Lindisfarne Travel Guide

  • North shore from the dunes
    North shore from the dunes
    by toonsarah
  • The beach at low tide
    The beach at low tide
    by toonsarah
  • Things to Do
    by toonsarah

Lindisfarne Highlights

  • Pro
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    leics says…

     Its history and its beauty 

  • Con
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    toonsarah says…

     Too small for the number of visitors at times 

  • In a nutshell
    Beausoleil profile photo

    Beausoleil says…

     For history, for walks, for the soul . . . this is a perfect setting. 

Lindisfarne Things to Do

  • Lindisfarne

    Lindisfarne a tidal island off the northeast coast of England with a population of fewer than 200 looms large in History. Here St. Aidan founded the monastery of Lindisfarne around 635 AD. He arrived from Iona, off the west coast of Scotland, to Northumbria at the request of King Oswald. Back then Northumbria, now a part of England, was itself a...

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  • Visit the Castle

    The castle stands on a rock and is the most outstanding feature on the small island. It's a pleasant walk from parking and there is plenty to see on the way there and back. It is only open from noon until 4:30 PM and the road to the island is only open at low tide (plan your coming and going), but the castle is charming and the views from the top...

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  • Lindisfarne Priory

    Situated in the heart of the small village, the ruins of Lindisfarne Priory define what Holy Island is all about. The first monastery here was founded by St Aidan in 635 AD, and his statue stands among the ruins as a memorial to the Irish missionary who restored Christianity to Northumberland after the Anglo-Saxons had driven Roman Christian...

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  • St Mary’s Church

    Immediately next door to the Priory is the parish church of the island, St Mary’s. This stands on the site of a wooden church built by St. Aidan in 635 AD, which was later replaced by a small stone church. When the Benedictine monks of Durham began to build the second monastery in the 12th century they decided this should be the parish church of...

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  • St Cuthbert’s Isle

    Just off the south west tip of Holy Island is another, tiny island, known as St Cuthbert’s Isle. At low tide you can walk out to it over the rocks. It was here that the saint, feeling the call to become a hermit, tested that calling by living in total isolation from the rest of the monastic community. After a period here he moved to nearby Inner...

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  • The Heugh

    The spur of higher land south of the Priory, known as the Heugh, offers wonderful views of the island (especially the church and Priory), and the surrounding seas. From here you can easily see the small group of islands known collectively as the Farnes, a little to the south, and the castle at Bamburgh.At the highest point are the ruins of an old...

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  • The Ouse

    It is easy, but inaccurate, to think of the stony beach to the east of the village as Holy Island’s harbour. In fact, the sea to the south of the island is known the Harbour, while this is known locally as the Ouse, or even referred to by locals simply as the Beach.At its southern end is a low stone jetty which you walk along for more good views of...

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  • Castle Point lime-kilns

    If you follow the path from the village past the castle (rather than climb the hill up to it) and look to your right, you will see a fenced off area and a sign warning of danger around the tops of the lime kilns. Walk a little further and down the slope beyond, and you will be able to see and access the kilns in safety.These lime kilns were built...

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  • The Castle

    From a distance Lindisfarne Castle looks to be an ancient impregnable fortress, but appearances can be deceiving. Closer inspection reveals a building of two parts – its fortified ramparts crowned by an Edwardian era family home! The castle was originally a Tudor fort, built in Henry VIII’s time from the stones of the monastery he destroyed, and...

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  • The castle garden

    A short distance north of the castle, across a field, is a small walled garden. This was formerly the site of a vegetable patch which provided the soldiers with food. When Lutyens was commissioned to convert the castle to family home, he brought in his friend Gertrude Jekyll to design a new garden. Although originally she intended this to be a...

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  • The Lindis Priory

    The monastery of Lindisfarne was founded by Irish monk Saint Aidan, who had been sent from Iona off the west coast of Scotland to Northumbria at the request of King Oswald ca. AD 635. It became the base for Christian evangelising in the North of England and also sent a successful mission to Mercia. Monks from the community of Iona settled on the...

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  • Lindisfarne Gospels

    The Lindisfarne Gospels were an amazing piece of religious art work, produced during the time when Eadfrith was Bishop of Lindisfarne (698 - 721). The original is in the British Museum, but an interactive version can now be viewed in the island's heritage centre.. Scribed by an artistic monk on two hundred and fifty-eight pages of vellum, is this...

