Visiting Lindisfarne, the Holy Island

Has anyone visited Lindisfarne, and is it worth the day, or possibly staying overnight? My husband and I are still finalizing the last five five days of our trip, and this seems like a fascinating place to visit. We hadn't planned on renting a car, but it looks like if we want to go to the island we will probably need to do so. Does anyone have a car rental recommendation near there (close to the train line)?

Posted by Mark
Durham, UK
55 posts

I am from the area and Holy Island is lovely. You can easily do it all in a couple of hours. If you want to stay overnight, you'll get the 'cut-off' feeling, as the island is separated from the mainland at high tide, but it's by no means necessary. It's a bit of a tradition to walk barefoot across the sands to the island. It's about 2 miles, so be certain to check the tide times, which can be found on this website http://orawww.northumberland.gov.uk/www2/holyisland/holyisland.asp and posted at the causeway itself. I can't help on car hire, but Newcastle is the nearest city and has the usual big names available. natively there is a bus from Berwick, where there are rail connections to Newcastle and Edinburgh, to the island. Its timetable is extremely complex, because it can only serve the island when the tide is out, so you'll have to cross-reference the two tables here: http://www.lindisfarne.org.uk/general/schedule1.htm but it should be doable. Note that there is also the X15 from Newcastle, which runs every 2h Mon-Sat. You can take this bus to the mainland side of the causeway (Stop: Beal, Holy Island Road End). Times here: http://www.arrivabus.co.uk/serviceInformation.aspx?id=20729&r=UK

Posted by Cynthia
Gig Harbor, Washington, USA
1202 posts

We did this as part of our "north of England on to Scotland trip" in 2010. You have to plan your day around the tide tables (http://www.northumberlandlife.org/holy-island/Page3.asp). We went in the morning, visited the abbey and the beach below it, had lunch in the local pub, skipped the castle, and went on to visit Dryburgh Abbey (our favourite of the four border abbeys)in the nearby Scottish borders in the afternoon. We spent the night in Melrose at the Townhouse Hotel - Melrose also has an abbey - then continued on to Rosslyn Chapel and points north.......Lindisfarne Abbey is very picturesque and also has lots of history attached. IMHO, I don't think there is enough there to warrant an overnight stay.

Posted by Richard
Meridian, USA
118 posts

We visited Lindisfarne on our way from Edinburgh to York. We spent the night at a B & B in Fenwick. We went out to Holy island early in the AM -did not go in the castle-not open that early but did enjoy the abbey and walking around the castle. Bamburgh Castle is close by so we toured it and then on to Alnwick castle for lunch. Be aware of the tide tables when going out to Lindifarne.

Posted by Katie
Minneapolis, MN, USA
5 posts

Thank you for the information and help. As much as we'd like to visit here, it will now have to wait for our next trip.