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Lindisfarne

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Northumberland : Lindisfarne
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Lindisfarne (or Holy Island) [1] is situated just off the coast of Northumberland, England. It is a tidal island linked to the mainland by a causeway.

Get in[edit]

There are 3 main ways to get to Lindisfarne: walk across the sands at low tide (only advisable with a local guide), use the shuttle bus service from Berwick-upon-Tweed or drive across the tidal causeway.

  • Walk: The Pilgrim's Crossing is a clearly marked walking route from the mainland to the island that crosses the sand and mud. However, due to the tidal nature of this crossing it is strongly advised that this route is only attempted with an experienced local guide.
  • Bus: Local bus service 477 runs from nearby Berwick-upon-Tweed, however it can be somewhat irregular due to tidal patterns, and does not run every day through winter months. Travellers are advised to make local enquiries before making arrangements around the bus service. The timetable can be found online (http://www.lindisfarne.org.uk/general/hibus.htm). As of February 2014, it costs £7.60 for an adult day return.
  • Drive: The main east coast road the A1 is conveniently located for Lindisfarne. The turning is located in the small village of Beal (which appears to consist only of The Plough Hotel and a service station, both on the eastern side of the road). The turning is signed as "Holy Island". The distance from the turning to the island is approximately 5 miles.

Access to Lindisfarne is affected by local tides. This point cannot be expressed enough as many people get stranded on the causeway every year requiring coastguard rescue (sometimes including helicopter rescue). Tide tables are available locally and are published on the internet.

Get around[edit]

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne publishes information on and about the island on www.lindisfarne.org.uk

Due to its size and nature, Lindisfarne has very few roads. Those that exist tend to be narrow and often have tourists walking on them. There is a large car park available before entering the settlement on the island. The car park is pay & display, priced at £4.40 for a stay of over 3 hours (correct as of May 3rd 2008). On-street parking is virtually non-existant. Some B&B establishments may offer parking, however this should be checked when booking.

From the car park there is a shuttle bus service to the castle, although visitors need to check if this will be running on the day of their intended visit if they intend on using it. Beyond this and the bus link from the mainland, there is no formal public transport on the island.

In essence, be prepared to do some walking! Maps are available on the island, including a number of suggested circular routes exploring the island.

See[edit][add listing]

Lindisfarne Castle
  • Lindisfarne Priory, 01289 389200, [2]. Founded by St Aidan, Lindisfarne's Priory's most famous "resident" is St Cuthbert; although he now lies in Durham Cathedral. The nearby museum gives further information on St Cuthbert and the development of the Priory. The Priory and museum are in the custodianship of English Heritage, hence their members are entitled to free entry. Admission for non-members is £4 for adults, £2 for children and £3.20 for concessions (correct as at May 8th 2008). Check the website for information of special events.  edit
  • Lindisfarne Castle, 01289 389244, [3]. The 16th Century Tudor castle, later converted into an Edwardian home is situated high on a rocky crag, affording good views of the island, Bamburgh Castle and the surrounding North Sea (weather permitting!) Opening times vary, so visitors are advised to consult the website; however the castle is closed on Mondays, except Bank Holidays when it is open. As the castle is a National Trust property, members are admitted free of charge. Admission prices can be found on the website, but were £6 for adults, £3 for children or £15 for a family ticket as of May 8th 2008.  edit

Get up early to watch the sunrise. Go to the hill at the south end of the island overlooking the priory grounds; you get an excellent view of the sunrise behind the castle. It's really fantastic when there are rolling sea mists as well.

Do[edit][add listing]

Birdwatching.Large parts of the Island as well as the adjacent intertidal areas are protected for wildlife as part of the Lindisfarne national nature reserve.It main purpose is to safeguard the wintering bird population.Over 300 species have been recorded on the island and adjacent tidal flats.The Brent Goose, Widgeon and Teal are particularly note worthy.

Seal spotting. Grey seals can sometimes be seen on the beaches during high tide.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Lindisfarne has a number of small Bed & Breakfast establishments, a small hotel and pubs offering accommodation.

  • Cafe Bean Goose, 01289 389083, [4]. Family run cafe with 2 rooms available - 1 family room and 1 twin room. Availability is shown on the website. Rooms have tea & coffee making facilities, TV and alarm clock.  edit
  • UK Cottages, [5]. Have holiday cottages on the island of Lindisfarne and in the surrounding area of Northumberland.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sample the local Lindisfarne Meade[6].It is made on the Island at St Aidan's winery. Meade is basically honey and water , fermented with yeast to turn some of the honey into alcohol.

Stay safe[edit]

Check the tide tables carefully - otherwise you can get caught on the island or as some unfortunates have - on the causeway itself. The tide table is available from the Lindisfarne website (although all tide times should be treated as advisory and local weather can affect the tides). Note that your motorhome does not double as a boat.


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