Checking the tides we headed over the causeway to the Holy Island just off the Northumberland coast. The island is just 1½ miles by 1 mile. We were surprised by the number of cars and people already on the island even though the causeway was only just clear.
Holy Island or Lindisfarne, as the island was once known, became famous because the monastery that was established on the island in AD 634 had a reputation for scholarship and artistry demonstrated by the Lindisfarne Gospels. Also it was one of the most important centres of early Christianity in Anglo-Saxon England.
Today the two main attractions on the island are the Lindisfarne Castle and the ruins of the famous Lindisfarne Priory. The Lindisfarne Castle sits on a small pyramid of rock and we walked a mile each way from the village with the rest of the crowds. The castle was originally built in the middle of the sixteenth century to protect the harbour from the Scots. We didn’t bother visiting the castle but enjoyed the walk around its base and the beautiful coastline of the island. We also discovered remains of giant lime kilns an industry of the 19th century which were interesting to explore.
Returning to the village we then visited the Lindisfarne Priory ruins. The priory gave great views across to the castle and had some rather interesting and colourful arches.
We had spent most of the day on the island and had really enjoyed it. However it was difficult to imagine the island when all the crowds went home but we think it could be a magical place.