"“Baptised in the blood of so many good men”" Top 5 Page for this destination Lindisfarne by toonsarah

Lindisfarne Travel Guide: 88 reviews and 251 photos

Crossing the causeway to Holy Island

Holy Island, or Lindisfarne, is, in my view, one of the most magical places in England. A small “semi-island” (that is, an island only at high tide), it has been a centre of spirituality since St Aidan founded a monastery here in the seventh century AD.

Whatever your religion, or none, you will surely be captivated by the unique charm of a place that seems largely untouched by the modern age. Yes, there are cars, and phones, and even wifi – but there are no chain coffee shops, no bank or ATM, no supermarket. And with the exception of the small stone-built village clustered around the ruins of the priory, the island is undeveloped. No roads serve its northern shore, and the dune-fringed beaches are visited mainly by birds, not people.

But to experience Holy Island at its best, you must see it as the locals see it – without the hoards of visitors that descend at low tide. So plan to stay overnight, and as the cars stream away over the causeway and the sea closes above it, the island will become a different place – one of peace and tranquillity, the haven it has been for centuries.

So, why “Holy” Island? You will also hear it referred to as Lindisfarne, the name given to its small castle. But locally the island is rarely referred to by this old Anglo-Saxon name. Following the murderous and bloodthirsty attack on the monastery by the Vikings in 793AD, it obtained its local name from the observations made by the Durham monks: “Lindisfarne - baptised in the blood of so many good men - truly a 'Holy Island'”.

But I must start with a warning.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A unique atmosphere
  • Cons:Too small for the number of visitors at times
  • In a nutshell:Plan to stay over to see the island at its best
  • Last visit to Lindisfarne: Aug 2012
  • Intro Updated Aug 28, 2012
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Reviews (19)

Comments (13)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Dec 19, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    Your description of this lovely Island makes me want to go! Love your photo of the Castle in the distance, the beaut garden and so much more!

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Dec 2, 2012 at 8:18 AM

    What a wonderful place Sarah! You have seen such fantastic places. I enjoyed all the history, thank you! Excellent page!

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Dec 2, 2012 at 11:28 AM

      Thanks Dee - it's a wonderful place indeed, so I'm glad you enjoyed your visit there with me :-)

  • Regina1965's Profile Photo
    Oct 30, 2012 at 8:14 AM

    What a great page, the photos are so good and you are so eloquent. Too bad about those darn Vikings :(

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Oct 30, 2012 at 2:32 PM

      Thanks Regina. Glad you enjoyed this glimpse of one of our favourite places!

  • Basaic's Profile Photo
    Sep 17, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Great page with a lot of valuable information!

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Sep 15, 2012 at 12:20 AM

    Great information on Holy Island, makes me want to visit. Seems to be beautiful and so rich with history. That is really a hugh portion of steak and ale pie Chris has infront of him.

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Sep 17, 2012 at 4:44 AM

      I think Chris is only just getting over that pie now ;-)
      Thank you for visiting my page and for the lovely comment

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Sep 10, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    Simply awesome! Would love the steak pie and the chicken dish for sure! Ice cream tasting like lemon merengue pie sounds fabulous.

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Sep 10, 2012 at 12:32 PM

      It is indeed an awesome place, and the food there is delicious. Thank you for visiting with me :-)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Sep 10, 2012 at 3:28 AM

    Sarah, another page with absolutely outstanding photos. Lindisfarne seems to be well woth a visit and if I ever go I will definitely stay at the Bamburgh View B&B.

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Sep 10, 2012 at 3:43 AM

      Oh yes, do - you would love it I know! Thank you for the nice comment too - very much appreciated :-)

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Sep 7, 2012 at 8:00 AM

    Sarah, Beautifully written pages accompanied by equally beautiful photos! Lindesfarne reminds me of a similar place, Mont St. Michele off the coast of France. And doesn't England also have Mount St. Michael's off the coast of Cornwall? I never realized there was another such place, nor even heard of Lindesfarne til reading your pages -- very lovely place!!

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Sep 7, 2012 at 8:38 AM

      Hi Sylvia, and thank you :-) Yes, you're right that we have St Michael's Mount, which is very like Mont St Michel. But Lindisfarne I think is somewhat different - apart from the rocky outcrop where the castle sits, it is very flat and sandy, and feels much more remote. It also gets far fewer visitors, thankfully, even at its busiest!

  • ettiewyn's Profile Photo
    Sep 4, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    Hi Sarah, this is a fantastic page! Great writing and outstanding photographs! Of course I had heard about this island due to the gospels, but I never knew what the place was like. It looks so wonderful and fascinating and now absolutely has a place on my wish list! I loved reading about the saints and seeing the wonderful nature and old buildings of the island!

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Sep 4, 2012 at 12:49 PM

      Thank you for this and the other lovely comments Mirjam. I know you would love Holy Island - something for your next trip to England perhaps?

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Sep 3, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    A fine new page, Sarah! It’s interesting to read about the lime-kilns as well as the Viking attacks, the Priory ruins, the Castle and the danger of getting caught in the incoming tide.

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Sep 3, 2012 at 11:14 AM

      Thank you Don - so pleased you found the page interesting. It's a fascinating place and well worth a visit

toonsarah

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