The lovely thing about Holy Island (or Lindisfarne if you prefer) is that you can have a holiday either by staying overnight or by staying over while the tide is closed during the day. These two lovely walks allow you to see a selection of what the island has to offer including beaches, the priory, the castle, the lime kilns, the harbour, the nature reserve and some of the farming which goes on there. The island can easily be accessed from Berwick, Goswick, Belford or Bamburgh by car. Those in search of budget accommodation could use Berwick Hostel or the campsites at Beal and West Kyloe.
The walks are all at the easy end of the spectrum being on the coast, but involve walking on sand dunes and rocky beaches in places. These walks were both done out of season in February which is why it was quiet, but the routes are busier in the summer months.
The routes are both available on Viewranger but didn’t record in as much detail as I would have liked due to a technical problem. I apologise for this, hopefully you can get the gist of the routes from the details which did record. Maps are courtesy of Viewranger and Ordnance Survey ©.
- Holy Island Coast Path (7m) Leisurely
- Holy Island circular (4m) Easy
Holy Island Coast Path (7m) Leisurely
Lindisfarne in North Northumberland is only accessible via a causeway at low tide so it is important to check the tides before your visit. Both of these Holy Island walks begin and end at the car park located on the outskirts of the village on the island.
This is a 6.8 mile leisurely, circular route which heads straight through the village to the village green. Here you head down the path immediately to the right of the Crown and Anchor pub. Here you turn right towards a set of old iron turnstile gates to cross the field past the priory and towards the harbour.
From the picturesque harbour you follow the track up to and around Edward Lutyen’s famous castle.
The track follows the coast towards the nature reserve and the unspoilt north shore of the island.
Keeping close to the coast along the dunes or the beach, you will pass the remains of the lime quarry on your way to the snook where the island becomes tidal. The route then follows the causeway road back into the village and your starting point.
The walk involves a lot of walking on dunes and sand with a couple of sections across stony sections of the beach. There are some facilities in the village including a visitor centre, a few shops, a post office, pubs and cafes.
Holy Island circular (4m) Easy
If you don’t have as much time, you might prefer this shorter 4 mile route to get an impression of the island. This also begins at the car park and follows the same route to the harbour via the village green and the Crown and Anchor pub.
This is a short 4 mile circular walk around the interior of the island which takes in the harbour, Lindisfarne Castle, the lime kilns, the bird and nature reserves and a local farm. The lowering sky in the photos was genuine but not typical, as it was a very dark day in February when I did these walks.
This route gives a broad cross section of island life and there are shops, pubs and cafes in the village at the end. There is an easy diversion to the beach from the gate where the route turns back towards the village.
If you have time left over after your walk I would recommend the Castle, the priory and the mead shop.