DATE                                          11.06.06  

DISTANCE                                 5.4 MILES

WEATHER                                 BRIGHT AND SUNNY

START / FINISH                        CAR PARK

Holy Island

For todays wander , me and my long suffering better half would be paying a visit to Holy Island , we had a small route that we wanted to explore and to be honest we had read and heard so much about the place it seemed wrong  that we hadn’t been across there ,, there was another reason of course and that was something I was having a bit of bother about and that was how my ability to walk in crowds was , I know that I can walk ok out in the wilds , but walking amongst people was completely different , for example walking around the metro centre is a nightmare for me purely for the fact that people will stop , change speed , change direction , cut across you without any though , push shove etc. etc. . Yes I have problems walking in crowds …………….as a result I really don’t do shopping in the metro centre or places like that and dare I say it you cant beat online shopping, one click of a mouse button and its all done and they even deliver the object straight to your front door and if you are really lazy like me you can get it gift wrapped and the best part it is normally cheaper. Any way the plan for the day was a wander around Holy Island, we wouldn’t be going into the castle or anything like that, and we would however be stopping for tasty food and drinks and just generally mooching around just seeing stuff and of course I would be walking amongst the crowds to start with.

As this really isn’t a “proper” walk we decided that we wouldn’t need our boots or coats etc. but would take the rucksack “just in case” and dressed like normal people .

A quick look at the tide tables confirmed what time we should arrive and that was it, stuff was thrown into the car and off we went, due to some fantastic planning we arrived bang on time and drove across the causeway without any problems . I should point out if you get the crossing times wrong your car will get stuck and you will have to be rescued as the tide comes in ……………..yes really….. despite all the warning signs there are still dozens of drivers who push there luck and get caught out by the tides  every year ……idiots !

As we crossed we met up with some traffic waiting to get into the first car park, we on the other hand went to the smaller car park where it’s reserved for official coaches and disabled badge owners only and of course it’s much closer.

Parked the car, grabbed the rucksack and we where off, it was all easy walking, as expected I did have some problems walking in the crowds but slowly they thinned out as we did our own thing. We of course stopped for tasty food, ice cream, coffee and if the truth was known made pigs of ourselves but what the heck. We wandered around the priory, castle, walled garden, line kilns then headed off along the coastline looked at the upside down boats that are now used for storage or something then slowly headed  towards the nature reserve, we saw lots of bird life and best of all we saw some seals playing around. We walked about 5.4 miles, but it was all very easy going, this was more like a day out rather than a walk.

After tea or should I say cream tea...Very tasty it was to we had an hour to wait for the tide to go out and spent a pleasant hour or so sitting on the grassy bank with drinks in hand watching the seals splash around in the bay, evenings  don’t get much better than this.

As I don’t know much about holy island I have resorted to cheating and using the all knowing Google for some info for you all  enjoy :-    


See one of the region’s most revered treasures Lindisfarne Priory.  The epicentre of Christianity in Anglo Saxon times, Lindisfarne Priory was once the home of St Oswald. This serene setting was the birthplace of the Lindisfarne Gospels, one of the world’s most precious books.

Ransacked by marauding Viking raiders in the 8th century, the evocative ruins of Lindisfarne Priory includes the famous ‘rainbow bridge’ which spirals skywards with the ghost of a long-vanished tower.

Holy Island remains a place of pilgrimage today. The island is the final destination of long distance walking route and one of Scotland’s Great Trails, the St Cuthbert’s Way.

Rising from the sheer rock face at the tip of the island is Lindisfarne Castle. Built to defend a harbour sheltering English ships during skirmishes with Scotland, the castle caught the eye of Edward Hudson, founder of Country Life magazine.

Aside its historical pedigree, the Holy Island of Lindisfarne has an exciting array of wildlife. Its island status protects tidal mudflats, saltmarshes and dunes which together form the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve.  Rare plants and an abundance of food supplies attract visiting birds from thousands of miles.

Autumn is the best time to look out for internationally important species of wildfowl and wading birds that overwinter on the reserve.

Spot pale-bellied Brent geese flying in from Svalbard (Spitsbergen), pink footed and greylag geese, wigeon, grey plovers and bar-tailed godwits are just some of the island’s other visitors. Grey seals bob in the waters here and can be spotted sunning themselves on the sands, joined by the occasional common seal.

A few photos

Taken from the car park looking at Lindisfarne castle.          


Taken at max zoom looking at two upside down boats


Looking back towards the village and the priory


The boats now used as storage?


Walking along the well used path heading towards Lindisfarne Castle


Looking across the bay at Guile point


The Castle


From the side


Looking towards the walled garden


Looking up at the other side of the castle


Now heading towards the …Lime Kilns looking back


Yvonne sitting in the kilns


“Arty” shot that didn’t work


Looking in the lime kilns




A bit further inside… they are huge!


On the beach


Seal one of many we saw today


Looking towards the white thingy at Emmanuel head (navigation aids for the boats?)


Herron being chased off by a couple of sea gulls


Looking across towards the nature reserve

Local young duck



The wildlife pond (the lough)


Looking towards the castle


Back in the village having a drink with the priory in the back ground


Not sure what this


Part of the priory ruins

Close up


Looking across towards the castle


My better half


After a well deserved drink we have a small wander around the priory


The Castle


Looking across to Guile point


Looking back towards the priory


Some small island with a ruined chapel on it


The priory


Close up

Not really sure if this is part of the priory ruins or not


Day after thoughts:

Holy island is a wonderful place full of interesting stuff, yes it can get very busy during the summer months and the food and drink can be a bit pricey but it’s one place that we will return to, its not really for harden walkers but it’s a place that you should take the time to visit, there is tons of stuff going on and loads of stuff to see.

Speaking for myself I was dreading all the crowds, and did struggle a bit to start with but the island is big enough to absorb the masses and it’s very easy to disappear away from the maddening crowds and find some real peace and quit with some wonderful views.

Yes go visit you won’t be disappointed