Another absolutely stunning day for us today and we’re back off to the Holy Island. Today we are bound for the ‘Holy’ and inhabited bit of the Island and having decided that walking along the causeway would not infact be very pleasurable as surprisingly there is only a rough roadside path which is very (unsurprisingly) boggy in places and is about two miles long. So at great expense (ok so only £3.50) we parked in the official car park just at the end of the causeway and the edge of the village. Apparently there are about 200 people living on the Island and it is clearly well loved, with tidy little rows of cottages all bedecked with flowers.
We wandered around the outskirts and mmade for our first beach, a smallish sandy beach below an old lifeboat station – we shall call it Chapel Beach…
From there we crossed over to the little island with the ruins of a former Chapel from which a wooden Cross proudly stands, overlooking a thin strip of sea and the vast expanse of Holy Island Sands before the mainland.
Back on the Island we clambered up the small hill on which stands the starkly modern Coastguard Lookout Station.
This mound gave us great views down onto the Abbey….
And out across to the sandy Islands of Lindisfarne Nature Reserve….
And the twin towers on Guile Point of Old Law Dunes (a place we are very much looking forward to exploring)…
Not forgetting this fab view of Lindisfarne Castle through a little window in a ruined hut…
From here we walked back down to Harbour Beach, clearly also a busy working harbour, though most of the fishing boats were anchored on the seaward side of the harbour wall, I guess using smaller craft to ferry crew backwards and forwards when the tides are out.
Next stop the castle, though we were not able to visit the castle itself as it isn’t dog friendly.
A 16th century castle, marking the much fought over border between England and Scotland (though the current border is about 10 miles further north), it was notably renovated into a holiday home for Edward Hudson, founder of the Country Life magazine and is now in the care of the National Trust. I could have left Poppydog in the care of the NT at the gate but figured it would not have been a quiet and patient wait! So instead we went to look at the small walled garden.
Enjoying our view of the castle from there.
This is one of those photos I had to share….
From the castle we wandered around the top end of the island, where access to the shore is difficult and if you do get down to it, it is stony and craggy, with not much of it sitting above the tide. We then returned across the island for a mooch around the village, a further look around the Abbey….
A dip into St Mary’s Parish Church….
And a look at the sculpture, depicting the removal of St Cuthbert’s body (from raging Vikings)….
Wow – what a day and what a beautiful place! Still our day is not over yet, I wanted to see the tide covering the Causeway, so we made our way back to the mainland with a good half hour to spare and found safe (dry!) roadside parking and we watched the tide creep in. From this…
As the sun went down behind us – absolutely stunning, though I can’t help ffeeling a little bit disappointed that some smart Alec didn’t risk a last minute dash!!!