Sunday 19 February 2012

Top 10 best British islands: No. 8 - Lindisfarne

Lindisfarne, Northumberland, England

No ferries are needed to reach the Holy Island of Lindisfarne in Northumberland. One road leads to the island, but not all of the time. Twice a day the North Sea surges across the tarmac, cutting off the island from the mainland. For the more romantic, or religious, the island can be gained using the Pilgrim's Way. At low tide a three and a half mile route, marked out in a straight line of tall wooden poles, stretches across the sand. Pilgrims have followed this footpath for centuries to visit the Holy Island. A wooden monastery was founded here in 635AD by the Irish missionary Saint Aiden with the aim of spreading the Christian message throughout pagan England. These days the religious side of the island jostles for the tourist's attention with the castle, tearooms and natural wonders, but the underlying spirituality remains key to the unique atmosphere of Lindisfarne. 

If at all possible, we'd recommend staying a night so you can get a better sense of isolation and a quieter, more private experience of the place. 

Lindisfarne is in the Top 10... for the historical, beautiful and spiritual experience of walking the Pilgrim's Way to reach the island.

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