I’m in a love/hate relationship with London.
I absolutely love it, and I absolutely love getting away from it.
So – here we are on Lindisfarne. Officially away from it all. Away from central London. Away from the hustle and bustle, the rush and the sardine packed trains and metal tube commutes. Hurrah!!!!! We are free for the next few weeks. (At least that is what I remember feeling as this holiday occurred this time last year :))
We rose early to cross the island’s causeway at low tide. Due to the early hour we had the island to ourselves as we set out on our walk. I found the walking route on this book called Most Amazing Places to Walk in Britain. It is fantastic!!! I bought it years ago and have been trying to complete all the walks ever since.
After passing through fields we came to some enormous dunes and raced up and over them to get to the sea.
Obviously it was way too cold for swimming so we pottered about on the beach and took in the views before continuing around the island and toward the castle.
For some reason unknown to me I have wanted to visit Lindisfarne and another island in Scotland called Iona for years and finally I bit the bullet and set aside 2 precious holiday weeks to go north toward the cold. Maybe I was seeking a much needed antidote to London or maybe I was a monk in another life :). Who knows :). Only just before this trip I realised that both islands have a connection. Both were settled by an Irish monk called Aidan who founded priories on the islands. Funny how things work out like that. I found out on a trip to Dublin. We were in Trinity College checking out the Book of Kells when we made the connection. (The Book of Kells had been written on Iona).
And by coincidence a few weeks before travelling here, a friend of my husbands mentioned that his wife had just written her first novel which is based on Lindisfarne, the book is called Holy Island – A DCI Ryan Mystery. Check it out! It’s a cracking little mystery!
As I mentioned earlier the island was settled by St. Aidan in the 7th century. Aparently the English at that time had mostly settled in the interior of the country and the monks settled mostly on the coast or estuaries – away from the interference of politics. When the first Viking raid occurred in the 8th century they probably couldn’t believe their luck – wealthy unarmed settlements just waiting to be robbed. Soon after, the Danes took control of central England and the monks moved south. Eventually they returned during Norman times about 400 years later.
The island’s castle sits on top of a crag overlooking the bay. It’s owned by the National Trust and is open to us public. It was built in the 1500’s and was used to help protect the english from those pesky Scots :).
It’s a bit higgledy piggledy inside but the views are fantastic. It’s more like a garrisoned fort that has been turned into a holiday home at the turn of the 20th century.
Alongside the road causeway there is also a walking path in the sand marked out by tall poles. Again it’s only accessible at low tide.
On one part of the coast there was this collection of stacked stones. Does anyone know what or why they are there?
Of course we built one. Sure, why not!
Next stop: Oban, Iona and Fingal’s Cave.