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Review: Holy Island of Lindisfarne

City/Town/Region/Island

Northumberland, TD15 2SE, United Kingdom

Beauty, History, Great food, Warm welcome

  • By SilverTraveller PamWNorth

    154 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • 2012
  • Husband

45 people found this review helpful

Situated off the North Northumberland coast, The Holy Island of Lindisfarne can only be reached by crossing the causeway when the tide is out..

Sixty miles north of Newcastle Upon Tyne, 60 Miles South of Edinburgh, turn off the A1 at the signpost for Beal and drive a few miles to the Causeway.

Be sure to check the tide tables. The causeway is totally submerged twice a day and there have been many a helicopter resuce of people who have had to climb into the rescue box whilst their cars are ruined by the sea below.

Holy Island is known for its history – it was given to St Aidan by the Anglo-Saxon King Oswald in 635. It is also known for its beauty, warm hospitality, not forgetting its famous Lindisfarne Mead produced from the original monk’s recipe. It is a bird watchers paradise, its nature reserve is managed by Natural England.

Before our visit we stopped for cofee at the Barn at Beal, a super restaurant close to the causeway and overlooking the Lindisfarne Nature Reserve. The Barn at Beal prides itself on using only the best locally produced ingredients for its meals.

Crossing the causeway we arrived at the village. We parked the car at the Visitors Car Park and took the shuttle bus to the castle.

Holy Island Castle dates back to 1570 and stands majestically protecting the harbour. Tours of the castle are available

We walked over to the Gertrude Jekyll garden created in 1911, a small but beautiful peaceful garden beneath the castle. An honesty box on the wall is used for entry to the garden..

A trip round the priory (dating back to AD635) was fascinating, the Priory also has an interesting visitors centre and shop.

The Lindisfarne Centre is staffed by local people with good local knowledge who give valuable informaton on the island.

After walking around the pretty harrbour we entered St Aidans Winery where taste samples of Lindisfarne Mead are available. We bought a couple of bottles! The Winery has a huge selection of wines and beers many locally produced. Then we visited the adjoining gift centre full of local northumbrian gifts.

The island has an island store, post office and national trust shops. There are plenty of cafes. The island has hotels, pubs. Holiday cottages are available to rent.

We stopped at the Crown and Anchor for an enjoyable meal. The crown and Anchor serves "home cooked" meals using local produce. The beer garden provides stunning views of the harbour. The crown and Anchor also provides accommodation.

What a fantastic day we had, from the history of the castle and priory. sampling peaceful village life in beautiful surroundings it was time to leave before the tide came in, but we will be back!

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Other Members' Thoughts - 4 Comment(s)

  • yorkshirecat
    almost 6 years ago
    Thanks for your advice Lizzie: very helpful.
  • PamWNorth
    almost 6 years ago
    Hi Yorkshirecat. I am pleased you liked the review. Lindisfarne (Holy Island) is a truly magical place. I live fairly near it but will never sicken of visiting it!. I think you are wise to stay on the island overnight. You mention the Lindisfarne Hotel, yes although I have not stayed there I have heard good reports. Make sure when booking that it is the Lindisfarne Hotel on the island and not the Lindisfarne Inn which is at Beal, the last village on the mainland before the causeway as you would be subject to the restrictions of the tide if you chose the latter.
  • yorkshirecat
    almost 6 years ago
    Thanks for this Lizzie - a great review. I am planning a trip to Seahouses to get across to the Farne Islands and was thinking of adding a night on Lindisfarne in the Lindisfarne Hotel so I can explore the Island without the worries about getting back before the tide cuts us off. Sounds like the Nature Reserve will keep us bird watchers happy for a good few hours.
  • ESW
    about 7 years ago
    What a great review. It is many years since we visited Lindisfarne and this really makes me want to go back.