How to get to Holy Island

"Come to me, all who are weary and whose load is heavy - I will give you rest." - Matthew 11-28

Travel Information

A TIDAL ISLAND: Holy Island is linked to the mainland by a long causeway. Twice each day the tide sweeps in from the North Sea and covers the road. Tide times and heights can be accurately predicted from the phases of the Moon. Severe weather can produce offsets, particularly with strong winds from the North and Northeast. The causeway crossing times are forecasted 'safe' crossing times. Nevertheless, travellers should remain vigilant if crossing near the extremities.
 
Climatic charts indicate that Holy Island, on average, is one of the driest parts of the country. It is a rain-shadow area. But yes, of course it does rain - sometimes!
 
HOLY ISLAND WEATHER

weather map
taxis
local buses
train service
BY ROAD: Proceed along the main A1 roadway to the crossroad at Beal which is approximately 8 miles South of Berwick-upon-Tweed and about 65 miles from both Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Edinburgh - halfway between. (Note: From the A1, Beal appears to consist of `The Lindisfarne Inn' and `Lindisfarne Services' both to the East (or seaward) side of the road.) `Holy Island' is signposted East from Beal - distance 5 miles.
 
beal crossroads
BEAL CROSSROADS: Road access to the Island is via the tiny hamlet of Beal and its crossroad with the A1 trunk road - distinguished by Lindisfarne Inn and Lindisfarne Services (Penny Petroleum). Beal is located around 65 miles from international airports at Newcastle and Edinburgh - and is only 8 miles south of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Beal is the focus for ALL island traffic: commercial/private vehicles, local/regional bus routes as well as cyclists and walkers.
 
LINDISFARNE CAUSEWAY: 'The Holy Island of Lindisfarne' is a tidal island and can only be accessed via a metalled causeway. Tidal closure affects all forms of transport. A notice board at the Beal side of the causeway provides tide and crossing information. causeway opening times It can also be sought from the English Tourist Information Centre (Phone:01289 330733). More frequent visitors might wish to purchase the "Islanders' version" in a convenient booklet from either the 'Holy Island Post Office' or 'Lindisfarne Centre'. Guests are usually provided with causeway crossing times when confirming bookings with their accommodation provider.
 
AIR TRAVEL: Our nearest international airports are Edinburgh and Newcastle each about 65 miles distant.
 
BY RAIL: The nearest mainline station is at Berwick-upon-Tweed on the London (Kings Cross) to Edinburgh LNER line and also the cross-country links from the Midlands and Southwest. [www.thetrainline.com] A public bus service (route 477) operates from the station to the Island although the frequency varies considerably from Summer-to-Winter and according to the prevailing tide. Throughout the year, there are several taxi services that operate from the station to the island.
 
REGIONAL BUS (Routes X15 and X18): This regional service operates between Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Berwick-upon-Tweed. Buses will stop, on request, at Beal. From the Beal crossroad there is a 5 mile walk to the island unless your journey is timed to coincide with the above route 477 Holy Island bus from Berwick-upon-Tweed.
 
LOCAL BUS - Route 477: A bus service operates to the Island from Berwick Station on most days during summer months but sometimes as few as once a week between September and May.
 
'HOPPA': A minibus service is being introduced and will operate between the Island from Berwick Station. Schedule information
 
LOCAL TAXI MINIBUS: There are several local taxi and minibus services in Berwick and the surrounding area. Our link here takes you to our regular providers who have intimate knowledge of the tides and local conditions. They are able to suit most requirements from collection at the nearby airports of Edinburgh, Newcastle and Edinburgh and Berwick mainline railway station - even from the bus stop at Beal!
 
PARKING: Other than for residents, PARKING is NOT permitted within the village. Please use either the main or coach car parks.
 
MAIN CAR PARK: vehicles entering the village are directed into the main car park. Here there are several payment machines - only the machine at the centre provides for cashless payment. Parking charges May 2021 [8.00am to 6.00pm]: 3hours (£4.50), 24hours/all day (£7.00), 48hours (£14.00), 72hours (£21.00). Our Car Parks are managed by Northumberland County Council. For enquiries or faults: please phone 0345 600 6400 or online www.northumberland.gov.uk
 
COACHES/Blue-Badge/EV-Hybrid: Parking for commercial vehicles is available within the village - follow the road to the left outside the Lindisfarne Hotel. A limited amount of 'blue-badge' parking is available here and next to the west wall there are 4 parking stands for electric and hybrid vehicles with 11kw(16Amp) and 22kW(32Amp) capacities.
 
electric charging points
charging points for electric and hybrid vehicles
Public Toilets: The main toilet bock is situated within the Coach Park. At the time of writing, the county council is conducting extensive refurbishment and provided a number of mobile cubicles on the east side. However, the original 'Crossgates' toilet block remains functional - adjacent to the village hall.
 
