We woke up to cloudy, gray skies and light drizzle – typical English weather – but nothing could dampen my enthusiasm for today’s adventure. We were going to explore Holy Island of Lindisfarne!
According to the official website, “In 635AD St. Aidan came from Iona and chose to found his monastery on Lindisfarne. The Christian message flourished here and spread throughout the world. However Holy Island is not only a centre of pilgrimage. Its tranquility, spirituality and scenic beauty attracts a multitude of visitors to its shores every year. Undoubtedly, it is the jewel in the crown of Northumbria.”
Holy Island is linked to the mainland by a long causeway. Twice each day the tide sweeps in from the North Sea and covers the road. But during daily low tides, the causeway clears of water and “safe crossing times” are calculated so that visitors can reach the island by car. Nevertheless, travelers should remain vigilant if crossing near the extremeties…hence the warning sign above.
The tide is going out in this photo and it is perfectly safe to drive across the causeway at this time. However, if the tide is coming in and has reached the causeway before you…
….you may become one of the many tourists that have to be rescued from their cars every year!
For those who may chose to embrace this crossing as a holy pilgrimage, there is the Pilgrim Way – A clearly marked route that links the mainland to the island across the sands and mud.
David and I chose to drive across the causeway and paused to read about some of the history of Lindisfarne before walking towards the interior of the island.
As we left the parking lot and made our way down a public footpath, we came upon this pastoral sight – Lindisfarne Castle – perched upon a natural rock outcropping. Quite breathtaking!
Continuing down the lane, we were greeted by these beautiful flowers – Red Valerian – growing in the moss atop on of the many stones walls.
David – waiting for me to catch up and join him on the journey.
We were just one of many tourists making our way down the lane to the castle.
You don’t see this everyday!
My husband at the kissing gate but he failed to pay the toll. Too many people…no kisses today!
Looking up at the castle walls and the arrow slots (or loops).
Entering the castle through the portcullis.
The dining room – notice the domed, but very low ceiling.
One end of the kitchen.
Small work area but quite a view from the window!
Ducking to get through the low doorways.
One of the bed chambers – beautiful barley-twist spindles on the bed, side table and candlesticks.
I believe this was a music and sitting room.
Out on the bailey and taking a look at the marvelous view….
….out over the bay and towards the priory ruins, situated at the upper left of the photo.
On our way to the lime kilns, we came across dozens of these lovely creatures…much bigger than the ones back home!
Another beautiful snail – carrying his home on it’s back!
The lime kilns at Castle Point on Holy Island are among the largest, most complex and best preserved lime kilns in Northumberland.
These kilns produced quick lime for a variety of uses such agricultural fertilizer, mortar for buildings and whitewash.
David…peering out from inside the kilns.
Hiking on the castle field and sharing the view with dozens of sheep that wander freely across the island…
…while trying to avoid the hundreds of calling cards that they left behind!
The backside of the castle as viewed from the entrance to the Gertrude Jekyll gardens.
Thank you, Gertrude, for the natural beauty that you created and left behind for all to share in.
A wet and cold day in early June, but the gardens were still lovely.
Looking at plants that are new to me and definitely do not grow in Minnesota!
Heading back towards the town square with a view of the priory ruins in the background.
Another view of the priory…sitting in this same location since 635 AD. Amazing!
Retracing our route past the line of poles that mark the Pilgrim Way and back to our B&B before we head out for dinner in Beal.
The wine menu at The Barn in Beal.
Starting out with a small appetizer – venison pate’ served with Barn Chutney and endive. Very rich and yummy!
David’s trio of lamb with vegetables in demi-glace’.
I’m not sure why I’m looking so doubtful…
…the seared pork medallions with baby vegetables and blood orange jelly was scrumptious!
After a full day of hiking and a delicious and satisfying meal, it was quite a relief to arrive back to our room for some much needed rest.
Tomorrow was going to be another busy day!
TO BE CONTINUED…..