An explorer's guide to the islands of Britain

Lindisfarne, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumbria, UK
Distance: 15.6 km
Difficulty: Easy
Method: Walking
Wow Factor: 8 out of 10

Key Facts

  • Location: Northumberland
  • Size: 400 hectares
  • Terrain: Beach and dune walking, easy footpaths
  • Access: Tidal causeway; or walk the Pilgrim's Way
  • Height gain: 255 metres
  • Map: OS Explorer 340 or OS Landranger 75
  • Starting point: Main island car park (GR 55.676, -1.801)
  • Accommodation/food:

    There is a range of Holy Island accommodation in the main village. Also, cafes, restaurants and pubs to choose from. Our favourite for great coffee is the Pilgrim’s Coffee House.

  • Island Summary:

    Follow in the footsteps of ancient pilgrims and race the tides to soak up the spiritual vibe of Holy Island. Described as the cradle of Christianity in England it was the chosen site for the mission of converting pagans to Christians and transforming a nation. This route passes Lindisfarne Castle, the Gertrude Jeckyll Garden and Lindisfarne Priory and walks through Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve with the addition of a walk alongside the tidal causeway and the length of the wild, windswept and rarely visited north coast.

  • Look out for:
    • The unique Lindisfarne orchid
    • The rainbow arch on Lindisfarne Priory
    • The colourful Gertrude Jekyl garden of Lindisfarne Castle
    • Stunningly wild beach at the north end of the island
    • Seals and half the world’s population of light-bellied Brent geese (winter)
  • Route description:

    The circular route around Holy Island Lindisfarne starts at the island’s car park, then immediately heads north along the causeway to circumnavigate the dunes at Snook Point. The energising section along the windswept beaches of the north of the island leads to a myriad of sandy paths that undulate through the dunes of The Link to access the easy-graded path around the rockier-east coast. Some straightforward route finding will be needed at the south-west tip of the island to reach the beach at The Basin before a steep climb up the bank to find the narrow, low cliff-top path leading back to the main car-park.

  • Getting there:

    By cycle; NCN1. Coast and Castles cycle route.
    On foot; from main Holy Island village
    By train; Berwick-upon-Tweed 10 miles from causeway
    By road; 5 miles east of A1 across a tidal causeway, please check safe crossing times before visiting by going to
    Parking: in the interests of village residents please use main island car park, 1 mile (signposted before village). Pay and display.
    By bus; 477 service from Berwick-upon-Tweed train station, with connecting buses at Beal to and from Newcastle. Times vary with season and tides. Also private island minibus from Holy Island car park to castle

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