Holy Isle of Lindisfarne
Northumberland has one of the most beautiful unspoilt coastlines in our country.
Long stretches of golden sands & pretty little villages are plentiful but to me the best treasure of Northumberlands coast is Lindisfarne.
Lindisfarne or Holy Island is a small but beautiful island just off the Northumberland coast. Its reached via a tidal causeway so when planning your visit it's vital you check the tide time table.
Both the National trust and English Heritage own properties on the Island making it a great choice for members for a budget day out.  The Priory ruins vistor centre (EH) tells  the turbulant story of christianity on the island, while you can admire some beautiful views of the island while exploring  the picturesque ruins. The ruins are also a great place for a picnic too..... In fact while enjoying the ruins,  if you do happen to have a small niece with you on your visit, and she does by chance 'whack' the statue of St Cuthbert with a wooden sword (bought in the gift shop) you will be amazed, as will all those around you, to discover the statue is indeed made of metal and not of wood, it does look like its carved wood so it is amazing.....the neice in question did no damage & it was a very unexpected 'whack'.... I do apologise... Moving on, the ruins stand in the churchyard of the very pretty St Marys church and also next to the statue of St Aiden, first founder of christianity on the island. There's some beautiful photo opportunities of the castle here too.

St Cuthbert & the priory ruins
Onwards to the castle! There is a very pretty village on the island worth exploring too but for now we're just going to walk straight through. Past the fantastic 'crafty' shops & scrummy tearooms & down towards the castle. First of all you'll come to the  quirky boathuts & stoney bay. The upturned boats are used as fishermens sheds & I've never seen them like this anywhere else but here. The National Trust have restored three that you can go into up at the castle. The castle sits ontop of a volcanic hill but its definately well worth the short but steep climb. The castle was originally a fort built from stone from the priory ruins but later was turned into a grand house. Now National trust owned, its lovely to wander through the small rooms & take in the cozy homely atmosphere of the place. My favourite room is the 'Ship Room'  with its quirky ship shaped ceiling & impressive model galleon. From the top of the castle you can see out to sea and along the Northumberland coast. There's great veiws of both Bamburgh and Dunstanburgh castle and if you look towards the sand flats (just along from the causeway) you can usually spot a colony of grey seals. Just a little further along & down, the old lime kilns are an interesting feature, a remnant of the islands long gone industry. Across the feild from the castle is the recently restored walled garden planted with pretty flowers & vegetables.

quirky boathuts
There's also a fantastic beach on the island. We park in the 'The Snook' carpark before you reach the main island and walk past 'The Snook Tower' (once part of a colliery & now a private house) and take the path through the sand dunes to the beach. We call it the longest beach in the world (not an official claim) its a great expanse of unspoilt clean beach absolutely beautiful and great for making sandcastles, collecting shells& driftwood and just generally chilling out.
During your visit dont forget to try the famous honey Mead, its delicious!!  Unique to Lindisfarne it was origionaly brewed by the monks. Nowadays there's a visitor center where you can try a sample before you buy.
The island is great for families & its dog friendly too, appeals nature lovers & bird spotters, walkers & ramblers and artists & photographers a plenty. There's pubs & eateries and plenty of holiday cottages or B&Bs if you fancy a longer stay too.

check the tide times before you cross!
Holy Island is a gorgeous place to visit but it's also home to people who actually live there so please respect it. Park in the designated areas, walk on the designated footpaths and take your litter home with you.
Most importantly check the tide times before attempting to cross the causeway as every year many people misjudge the speed of the incoming tide and get stranded in their cars on the causeway needing to be rescued by our brave heroes of the RNLI, don't be a statistic, check your times, be safe not sorry & soggy...

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