Lindisfarne is an island (connected to the mainland by a sand causeway at low tide) off the Northumberland coast of north-east England. It is also known under the name of Holy Island.
Lindisfarne falls within the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and also much of the island is within the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve - numerous birds, some rare, can be seen here and the reserve was created to help protect the unusual environment and habitat.
First explore the village on the island, and perhaps take one of the walks in the region, and then we suggest you visit the Lindisfarne Centre to learn about the history and importance of the island. You might like to stop in one of the pubs to enjoy one of the local 'trademark' crab sandwiches before exploring the historical monuments: there are two particularly important monuments on Lindisfarne: the Priory and the Castle.
The small Lindisfarne Castle dates from the 16th century but was much altered at the start of the 20th century to create an Arts and crafts style home - the castle was redesigned by Sir Edwin Lutyens and the garden (a great achievement given the harsh conditions) by Gertrude Jekyll, both highly renowned in their respective fields, and is now open to the public as a National Trust property. Near the castle you can also see the lime kilns that formed an important industry on the island in the 19th century.
Lindisfarne Priory: the priory, now in ruins, has its origins as far back as the 7th century and the arrival of saint Aidan in 635 AD to establish his monastery. The ruins we see now date from the 11th century. The priory grew to become an important early centre in the spreading of christianity in the region, and continues to be a popular pilgrimage destination (now managed by English Heritage). It is also well known as being the place where the so-called Lindisfarne Gospels were produced, a rare and special 'illuminated' set of the gospels of Mark, Luke and John (an electronic copy can be seen in the Lindisfarne Heritage Centre).
Many visitors choose to walk across to Lindisfarne at low tide - the route is marked with posts, and open from around 2-3 hours after high tide to 2-3 hours before the next high tide.
Map of Lindisfarne and places to visit
Lindisfarne places to visit
See more places nearby in the Northumberland guide