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A wet day on Lindisfarne

September 14, 2012

A Wet Day on Lindisfarne – Holy Island

Holy Island

It was a wet day on Lindisfarne.

We had crossed to Holy Island at high tide, along that magical causeway that disappears under the swirling waters of the North Sea for much of the day. Lindisfarne is a place not quite of land and not just of water.

I first visited Lindisfarne a dozen years ago, on a lovely day of sun and gentle breezes. We spent the morning on the island, then came back in the evening to watch the sea tear across the causewayed road we had travelled over earlier.

Lindisfarne is other worldly in so many ways. As you walk its low shores, you wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a Viking longship edge its way into one of the island’s wide bays, or St Cuthbert strolling back to his monastery. Perhaps an Edwardian house party out from the castle.

This day was a day of unremitting rain. It never stopped, but it didn’t ruin the atmosphere. There is too much to see of this Holy Island in one day. Sometime I would like to spend longer there, walking all its shores, perhaps journeying out on a boat to the more distant Farne Islands. It would be interesting to see it in the winter months when the birds are there.

We visited Lindisfarne Castle on Beblowe Crag, the highest point of the island. This Elizabethan castle and gun battery was transformed into an Edwardian holiday home for Edward Hudson, the publisher of Country Life, by Edwin Lutyens.  Not far away is a small walled garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll. The castle is a super viewpoint and the building dominates the island. Afterwards we strolled amongst the very wet ruins of the Priory, trying to imagine what life would have been like for those monks who chose a lonely life there.

Holy Island

If you have never been to Lindisfarne I commend it to you. It will live in your memory as a most unusual part of England.

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 15, 2012 11:08 am

    Haven’t been onto Lindisfarne since I was holidaying with my parents. Didn’t know about any of the history you mention so we obviously didn’t spend enough time there!

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