Ike visits Holy Island, Lindisfarne – Part 1

Ike and Jane went to visit the Holy Island which is also known as Lindisfarne in Northumberland. The island can only be accessed by a causeway when the tide is out so it is important to get the tide times to avoid becoming stranded on the island when the tide comes in.

Short history of Holy Island

Holy Island has a history from the 6th century AD and it was an important centre of Celtic Christianity under Saints Aidan of Lindisfarne, Cuthbert, Eadfrith of Lindisfarne and Eadberht of Lindisfarne. After the Viking invasions and the Norman conquest of England, a priory was re-established. A small castle was built on the island in 1550.

The island has three pubs and a hotel a post office which also sells tea and coffee, ice cream snacks and drinks.. No professional or medical services are available and residents have to drive to Berwick-upon-Tweed for groceries and other supplies. It is advisable to take a packed lunch.

Jane told Ike she first visited when she was on a cycling holiday when she was 18 with the Glasgow Cyclist Touring Club and she never gets tired of visiting the island.

Ike looks across the beach to Lindisfarne Castle

Lindisfarne Castle

Jane and Ike first decided to visit the castle first. This is run by the National Trust. Lindisfarne Castle was built in 1550, around the time that Lindisfarne Priory went out of use, and stones from the priory were used as building material. It is very small by the usual standards, and was more of a fort. The castle sits on the highest point of the island, a whinstone hill called Beblowe.

The castle has an interesting history which can be found online. In the early 20th century it was later refurbished in the Arts and Crafts style by Sir Edwin Lutyens for Edward Hudson, the editor of Country Life Magazine. Lutyens also designed the island’s Celtic-cross war-memorial on the Heugh. Lutyens’ upturned herring busses (upturned herring boats) provided the inspiration for Spanish architect Enric Miralles’ Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburgh.

The upturned herring boats

It is a short walk to the castle from the main part of the village. it is located on the top of a small hill.

Just inside the main entrance to the castle
Musician friend of Edward Hudson
Map above the fireplace at entrance to the Castle
Luggage at the entrance to the castle

Ike and Jane visited the various rooms in the castle:

Ike purrticulary enjoyed the view from the top of the castle:

After visiting the castle they walked along a path to the shore. Some people had created designs with the stones on the beach. They then walked to the Gertrude Jekyll Gardens to have a look at the lovely flowers.

Gertrude Jekyll Garden

Gertrude Jekyll was one of the most celebrated gardeners of modern times and her garden was created in 1911 and is located north of  the castle. The castle, garden and nearby lime kilns are in the care of the National Trust and open to visitors.

One Reply to “Ike visits Holy Island, Lindisfarne – Part 1”

  1. There is a school called Lindisfarne College, a state-integrated Scottish and Presbyterian boys’ day and boarding intermediate and high school in Hastings, New Zealand. The school is named after the Holy Isle of Lindisfarne, site of the 6th century medieval Celtic monastery and castle on the northeastern coast of England. Its coat of arms has a kings head being held up by two hands above the helm (helmet). It was very interesting to see the castle of the college name sake.

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