Holidays at Holy Island of Lindisfarne
Holy Island of Lindisfarne is one of Northumberland’s most unique assets, famous for its enigmatic ruins and peaceful atmosphere. Regularly detached from the rest of the world by formidable tides, the island is the most remote spot in the region and a perfect place to marvel at the natural beauty this extraordinary county has to offer.
Our guide to Holy Island includes everything from crossing times to holiday cottages, helping you to make it to this mysterious island as easily as possible and get your head down for the night in one of the local area’s quaint and comfortable cottages.
Holy Island causeway
Holy Island is connected to Northumberland’s mainland by a long causeway offering the sole means of access to this unique and beautiful regional hotspot. Twice every day, the North Sea’s tide sweeps in and leaves the road inaccessible to visitors - but thankfully, tidal movements can be predicted by the phases of the Moon.
In extreme weather conditions, Holy Island tides can be harder to predict - but by following the causeway crossing times with caution, you can travel to the island safely and without difficulty. If you’re planning to become a frequent visitor, you can get your hands on the ‘islander’s version’ of the Holy Island crossing times - which is available in booklet form via the island post office.
To take a look at Holy Island crossing times for 2015 and 2016, head to the Northumberland County Council’s official page.
Getting to Holy Island
Of all Northumberland hotspots, Holy Island is without doubt the most troublesome to travel to. One of the region’s true hidden gems, Lindisfarne can only be accessed by the island’s long causeway - whether you choose to walk it or take the car all the way. The good news is making it to the causeway isn’t too tricky.
By car: Head along the A1 to the crossroad at Beal - approximately 8 miles south of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Holy Island is signposted east of Beal and around 5 miles away.
By bus: both the X18 and 418 Arriva bus services operate throughout Northumberland and stop at Beal, where you can jump off and continue on foot for a further 5 miles. Alternatively, there are a number of local taxi services available - meaning you can complete your journey in the comfort of a car if you’d rather avoid the trek.
By rail: your nearest mainline station is Berwick-upon-Tweed - which is on the Kings Cross to Edinburgh East Coast mainline. Public bus services operate from the train station to Holy Island, although frequency varies from season to season.
Lindisfarne castle and priory
For centuries, Holy Island has held its reputation as the cradle of English Christianity and the remains of the enigmatic Lindisfarne Priory offer a curious glimpse into the history of this archaic island. No trip to Holy Island is complete without a first-hand look at the formidable castle and what remains of the island’s picturesque priory.
Lindisfarne Castle sits atop a volcanic mound known as Beblowe Craig and is one of Holy Island’s most breath-taking sights. Built in 1550 to defend the realm against Scottish attack, the castle is said to have been built from the priory’s own stone. Reinforced with yak hair in the 1990s, the castle’s north-facing walls are equipped to weather the erosion inevitable in such a remote coastal location.
Lindisfarne Priory’s dramatic ruins provide an authentic taste of British history - with the enigmatic ‘Rainbow Arch’ being one of the priory’s most unique and striking features. Building for this world-famous Benedictine priory began in the late 11th century - in an architectural style that is widely considered the precursor to Durham Cathedral.
Holy Island cottages
Whether you choose to stay in local Holy Island accommodation or in one of our superbly located cottages in the surrounding Northumberland area, we are sure you will find the perfect place to stay from our stunning range of self-catering coastal cottages.
By staying in one of our Northumberland holiday cottages, you can explore Lindisfarne Castle and Priory in the daytime, sample some of the local Lindisfarne Mead and in the evening indulge in some of Northumberland’s mouth-watering local seafood dishes before returning to the comfort of your Northumbrian cottage.
Explore our Holy Island cottages today to find your perfect holiday cottage.