Ancient history and isolation: exploring Lindisfarne 10

A guide to exploring Lindisfarne

Just off the Northumberland coast, Lindisfarne, also known as the Holy Island, is a small island full of character, history and stunning scenery.

Lindisfarne Priory

It’s a place where the tides really matter. Lindisfarne is accessed by a causeway and during high tide the island is cut off from the mainland by the North Sea, which happens twice in each 24 hour period.

Lindisfarne Causeway

One of its main attractions is Lindisfarne Priory, which was founded in the year 635. Although it was attacked by the Vikings a few hundred years later, it was Henry VIII’s reformation which led to the closure of the site.

View of Lindisfarne Priory

It’s now owned by English Heritage and can be found in the centre of the village – although you can view the ruins from the adjacent graveyard and nearby hill.

View of Lindisfarne Priory from above

Another well-known site is St Aidan’s Winery, home of Lindisfarne Mead. Monks have made mead on the island for hundreds of years but the current site has been producing the beverage since the 1960s.

Directions sign on Lindisfarne

Lindisfarne cottages

Despite its small size, Lindisfarne is home to a number of cafes, shops and pubs. These include the excellent Pilgrims Coffee, which roasts its own coffee and sells craft beer made on the island, and the Crown and Anchor which has a beer garden with views across to the Priory.

Coffee and cake from Pilgrims Coffee

The northern part of the island is covered by the nature reserve with unspoiled beaches, sand dunes and beautiful coastal views. Although it’s well known for its wildlife, the only thing we managed to see was a frog!

Lindisfarne view

Lindisfarne beach

It’s absolutely stunning and provides glorious views across the coastline right to Bamburgh Castle on one side and around to Berwick-upon-Tweed on the other.

Lindisfarne beach

Lindisfarne coastline at dusk

Lindisfarne is an otherworldly place and it’s ideal for a day trip if you’re in the North East, or, to truly experience the Holy Island, stay for the night.

A guide to exploring Lindisfarne

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