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  • Crossing the Causeway

    Lindisfarne is a tidal island and a causeway has to be crossed from the village of Beal to reach the village. Its imperative that you check the tide times carefully as its cut off twice a day - and no matter how many warnings the coast guard or lifeboat rescue is called out on rescue missions. Tide times are posted at either end of the causeway so...

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  • Lindisfarne Priory

    When wandering around the village and St Mary's Church and its graveyard, I saw St Cuthbert's shrine. St Cuthbert lived in Lindisfarne until AD 687 and one of the Island's founder. Visitors can visit the shrine and also the priory which was found in AD 635 and also learn the stories of the monks and vikings.It cost 4.50 GBP (July 2010) to visit...

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  • Lindisfarne Castle

    I visited the castle whilst visiting Holy Island and you can see it perched on a hill when you arrive at the Island. It was originally an Elizabethan Fort that was built in the 16th Century after the dissolution of the monastries including Lindisfarner Priory. The purpose of the fort was to protect the island from invaders especially the Scots. The...

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Lindisfarne Restaurants

  • Quality pub food

    The Crown and Anchor is a friendly local pub in the centre of the village, with a restaurant area at the back in which we ate. This area is a pleasant space, if less cosy than the bar, which is full of interesting pictures both old (photos of island life in the past) and new (good paintings by a local artist, all for sale). Our waitress was...

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  • A cosy restaurant

    Most of the places to eat dinner on the island are either pubs or hotels – this centrally located small restaurant is the exception to that rule. It’s also a little smarter and more pricy than many of the other options, but from our experience here, worth it for a treat. It is run by the sister of our host at the Bamburgh View, Carole, so we were...

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  • Nice people, nice spot.

    Serving snacks, light meals, home-made cakes, coffee, tea, soup and other hot/cold drinks.Very friendly staff, pleasant walled garden with tables, as well as tables inside of course.I enjoyed a very decent mug of proper coffee in the garden, watching the birds and almost entirely sheltered from the nearly-gale-force wind.Recommended.

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Lindisfarne Transportation

  • Castle Shuttle

    Most people will arrive here by car - for which there is ample car parking space at the entrance to the village. Its a small enough island to walk around but for the less mobile there is a minibus shuttle service from the car park, through the village to the castle. Details on the web link below - times will vary with the tide tides and castle...

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  • Getting there by car

    Driving up north to Lindisfarne is the best way 'cause you get to see a lot on your way :-)You drive north of England along the main A1 roadway to the crossroad at Beal - that's where the causeway is about 5 miles east of Beal. And Beal is half-way between Newcastle and Edinburgh, that's about 8 miles south of Berwick-upon-Tweed.Berwick is also...

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  • Lindisfarne Hotels

    0 Hotels in Lindisfarne

Lindisfarne Shopping

  • Ice cream on the island

    There are quite a few places in the village where you can buy ice cream, but it pays to shop around, as some sell local ice cream while others only have the ubiquitous Walls or Ben & Jerry’s (and while I am a fan of the latter, local is in my view even better!)We found two good makes available. In the Island Post Office, on Marygate, we bought...

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  • Lindisfarne Mead

    Perhaps the most well-known local product of Holy Island is Lindisfarne Mead. This is a sweet fortified wine made from honey, grape juice, herbs and spirits. As well as the drink itself, you will find fudge and preserves flavoured with the mead. These are sold in several shops in the village, but the best place to buy the mead itself, and to try...

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  • Lindisfarne Mead

    Lindisfarne mead is the traditional thing to buy in Lindisfarne, but it is very sweet. At the place where it is produced you can try before you buy.If you don't care about drinking it, there are other products which contain it. I recommend the gooseberry chutney with mead. About £5 for a jar of chutney - I never said it was cheap!

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Lindisfarne Local Customs

  • Cuddy’s beads

    A popular tradition on Holy Island is the search for what are known as “Cuddy’s beads” on the small beach opposite St Cuthbert’s Isle. These are tiny (some very tiny) fossils, portions of the "stems" of carboniferous crinoids (a marine animal). They do indeed look a little like beads, and legend has it that St Cuthbert (“Cuddy”) used them to make...

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  • Boat sheds

    One of the characteristic sights of Holy Island are these sheds, made from the traditional local herring-fishing boats, or keels, inverted and cut in half. There are quite a few around the Ouse, and the National Trust has also preserved an old 19th century one (and added two new ones) to use as storage for visitors to the castle. This custom is not...

