Friday, April 30, 2010


There is just so much to see in the UK. Castles, churches, monastries, stately homes abound, some in ruins, some restored, others as they have always been.

Lindisfarne (or Holy Island) is off the coast of Northumberland and has a restored castle and a ruined priory.

To get to the island you have to either drive out there, or if you are a pilgrim, walk across the sands at low tide. Of course, the truly devout could do it on their knees, but you would get awfully muddy. The area is tidal and the causeway is covered at high tide, usually to a depth of a few feet. This hut on stilts is halfway across the causeway and can be used if you get stranded.

Apparently, people still get caught by the rising tide, even though the safe times to cross are well posted. Here the tide is still going out.

The castle off in the distance. It's about a mile walk from the small village on the island.

Meanwhile there is stuff to see as you walk through the village including this wall. It was really cold here with the wind whistling down from the north over the sea. Take a warm jacket for this place.

It was common in the area to take boats at the end of their useful seagoing life, cut them in two, turn them upside down and create two sheds.

The beach for the desperate.

So we continued out to the castle. Interestingly, we had done so much walking since we arrived in England that the walk up the hill was easy.

As you would expect, there are wonderful views in all directions. The two pilons in the middle of the picture marked the channel to the harbour at one time. A huge storm changed all that and created a new channel. It is sometimes difficult to remember that the calm and placid North Sea that we see on calm days can be really wild in bad weather.

Just below the castle is a marshy pond that I walked around.

A weather vane inside the entrance to the castle.

The castle may seem large, but the walls are thick and the rooms are small and dark compared to other stately homes and castles we have visited. Most places allow you to take photos, but no flash please. So in this case, you get a blury picture.

This is one of the larger rooms. Even though this was April and there were not the crowds of summer, this was the only room where I could take a photo with no people in the way.

So finally the top of the castle with the same views as before a bit higher up.

People walking up to the castle. There was a constant stream of them.

So we left the castle and I went for a walk around the pond area. Some kids had taken the local stones and spelled out their names. The stones were quite large, at least six inches across.

Since it was spring, there were lambs everywhere.

The other main attraction on the island is the ruined priory.

The priory came under the auspices of Durham and the columns of the priory have the same designs as those of Durham Cathedral. If you ever get a chance to see Durham Cathedral, take it.

The effects of the near constant wind from the north.

Really low tide on our way back to the mainland. For some reason or other, after three weeks in the UK, we are still yet to see a high tide anywhere in our travels. Perhaps they keep it hidden for the locals.

On the way up and back to Lindisfarne, we passed by this huge castle called Bamburgh. It's only about 10 miles south of Lindisfarne and this is quite common with castles or their remains every few miles. We did not have time (or energy) to visit this monster.


  1. You need a lot of time for this one. It's gorgeous though, inside and out. Very good tearoom too! Was bought up by Armstrong, the owner of Cragside who made big money with steel, he had ship yards and built most of the bridges in Newcastle. He was also an weapon producer.

  2. Oh, beautiful, too. Love the upside down boat sheds. Durham Cathedral is another on my list, and I think I might just add Lindisfarne, while one's in the North...