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Lindisfarne Holy Island

Home > Newcastle Upon Tyne > Castles | National Parks
by Shikainah Champion-Samuel (subscribe)
A great believer in exploring the off beat, non-touristy things hidden inside every city. For my professional practice check
Published September 29th 2019
A piece of English history in a tidal island
I must say I first came to know of the existence of this little tidal island off the coast of Northumberland, only when I helped my primary school-going daughter with her homework project on the Viking attacks on the priory there in AD 793. Anyway, when on a recent short holiday to that part of the country, one of the things I thought it would be good to do was to look up this rather unusual place.

So, yes, the first thing one needs to do before planning a visit to the island, is to get hold of the tide time table. Otherwise, you might find yourself getting stuck on the island itself or worse still, since the tides come in fast and furious, somewhere in the middle of the crossing. There are refuge points that you will need to then climb into - abandoning your car, which can quite well be almost submerged at high tide!
Lindisfarne view
Lookout point from Lindisfarne

So, the island itself has something for everyone. For Christians it is indeed a pilgrimage of sorts as in 635 AD, the Irish monk Aidan came over here to found a monastery and spread the Christian message. For bird watchers, the island is home to a variety of rare birds and the area around is a protected nature reserve.
Lindisfarne view
Ruins of the priory
And, finally, for history buffs, in 1550, the Lindisfarne castle was built on the ruins of the Lindisfarne Priory on the orders of King Henry VIII to protect against possible invasion by the Scots.
Lindisfarne view
View from the island

The island can be toured in a day, but perhaps to get a full flavour of it, it might be worth spending a night too. The locals are clearly proud of this heritage and there are plenty of local food items and curios for sale. It is certainly something worth doing if you are up in that part of the world.

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Why? It's part of English history
Where: TD15 2SQ
Cost: Check website
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