Holy Island or Lindisfarne is steeped in history and well worth a days visit. Check the tide times carefully so as not to be stranded as the causeway is covered at high tide. IT IS IN YOUR OWN INTEREST TO PAY CAREFUL ATTENTON TO THE TIDE TABLES. DO NOT TRY TO GET OFF THE ISLAND AFTER THE SAFE CROSSING TIMES - ESPECIALLY ON AN INCOMING TIDE. DURING THE SEASON THERE IS HARDLY A WEEK GOES BY WITHOUT SOME CARELESS VISITOR GETTING THEIR CAR STRANDED AND SUBMERGED UNDER ANYWHERE BETWEEN THREE AND ELEVEN FEET OF WATER! You have to park outside the village but there is a shuttle bus to the castle if you are not up to the walk. Lindisfarne Castle [National Trust] was purchased from the Crown in 1901 by Edward Hudson (1854 - 1936), (the founder of Country Life magazine) and in 1902 he had Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869 - 1944) convert  the interior of the castle as a country home.The Castle commands stunning views from its hill top location on Beblowe Crag. An interesting feature is the walled garden created in 1911 by Gertrude Jekyll. The beach beyond it is pebbley and there are lime kilns to explore. These kilns were built to replace earlier kilns of the Kennedy Limeworks which were to the north of the priory. A year after they were built twenty per cent of the men on the island were employed in this industry. The lime was later quarried at Ness End and brought by a wagon way to the kilns. The burnt lime was then taken by another wagon way to the jetty. Some remains of the jetty posts can still be seen at low tide near where you pass through the gate to get acess to the castle footpath.  The merchant banker Edward de Stein (1887 - 1965) bought the castle later, and he and his sister lived there for some years.

Lindisfarne Priory [English Heritage] was founded in 635 by St Aidan, but owes much of its fame to St Cuthbert, the prior of Lindisfarne, who died there in 687. The priory was the birthplace of the "Lindisfarne Gospels"  - one of the most famous illuminted books in the world. The original is now kept in the British Museum, but an electronic facsimile can be seen in the Lindisfarne Heritage Centre in Marygate, and a facsimilie copy presented by Rockford College Illinois can be seen in the parish church. Outside the North wall of the priory is the statue of St Aidan which was erected in the 1950's. Inside the Priory where the central tower once stood is the famous "Rainbow Arch" which is one of the remaining vault ribs which held up the central tower. A modern wood carved statue of St Cuthbert can be found in the priory grounds. This is by the northern sculptor Fenwick Lawson. There is a most interesting Museum [English Heritage] on the approach to the priory, which relates the story of the monks who lived on Holy Island, with particular reference to St Aidan, St Cuthbert and the Lindisfarne Gospels. 

Do visit the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, where you will find an altar carpet with a design based on a Lindisfarne Gospel "carpet page", as well as a more recent side chapel altar carpet based on a "carpet page" from the Lindisfarne Gospels, two modern stained glass windows by L C Evitts, depicting St Aidan and St Cuthbert, One of them is in memory of Edward de Stein who inhabited the castle, and donated it to the National Trust, (Look for the map of Holy Island behind the saint in this window), the other is in memory of an island inhabitant Miss Kathleen Parbury, who was one of the instigators in the sculpting and erecting of the St Aidan Statue. Walk through the churchyard to the costal path, bear left and climb the hill for a lovely aerial view of the Priory and Parish Church. Take time for a tea and cake at one of the delightful cafes. 

Also take time to visit the Lindisfarne Heritage Centre, situated in Marygate, where an electronically interactive version of the Lindisfarne Gospels can be used. It is produced by the British Museum and is called "Turning the Pages". There is also a display of pictures and artefacts relating to the fishing and seafaring heritage and the lifeboat rescues, as well as photographs of shipwrecks. An interactive electronic device enables you to listen to descriptions of Holy Island by present day inhabitants. Opposite the Heritage Centre is a small Gospel Garden, (a replica of the silver award winner at the 2003 Chelsea Flower Show) which is well worth a visit.

Don't forget to call in at the Lindisfarne Mead Factory & Shop which is situated on the road running parallel to Marygate. In the shop you will find Lindsifarne Mead, English wines, fruit wines, British beers and ciders, malt whiskies, liqueurs, cheeses, Craster kippers and speciality preserves (some made with the Lindisfarne Mead!)

The island can get very busy during the time when the tide is open, especially during the Spring and Summer months. To get the true atmosphere of the island you need to stay on the island overnight, when the tide is closed. Only then will you appreciate the peace and tranquillity of this most wonderful island.