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Lindisfarne Warnings and Dangers

  • Heed the warnings – don’t get stranded!

    The very thing that makes Holy Island special is also the thing that visitors need be most aware of – the tides. The island is connected to the mainland by a causeway several miles in length. This is covered for about five or six hours each high tide, i.e. twice a day. As the tides vary, so do the safe crossing times. It is essential that you...

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  • Watch the Tides!

    Please keep in mind that Holy Island is a tidal island and that the causeway is flooded twice a day! Make sure to check the tide table -- especially for your way back!

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  • Tidal Crossings!

    Holy Island is linked by a causeway. The causeway is accessible when the sea is covered twice a day or five hours in total daily.It's very important to respect the tides and not to risk during straight into the North Sea. You can find out via this website, www.lindisfarne.org.uk, when it safe to cross.

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Lindisfarne Off The Beaten Path

  • St Aidan’s RC Church

    There are I believe three churches in the small village on Holy Island – the parish church of St Mary’s, the United Reform church of St Cuthbert’s (now used as a centre for religious activities) and the much newer Roman Catholic church dedicated to St Aidan. This is on Green Lane in the north east corner of the village. It was established here...

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  • The north shore

    Only a small percentage of the many visitors who come to Holy Island ever visit its north shore. All of the visitor “attractions” (village, priory and castle) are on its southern side, and with limited time before the next high tide closes the causeway, few have the time, even if they had the inclination, to explore further afield. But for those...

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  • The Pilgrims Way

    Just something to notice as you walk the island, or drive the causeway.The tall poles mark the pilgrims' route across the sands.Think of how many thousands of feet have trodden that path over the past 1000+ years.But don't try the walk yourself. The sands are treacherous, with channels and moving quicksands. The tide comes in quickly, distances are...

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Lindisfarne Favorites

  • Two saints who define this island

    The first monastery on Holy Island was founded by St Aidan in 635 AD, and thus he can be seen as the person who first established the island as a centre for Christianity and spirituality, setting a pattern that would continue to this day. Without him, this could be a very different place indeed.Aidan was an Irish monk from the monastery founded by...

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  • Wheelchair Access to Holy Island

    Holy Island is well worth visiting also for travellers with disabilities. I'm not sure if it's possible to get into the castle, but the track to the castle is nearly flat, right up to the steep hill on which the castle sits. There are other paved tracks on the island, so it is actually an excellent destination for wheelchair users who like to be...

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  • Lindisfarne causeway

    The only way to get to the Holy Island is by a long causeway that links it to the mainland. Twice a day the tide recedes and uncovers the road - or, as some say, the tide comes in and covers the road ;-). We started crossing very early in the morning and we actually planned to walk to Lindisfarne. I can't remember whose idea it was to shortcut...

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Explore Deeper into Lindisfarne
Watch out for skidding.
Warnings and Dangers
You are not an aquatic mammal.
Warnings and Dangers
Your car is not a boat.
Warnings and Dangers
Even more solitude
Off The Beaten Path
Gertrude Jekyll's garden
Off The Beaten Path
Wander to the harbour.
Things to Do
Taste some mead.
Things to Do
Visit the castle
Things to Do
Visit the Priory
Things to Do
Priory Ruins
Things to Do
Harbour
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Walled Garden
Things to Do
Lindisfarne Castle
Things to Do
Lindisfarne
Things to Do
Lindisfarne - the Unexpected Castle
Things to Do
Views
Things to Do
Parking
Warnings and Dangers
Boat Recyling
Things to Do
Lindisfarne Castle
Things to Do
Other Statue
Things to Do
Crossing the Causeway
Warnings and Dangers
Wooden Statue
Things to Do
Church of St Mary the Virgin
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Statue of St Aiden
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Lindisfarne Priory
Things to Do
Rural Rambles
Off The Beaten Path
St Cuthbert's Isle
Off The Beaten Path
St Aidan's Statue
Things to Do
Parish Church
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New Sheds from Old Boats
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Gospel Gardens
Off The Beaten Path
Lindisfarne Castle
Things to Do
Lindisfarne Priory (3)
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Lindisfarne Priory (2)
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Lindisfarne Priory (1)
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St. Cuthbert's little isle
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The Holy Island of Lindisfarne
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The gang that did the trip
Favorites
Bamburgh castle on your way to Lindisfarne
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Relaxing by the rainbow arch
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Map of Lindisfarne

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