Lindisfarne - Holy Island

Lindisfarne abbey and village

Holy Island also known as Lindisfarne is the main island of the Farne Islands. It is connected to the Northumberland mainland by a tidal causeway that is usually open 5 hours a day, so if you plan to visit it by car, it is best to check the opening times before you set off.

The island has a small population concentrated in one village next to the ruins of Lindifarne abbey. The abbey originally dates back to a monastry founded by Saint Aidan and was once the major religious centre in the Kingdom of Northumbria with a number of monks from the Scottish island of Iona settling there. During the 700s, the Lindisfarne Gospels were made and are the earliest remaining English translations of the bible (now resident in the British museum). St Cuthbert was the most famous of the Bishops and although buried on the island, he was exhumed during a Viking raid in 793 and his remains were later taken to Durham Cathedral. The settlement was later resurrected as a Benedictine Abbey during the Norman period until the dissolution under the reign of King Henry VIII. The island still commemorates it's links with the Vikings as evidenced by our photographs taken during one such event.

Lindisfarne views

The other major landmark on Lindisfarne is the castle. This was originally built in the 16th Century to protect the island from the Scots. The building was mostly left in ruins until it was bought in 1901 by Edward Hudson, the owner of Countrylife and renovated by the renowned architect Edward Lutyens.

Lindisfarne castle