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  • Writer's pictureTania Andreea

Holy Island and the road that dissappears

Updated: Apr 23

Holy Island also known as Lindisfarne, was one of the tourist locations that aroused my curiosity the most and that I couldn't wait to visit.

Probably the title of the article will intrigue you a little. What do I mean "disappearing road"? Well, exactly like that, Holy Island is an island only when the road that connects it to the mother-island, that of Great Britain, disappears. The road no longer exists when the sea level rises. In the United Kingdom, unlike other places, the tide is noticeable, the difference between flow and ebb being huge. The tide occurs twice a day, never at the same time.

Before planning a trip to this island, you must consult tide time table, to see what time you can cross safely. If the water reaches the causeway, it is recommended to not cross, because there is a risk of being stuck in the water, as happened to other people.

car stuck in the water at high tide in lindisfarne holy island

The sea level rises enough to make a 6 km road disappear completely. See a comparison between the following two photos.

the road to lindisfarne holy island uk

the road that dissapears under the water at holy island lindisfarne tani travel stories

Near the sign announcing that the road is narrowing (in the image below), the water reaches its highest level, becoming deep enough to completely cover an SUV car. To get an idea, try to find the road narrowing sign in the second photo.

the road that dissapears during high tide. it is the road to holy island in england

the road to holy island that dissapears under the water

If you arrive here in June, you can enjoy the beauty of wild flowers, which are not few and grow everywhere.

wild flowers in holy island england


Lindisfarne is about halfway between the two most important airports in the United Kingdom. It is located in the north of England, so it can be reached both from Newcastle airport and from Edinburgh airport. So it can even be linked with a city break in Edinburgh.

From the airport, the easiest way to get there is by rental car. The prices do not differ much compared to the rest of Europe, and the driving, although it is on the left side of the road, is very easy. More details about renting a car on holiday.

The second option, a bit more complicated, because it requires changing several means of transport, is by train to Berwick-upon-Tweed, and from there bus 477 to Lindisfarne. The bus schedule differs depending on the tide and departs from the city bus station.

Of course, if you live in the UK and have your own car, you don't need all these recommendations. Just set your sat nav after checking the tide time table and drive :).


The island is very small, therefore the accommodation places are limited. Only one accommodation unit is available on Booking, at Manor House.

Another option is at Lindisfarne Hotel. It is not listed on any hotel booking page, so you must contact them directly for reservations.

lindisfarne hotel on holy island in england


There are 3-4 restaurants on the island, but I recommend that you bring a small lunch with you and skip eating at the restaurant. Obviously, this recommendation only applies if you plan to stay here for a day or a few hours. We went on the premise that we would eat at one of the restaurants and in the end we left without food. Being an island that depends on the tide to connect with the rest of the country, you cannot choose the times to come and visit. One way or another, it's you and the whole crowd of tourists, coming to the island at the same time. And if the English like to feast on something, then that something is food. Therefore, nowhere will you see longer queues than those at restaurants.

So, don't waste your time standing in line for several hours and sit on the beach (not on the grass, because it's FULL of ticks) and enjoy the food you brought from home. Obviously, it is not a rule for it to be crowded, but on summer weekends, with good weather, you definitely don't get rid of queues. The restaurant area is next to the ruined monastery.

the restaurant at lindisfarne england


Lindisfarne Castle was built in the 16th century on the highest part of the island. It was used for military purposes, protecting the small natural harbor of the island. In 1901, it became the home of Edward Hudson, the founder of "Country Life" magazine. The entrance fee is £8.50/person, and the castle is open for visits from February to October.

lindisfarne castle on holy island in england is open for visitors

As I said above, if you come to the island in June, you will be able to enjoy the beauty of wild flowers, which are not missing even near the castle.

wild flowers at lindisfarne castle on holy island uk

It takes about 5 minutes to climb to the entrance of the castle. It is not a difficult climb, especially since the view once you reach the top is superb.

the view from lindisfarne castle over the sea and island

The interior is simple and sober and although, in the last decades it served as a holiday home, the building still has the air of a garrison location.

the interior of lindisfarne castle

The ruins of the Lindisfarne monastery are another tourist attraction that can be visited.

The monastery has a very rich and fascinating history. It was built in the 6th century by the Celts, and was later conquered by the Vikings. In the 11th century it came under the possession of the Normans, and in the 16th century it was destroyed by King Henry VIII, along with all the monasteries in England, Wales and Ireland.

Nowadays, part of the walls of what in the past was an important symbol of Christianity remain intact. Part of the brick left after the destruction was used to build the military fortress on the island (Lindisfarne Castle, which I talked about above).

lindisfarne monastery on holy island

If you still have energy, you should not miss a simple walk on the streets of the village or on the beaches of the island.

the beach of holy island england

street of lindisfarne island in england

Other locations to visit nearby:

- Farne Islands, one of the wildest places in Europe;

- Bamburgh Castle and its beach;

- Newcastle Upon Tyne;

- Alnwich Castle, the place where sequences from Harry Potter were filmed;


Lindisfarne is not the most beautiful place I have visited, but it is definitely the most interesting. I was fascinated by what mother nature can do. I recommend, if you arrive in the north of England, to plan a visit to this island, it is quite small and in a few hours you can visit it all. Also, I recommend to not go there between October and March, both because of the weather, the wind being strong even in the summer, and because there are only a few hours of light, at 3:00 p.m. it is almost dark.

I also filmed my experience there. If you liked the video, please subscribe to my channel.

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