Holy Island Walk

Holy Island

Originally uploaded by Mr_Chips

A perfect walk around Lindisfarne
This surely has to be one of the best walks in the country. A round of Holy Island. Check the tide tables before you go because you have to navigate a causeway that gets flooded at high tide. Otherwise its a beautiful drive across the sands to the island.
This walk is only about three miles distance but takes much longer than normal to walk because there are so many distractions on the way. You can extend the walk easily be taking diversions among the dunes.
Arriving on the Island across a causeway is an exciting start and you park in one of the large car parks and make your way through the town to the harbour. We did this walk in the afternoon and so we picked up some crab sandwiches from one of the cottages and some local prawns from a fish monger. Make sure you go for the local ones – they are smaller than the more attractive tiger prawns but who wants to eat something flown in from miles away when the smaller ones are the tastiest and haven’t travelled as far.
The harbour is the best place to sit down in the grass and contemplate the view. There are boats on the mudflats, the view of Lindisfarne on its rock in the distance and the overturned boats turned into huts, once used for the herring industry. They make stunning photos.
When you are have feasted, make your way to the left of Lindisfarne and follow the track which was once used to market limestone to the kilns.
Opposite Lindisfarne there are the walled gardens. Then a few hundred yards you reach the shoreline where it is worth scanning the horizon for birds and maybe some beach combing. Turn left and follow the coastline along and you reach the lough which is a fresh water pool supposedly dug by the monks to supply fish to the abbey. There is a hide and it is worth spending some time looking out over the reeds. We saw Little Grebes amongst the reeds.
From here the path heads behind the dunes and you can extend your walk by crossing the dunes to the shoreline. Be careful here, there are peri-peri burs from New Zealand growing. You should check your clothes so that you don’t spread the burs outside the region.
From the dunes, the path goes inland back to the carpark.
This is perhaps one of the finest and most interesting short walks in the country. The afternoon would have perfect if there had been somewhere open for tea but typically, come 5.00pm, all the tea shops shut even though it was a lovely afternoon. Bring a thermos!