Jul 082010

It was a shame to leave Bamburgh without seeing inside the castle, but it didn’t open till 10. It was also too large to be worth a short visit, and we had to push on so that we could see Lindisfarne today.

Lindisfarne, or “Holy Island”, is one of the oldest and holiest christian sites in Britain. Without a boat, the only way out to the island is a causeway that is covered by high tides.  If you don’t consider the tide times it is easy to get stranded on the island; or worse, find yourself in rising water on the causeway.

We rode steadily along pleasant back roads to Beal, at the mainland end of the causeway.  There was time for us to get some food before the tide was low enough to cross.  On the way over we had salt spray thrown on us by cars coming the opposite direction!

On Lindisfarne is a ruined priory with remains from the 12th century, but there was a monastery in the site in the 600s.  The Lindisfarne Gospels are a decorated (“illuminated”) Latin translation of the four Gospels, and they were created at this priory in the early 700s.  We walked around the priory ruins in glorious sunshine. The weather really has been kind to us on this cycle tour so far.

Riding back to the mainland was hard work against a strong headwind, but the tide had dropped further and we didn’t get sprayed.  Most of the way to Berwick was right along the shoreline, and in a few places the track was just ruts in the grass behind dunes.

This map is interactive:

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