upon-Tweed.
What to see in Lindisfarne
The island is famed for its calm and spiritual nature, as well as its historic sites, and is the perfect place to spend a day or two exploring. The Lindisfarne Priory can be found on the edge of the village, next to the current parish church. You can see the elegant arches and pillars of the old priory, built in the 11th century, as well as the sleeping quarters of the monks who lived there. You can also find out about the vicious Viking raids that took place on the island and in Northumbria, and the lasting effects they had.
Image credit: Onenortheast
The castle is a picturesque site, perched on its rock above the sea in an idyllic location. Though it was built in the 1500s, the castle was renovated by the renowned Arts and Crafts architect Edwin Lutyens, and today you can see the interior fitted out with period items, much as it might have looked in his day. You can also enjoy the stunning views from the top of the battlements, giving you a panorama of the Northumbrian coast.