The Holy Island of Lindisfarne

Table of Contents

My Weekend Getaway

Whenever I go to Edinburgh I take a few short train trips to different places. A friend suggested that I visit Lindisfarne Island or the Holy Island in the northeast coast of Northumberland.

How to get there

I took a 45 minute train ride from Edinburgh to Berwick-upon-Tweed and then a 20 minute taxi ride to the B & B on the island.

You can take a bus that goes from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Lindisfarne.

You can walk over but you will have to give yourself plenty of time in between the tides.

The tides

The tides

The tides

Lindisfarne is a tidal island. There will be a few times during the day when you cannot get off island and no one can get on. The island is very quiet and peaceful during the evening when the day visitors have gone.

Lindisfarne Hotel

Lindisfarne Hotel

Lindisfarne Hotel

I highly recommend this family-run hotel. It’s clean, they serve a great breakfast and the owners are very helpful and friendly. They gave me a map of the island, several walking suggestions and even told me where to go for the best sunset views and sunrise views. I felt welcome and well taken care of.

Walks

There are two or three long walks around the island that are fairly well marked. I did get lost but that seems to be my MO wherever I go. I have no sense of direction but have you ever tried to walk through dunes? The dunes do not have any signs (natural markings) which is really nice and makes the walk feel wild and mysterious.

Dunes on Lindisfarne Island

Dunes on Lindisfarne Island

I was told that it very easy to get disoriented when you are going through the dunes so I did my best to walk in a straight line. When I returned from the beach I couldn’t find the “straight” path that I was on. It took quite awhile. There was a constant wind but it was warmish and I loved the sounds around me.

Happy to find my way back

Happy to find my way back

While I was walking back I heard noises and I stopped to listen carefully but I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. I stayed still and looked around me. The tall grass started to move a few feet away from me and then I saw wild deer jumping out of the grass and running away from me. It was so beautiful! I must have been very close to them and I didn’t even notice them. They stay so still when they are attentive and feel that they may be in danger. I tried to photograph them but they were too fast.

The island has a bird watching hut where I sat for a long time. It was like watching a slow motion movie. Birds came and went. At times it was windy and the tall grass moved back and forth so that I could see water. It was such a beautiful and peaceful hour. I could have stayed all day there and that is when I understood bird watchers.

I saw many sheep throughout the island and they seemed to really like being near the castle.

Sheep on the Island of Lindisfarne

Sheep on the Island of Lindisfarne

It was the cows that frightened me. I was told not to worry if I saw any because they would not bother. The thing is that they are huge and they just stared at me as I walked. I felt so uncomfortable and so scared. I reached a spot where the cows blocked my path and I stood looking at them hoping they would move but they stood there staring me down. I wasn’t sure what to do but eventually I found a way around them. Such a strange feeling.

St.Mary’s Church

St.Mary’s Church

I was very lucky in terms of the weather. I had two cloudy and rainy days and two gorgeous sunny days. I walked every single day and had a taste of island living.

The tiny Island of St. Cuthbert’s can only be reached when the tides are low. I loved walking around it and looking at Lindisfarne from this point of view.

St. Cuthebet’s wooden cross

St. Cuthebet’s wooden cross

When the tide is low you can go on a walk around the island or part of it. I did not do this and now I have a great excuse to go back.

When I travel, I always look for a good coffee shop and was so happy to find one here. They also had some great soups, salads and sandwiches. I discovered that it was wise to come after the normal lunch hour so that I could enjoy a quiet lunch.

Coffee Shop in Lindisfarne

Coffee Shop in Lindisfarne

Lindisfarne is a place to go for a few days of relaxation, painting, photographing, meditation and for long walks.

Solo Traveling

This is a great spot for a short solo trip. I went alone. I sat down on most of the benches to enjoy the views and there were always people asking if they could join me. I would scoot over, make room and I had lovely conversations with other visitors. Some people knew the island during WWII and came to visit it every year, there were many history buffs, and others wanted to see the castle that was in Harry Potter. There are many people who go there for pilgrimages – some private and some go in groups.

If you do go alone you can meet people easily and if you wish to be on your own it’s very easy to spend a few days without chatting with anyone.

At the end of one of my days there I sat at a bench that was on the main road to the island. Another couple was there and they moved over and told me to sit and to watch what was happening. A car was trying to cross while the tide was rising and had made several unsuccessful attempts.

High Tide

High Tide

The owner of the car came back and got out of his car with a drone and spent the rest of evening flying his drone and filming. He must have made a very beautiful film.

Some Links for you

Lindisfarne Hotel

Holy Island Crossing Times

Marguerite Beaty, Blogger, Photographer & Artist

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