The Holy Island of Lindisfarne

Off the Northumberland coast rises a lonely islet which over the years has played host to religious renunciates, Viking raids and the birth of priceless artistic treasures. Julian Humphrys makes the pilgrimage

High heaven: Lindisfarne Castle rises above the beach. It's a steep climb to the castle entrance. (Photo by Alamy)

This article was first published in the August 2019 edition of BBC History Magazine

Getting on to Holy Island feels like an adventure. Unless you’re planning to arrive by boat, you can either walk or drive across a long causeway or tramp across the sands, following a line of wooden poles – a route taken by countless visitors and pilgrims over the centuries. Whichever you choose, check the tide tables to see when it’s safe to cross. Both routes are completely submerged at high tide, when the water rushes in at an alarming rate.

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