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Holy Island, Lindesfarne UK


• 4-star hikes
• 3.5 to 4.1 mile options
• Easy difficulty | Gain 200-240 ft (60-70m)
• Holy Island, Northumberland | United Kingdom
• Driving Directions: Parking & Trailhead

Lindisfarne Castle is a small collection of buildings on a hill, surrounded by green island lowlands.
Heading for the 16th century Lindisfarne Castle.

The windswept island of Lindesfarne off the coast of northeast England is also known as Holy Island for its monastic history that dates back to the sixth century. Its tranquil spiritual existence was shattered in 793CE when Norse raiders, the Vikings, pillaged the monastery, marking the beginning of Viking invasions in Britain. Despite the turmoil, Lindesfarne retained its spiritual significance and today visitors can explore its picturesque landscapes, historic ruins and sense the echoes of it tumultuous past.

Northhumberland's vast moors, rolling hills and rugged coastlines already evoke a sense of remoteness, yet a visit to Lindesfarne takes this one step further as it is twice daily cut off from the mainland by the ocean, and only accessible by navigating a three mile long causeway. You can find the safe crossing times at this website, but be sure to cross at least thirty minutes before the end of any safe crossing time.

red icon Loop Trail, purple icon Emmanuel Head Expand Map

red icon Loop Trail 4★
3.5 mi, Loop, Easy, Gain 200 ft
Trailspotting Map at AllTrails

We've marked out a great hiking route that takes in many of the sights of the island, including a sheltered cove with moored boats and the Lindesfarne Castle. Embarking on this counter-clockwise loop trail leads you away from the majority of the islands sightseers and towards Lindesfarne's rugged North Sea shoreline. Wildlife watching is also extremely popular within this natural nature reserve.

In addition to the seals basking along the shoreline, you might want to dip into the birdwatching hut on the east side of the island to peek at the wildlife in the freshwater pond below. On the tranquil evening we visited, hundreds of swifts were performing acrobatics above us.

purple icon Loop & Emmanuel Head 4★
4.1 mi, Loop, Easy, Gain 240 ft
Trailspotting Map at AllTrails

The highlight adding this short side trip to your loop trail is the walk through dunes and grasslands to the 35 foot (12m) tall Emmanuel Head daymark. This striking white object was built in 1810 as a maritime navigational aid, but now makes for a superb photo opportunity.

Lindesfarne Island is free to visit, but the Castle and Priory have separate entrance fees. The Holy Island Causeway is only 10 miles from Berwick Upon Tweed, a historic and picturesque town that is served by main line train service. If you're visiting this region by car, be sure to check out Alnwick Castle and Gardens. We stayed at the Lindesfarne Inn, a pleasant 3-star hotel located on the mainland, but very close to the Holy Island Causeway.

White pyramid in front of a blue partly cloudy sky and tall green grass in the foreground.
The striking 1810 Emmanuel Head daymarker.

Walking the windswept coastal path.
Walking the windswept coastal path.

Boats anchored at Holy Island Beach, Bamburgh Castle distant.
Boats anchored at Holy Island Beach, Bamburgh Castle distant.

Tangents:
• Trail Links: Priory, Castle, Public Map at AllTrails
• Facebook Group: Comment on this article

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