HOLY ISLAND [LINDISFARNE], NORTHUMBERLAND
You may take the claim that St Cuthbert’s body still remained miraculously undecayed 11 years after his death with a pinch of salt, but this was his original burial place, and one of the holiest sites in Anglo-Saxon England. There’s an award-winning museum, which holds the ‘Viking raiders’ stone, depicting the attack that destroyed Lindisfarne’s first religious foundation in ad 793. The priory was founded by the Bishop of Durham 190 years later, and shows its age: the mellow red sandstone is deeply weathered. Inside, its columns are patterned with zig-zags and chequers. The remaining rib of the crossing, known as the rainbow arch, shows that it once had a strong tower. Part of the cloister remains, but there is not much more, except a gatehouse and defensive walls.
Facilities – at a glance
Assist dogs allowed
- Parking nearby
- Reached by a tidal causeway. Uneven ground across the site. 80mtr tarmac path from museum to admission point, then 5 steps to priory, steep slope to courtyard
- Facilities: Wheelchair available
- Open all year
- Opening Times: Open all year, 30 Mar-Sep, daily 10-6; Oct, daily 10-5; Nov-23 Dec & Jan-29 Mar, Wed-Sun 10-4 (Feb half term daily 10-4); 27 Dec-31 Dec daily 10-4 (last admission 30mins before closing). Closed 24-26 Dec & 1 Jan. Please check high tide tim
Also in the area
About the area
If it’s history you’re after, there’s heaps of it in Northumberland. On Hadrian’s Wall you can imagine scarlet-cloaked Roman legionaries keeping watch for painted Pictish warriors while cursing the English weather and dreaming of home. Desolate battlefield sites and hulking fortresses such as Alnwick, Dunstanburgh, Bamburgh and Warkworth are reminders that this, until not so very long ago, was a contested border region. The ruins of Lindisfarne bear witness to the region’s early Christian history.
Northumberland also has some of Britain’s best beaches. On summer days, and even in winter, you’ll see surfers and other brave souls making the most of the coast. Inland, there are some great walks and bike rides in the dales of the Cheviot Hills and the Simonsides – just hilly enough to be interesting, without being brutally steep. There's dramatic scenery in the High Pennines, where waterfalls plunge into deep valleys, and there are swathes of heather-scented moorland. Northumberland National Park covers over 400 square miles of moorland and valleys with clear streams and pretty, stone-built villages. It’s just the place for wildlife watching too. You’ll find flocks of puffins, guillemots and other seabirds around the Farne Islands, and seals and dolphins offshore.
Places to Stay
Restaurants and Pubs
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