From across the vast expanse of cyberspace, welcome to the Holy Island
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Holy Island falls under English law in that
what is permissible on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne may not
necessarily be the same in Scotland, Ireland or Wales - perhaps not
even in different parts of England...
advice for international visitors.
Note: our beautiful, historic island lies in a very remote part of
Northumberland. The Island is tidal, in that it is separated from
the mainland by the North Sea twice daily. Long distances are
involved should a hospitalisation emergency develop. For emergency
Reserve Manager for Lindisfarne & Newham NNRs, Andy Denton reported:
"On Saturday 9th April 2022, a wildfire was reported within the NNR on the Links of Holy Island. The Northumberland Fire Service and Coastguard promptly arrived and managed to put the fire out quickly. The vegetation across 2 acres was scorched and turned to ash. Luckily the fire took place in an area dominated by Marram and Pirri-pirri Bur and fortunately no one was injured; but there will have been several ground nesting birds on eggs within this area. As it is still early in the season these birds will have the opportunity to nest again."
"The fires cause is unclear at this stage but further emphasises the importance of not having any fires anywhere on the Reserve. Dune grassland can dry out rapidly in any fine weather and if fires take hold they can spread astonishingly quickly, putting lives of people and wildlife at risk."
"If visiting the NNR do not have any fires, don’t use camping stoves and don’t discard any cigarettes."
Our delightful, historic island lies just off the extreme Northeast
corner of England near Berwick-upon-Tweed. The small population of
just over 160 persons is swelled by the well over 650,000 visitors
coming from all over the world every year.
A tidal Island:
Lindisfarne is a tidal island reachable via a paved causeway only when
the North Sea tides permit. Safe times to cross are predictable and
can be found here:
. Study them carefully or consult your accommodation provider.
Lindisfarne versus Holy Island:
Locally the island is rarely referred to by its Anglo-Saxon name of
'Lindisfarne'. After that murderous and bloodthirsty attack on the
monastery in 793ad (carried out by Vikings who had journeyed from
Horderland in Norway) its local name of Holy Island is probably
derived from the ensuing observations of Durham monks: 'Lindisfarne -
truly a 'Holy Island' baptised in the blood of so many good men....
But its more appropriate title is, 'The Holy Island of Lindisfarne' -
a little lengthy for most maps!
Lindisfarne is a place of uniqueness:
Lindisfarne is internationally famous both for its medieval religious
heritage and also its more recent picturesque 16th century castle.
These, together with most of the community, are located on the
Southern part of the island - the main focus for tourists and
holidaymakers. Many are also attracted by the peace and tranquillity
which pervades the Island and the remote Northern conservation area,
with more than its fair share of quiet beaches and unique natural
People visit the Island from all walks of life:
We have a wide range of visitors which includes: bird-watchers,
walkers, fishing-parties, artists, writers, photographers and
film-makers, historians and natural historians, scientists,
journalists, industrialists, politicians, actors, theologians,
wildfowlers, yachters, golfers (resting overnight in-between the
excellent nearby Northumberland golf courses) as well as thousands of
Christian and non-Christian pilgrims.
Do not be misled into thinking that you can see it all in a day's
Even a couple of overnight stays at one of the Island's excellent
hotels, guest-houses and retreats will be sufficient for the briefest
overview. Often the majority of the guests sharing accommodation with
you will, like yourself, have started with a day visit. Thousands
return year after year smitten by the spiritual enchantment of a
special very place sought out by man (and woman!) since prehistory.
To avoid disappointment, try and book ahead:
There are barely 40 letting rooms on the island and demand can far
outweigh availability throughout the year - particularly in the main
season, weekends and bank holidays. When you do decide to stay, do
make sure that you book accommodation as far ahead as possible. Our
lists a range of places both on the Island and nearby mainland. Please
note that camping and caravanning is not permitted on the Island.
Above all we are a community:
new visitors should note that there is a small, friendly Northumbrian
community living on the island. However, although tourism is a major
industry here there are still a large number of islanders who derive
their living from a vast range of other means - including fishing,
farming and writing as well those who have now retired.
Be a welcome visitor:
The island is our home. Do not expect it to be like the city. Expect
to meet country life and nature in the raw at times. Please keep to
the footpaths provided, use the litter bins, do not disturb the sheep,
seals or other wildlife or wander onto private premises. Keep dogs on
leads and under control.
We trust and hope that you enjoy your visit to our web site. Perhaps
at some future stage we can also look forward to you visiting our
Island. If you do, please be a welcome visitor and treat our home with
Webmaster Thursday 19th May 2022