Just last month, I was recommended a place to visit because of my blog post about Cramond Island. They thought that I would enjoy visiting a similar area widely known as Lindisfarne, or Holy Island. It is another tidal island, yet a tad further away as it lies off the northeast coast of England, closest to Northumberland. So, after looking at some pictures online and reading up about it, we drove down to explore it for the day.
Similarly to Cramond Island, you have to check the tide times before you cross as the North Sea covers the passage twice every 24 hours! We were in luck as the tide was out until around 9pm, and so we literally drove over the causeway to the other side, parked up the car and wandered around freely. Apparently, people have left their cars on or near the causeway for too long in times past, which meant that they ended up submerged and stuck out at sea, so do be careful!
Initially, we were taken aback by how expansive the island actually is and how civilized it is; there are permanent residents who choose to live there, as well as a school, church, beach, castle, shops, post office, hotel, and quite a lot more. These more modern developments are obviously down to tourism as the island’s history indicates that it was once used mainly just as a place for religious devotion. Presently, though, it acts as a quiet and content village for 160 residents, and with its encompassing nature and wildlife it ultimately attracts over 650,000 visitors annually.
We took our time and walked around, enjoying the seaside and having fun exploring all of the small windy streets of the island, each bursting with small shops promoting their Lindisfarne souvenirs. The only disappointment was that the beautiful castle which lies on the beach is currently encapsulated with scaffolding. Millions of pounds are being spent on its refurbishment and maintenance, meaning that it will not reopen until later next year.
I picked up some strawberry and white chocolate biscuits, as well as a box of six fruit preserves – each of different flavours, and we got some peanut brittle, too. All of these items were made with ingredients grown and/or produced on the Island, which I thought was pretty cool, and the pricing of them was reasonable as well.
All in all, Lindisfarne will present to you another way of life; one of solitude and peace. To me, it exemplifies the true meaning of a village, and what it means to live in one. Although there’s a lack of physical activities to partake in out there, you could certainly spend hours walking its streets, visiting its cafes and popping in and out of its shops. It’s definitely a fun and unique idea for a day out. It was just quite hard to believe that people actually live there! Imagine the restrictions on leaving the island – the sea would literally dictate when you had to be home for.
Have you visited Lindisfarne before? What did you think of it?
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