I desperately held out for sunshine for our trip to Lindisfarne. I knew that this incredible ancient island in Northumberland would be just stunning to photograph with a clear blue sky – but this is the UK, so what the fuck was I thinking?
With no sunshine in sight, we ended up heading there on our last day, in the worst possible weather – windy and raining and actually it’s OK, cos it all looked super eerie instead.
This island is absolutely steeped in history. It is mentioned in official records dating back to the 8th century, but eventually became famous for being the home of British Christianity. Early missionaries made their home at Lindisfarne – which is why it’s also known as the Holy Island – and then set forth spreading their Christian faith around Northern Britain.
Now, I have ZERO interest in organised religion, but I do love me some history, so I was fascinated by Lindisfarne.
Firstly check out just how isolated Lindisfarne is… twice a day the island is cut off from the mainland by high tides. The rest of the time, there is one single road to get you there and back. The tides change daily, so you must check the times when you can access the island – people who don’t check, get stuck regularly.
There are two main attractions on Lindisfarne; the Priory, and the Castle which dates back to 1550, as well as lots of wonderful little shops, cafes and other attractions worth seeing. But you’ll absolutely want to include the Priory and Castle during your visit. Unless it is pissing down with rain, then I’d suggest visiting the Priory, taking pictures of the Castle in the distance and then heading somewhere warm and dry.
That’s what I did and it was brilliant!
Lindisfarne Priory was built in 1150 by monks from Durham Cathedral, it flourished until it was closed down by Henry VIII in 1537.
Gradually it’s stone buildings fell into decay, leaving the spectacular ruins we see today
There is a really interesting museum about the Priory with a great gift shop, which you should check out; as well as the beautiful Parish Church of Saint Mary the Virgin. On your way out be sure to stop at some of the stalls selling local produce on the side of the road, we bought a jar of the Strawberry Jam, made by this lovely lady (whose name I can’t remember – sorry) and it was delicious.
At some point I really want to head back to Lindisfarne and spend a full day exploring properly – preferably when it isn’t raining.
Find out more about Lindisfarne Priory on the English Heritage Website