For further village layout checkout the virtual-village schematic.
 

ALL ROAD USERS:
Please keep in mind that you are using the only road connecting the island and the mainland. This main road enables vital emergency services as well as 24/7 vehicular access for our farmers, fishermen and other businesses together with their suppliers.
 
Note: whilst a car can cover the 5mile distance to the mainland comfortably within 15 minutes - during the holiday season this can ramp to over an hour!
 
After leaving the A1 the road narrows and there will be many blind, zigzag bends throughout the journey to the main Holy Island car park.
 
Shortly after leaving the A1 you will be passing over the level crossing where the road rises steeply past Beal Farm. At the top of the hill, you will have a spectacular view of the island in the distance. Footpaths cease and the road quickly descends into a zigzag bend. To the left, is the entrance to 'The Barn at Beal' and ahead is a path for walkers and cyclists.
 
beal crossroads 'path-to-causeway' for walkers and cyclists
The zigzag descent continues to the causeway. In places narrowness forces opposing traffic to slow. Drivers should be wary of heavily eroded road-edges. With no highway-drainage, rain water can run off the fields and form deep puddles at dips in the road. Be wary of your speed. Walkers and cyclists may have missed their special route to the causeway and be using the road instead. Throughout this stretch there is little room for them to step aside. Visiting foreigners may have little UK highway code knowledge...
 
At the bottom of the hill, you have reached the 'Beal-End' of the causeway. Here you will find tables of safe crossing-times. Often vehicles will be temporally parked whilst browsing the tables. Please be aware that other traffic may well be approaching this bottleneck very much faster than expected - unaware that people have wandered across the road! For your own safety, be alert and prepared to step off the main road to allow the passage of motor vehicles.
 

the bridge

chare ends

danger - check tide tables

Beal-End Car Park - closed!!
Beal-End Car Park - now closed!
Within 200 yards the road reduces to a single file as it crosses the bridge. Take extra care as there is little room for walkers to step to one side. You will be passing the steps to the refuge box - provided for those in the event of become stranded by rising tides. Take note that under adverse conditions advancing sea water can reach the top step!
 
the bridge
single lane only - prepare to give way
The sun is not always shining and the ebbing tide can leave obstacles and debris covering road markings. Puddles of seawater may obscure potholes. Do be courteous to other users. Some vehicles may well have parked or be manoeuvring and unaware of the problems they are causing to other road users. There remains barely a couple of miles of roadway ahead before reaching Holy Island car park.
 
other users
be courteous to other road users
The approach to the main car park is via a particularly narrow, blind zigzag bend. During the holiday season expect to discover massive foreign coaches coming towards you; child-cyclists and animals unexpectedly darting out onto the road.
 
other users
turn left - main car park
A 30mph speed limit sign stands just past the car park entrance. Coaches and blue-badge vehicles heading for the 'Coach Park' should be wary as huge visitor numbers and narrow pavements frequently force pedestrians onto the highway. The road continues a short distance then veers sharply to the left as it passes the Lindisfarne Hotel. In the picture - turn left just beyond the village post office to the Coach Park.
 
other users
You have arrived!!
PILGRIMS CROSSING: A clearly marked route links the mainland to the island across the sands and mud. Newcomers are cautioned against using this route unless accompanied by a person with local knowledge. Never attempt this route at dusk or on a rising tide! Open times are NOT published ANYWHERE for the Pilgrims' Way. AONB offer sensible advice.
 
TIDAL WARNING: Tide times are subject to vast variations throughout each month and in particular during strong winds. Tide tables can only be advisory. Ensure that you observe the warning signs particularly along the road side. The tidal currents can be very strong. Should you become stranded use the refuge boxes provided.
 
FOR THE CAUTIOUS: Whilst a visit to the Island is always an adventure - well over 650,000 people visit us without any problems.
 

 

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