A March 2005 trip
to Northumberland by Slaney
Quote: We had visited at Easter before and the weather had been beautiful. This time we took our dog to enjoy the beautiful beaches, but the weather was against us.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 11, 2006
+44 (1668) 213000
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 11, 2006
+44 01668 213000
Attraction | "Lindisfarne Castle and Priory"
Lindisfarne TD15 2SH
+44 1289 389244
The Farne Islands, situated just off the Northumberland coast, is a haven for all kinds of birds and grey seals. There are 182 species of birds on the islands, with 22 species breeding there, and it is very popular with birdwatchers. Boat trips are available from Seahouses to all the islands, although in afternoons only during the breeding season. We haven't taken this trip yet, as the boats are quite small and each time we have visited the sea has been quite rough. This does not mean that the boats are not safe, just that we are too nervous!!
The Farne Island Cruise is a 2.5-hour cruise in total, with 1 hour spent on the island and 1.5 hours cruising. The island has a walkway suitable for the disabled and a lighthouse where National Trust personnel live for 9 months of the year. This is where the grey seal colony is. Also available is a special Grey Seal Cruise, which is 1.5 hours with no landing. Birds can be seen on the cliffs, but more time is spent viewing the seals. Inner Farne is a bird sanctuary, and there is a charge for landing. Staple Island is also a bird sanctuary but is too rocky for the disabled. There is also a Holy Island Cruise, which reaches Lindisfarne at high tide when it is cut off from the mainland, to allow the peace and tranquility to be felt. Seahouses is a holiday town that is very busy in summer. It has a harbour, beach, slot machines, fish-and-chips, cafes, restaurants, and lots of self-catering accommodation and hotels. Sea fishing and boat charters are also available. For more information, visit the website at www.farne-islands.com.
Lindisfarne is approached by a scenic causeway that is completely under water at high tide. Checks of tide times must be made, with notices posted on this road, and you must ensure you leave by the time stipulated. All cars are left in the public pay-and-display car park at the edge of the town, and you have a choice of walking about 10 minutes to the centre or taking the shuttle bus, which runs in 20-minute intervals, to the castle.
There is enough to keep you busy here for a day (if it is fine) with the castle, priory, church, and souvenir shops. You can also buy a bottle of Lindisfarne Meade. Cafes are quite plentiful. On our first visit we saw a fisherman walking up the street with two crabs he had just caught, and there is a takeaway shop at the start of the castle path that does excellent fresh crab sandwiches. You could buy one of these, take it to the other side of the castle, sit on the grass, and enjoy it (with the help of the gulls) and the view over the sea. You could always spend the night (or more) on Lindisfarne in one of the eight accommodations listed on the website, three of which are hotels with a bar and restaurant. Most are open all year, but book early!! Website: www.lindisfarne.org.uk.
We left Lindisfarne in the early afternoon rain and made our way to new territory farther up country to Eyemouth. Eyemouth is a small fishing town just over the border of Scotland. It was Easter Sunday afternoon, and although one or two cafes and restaurants were open, there were only a few people out walking. We parked at the side of the small harbour and followed a path that went across a bridge and round the other side. Moored at this side was an old sailing vessel that looked to be under refurbishment, probably with a view to offer sailing trips to summer visitors.
The path continued up the hillside towards the sea, from where we could see a small sandy cove. From there we made our way down through the working part of the harbour and back to our car, vowing to visit again in more favourable weather. Berwick on Tweed was our next stop. This is a historic walled town situated on the River Tweed, 5 miles east of the A1 between Newcastle and Edinburgh. It has a unique circuit of Elizabethan walls, where there is a walkway that takes you through a park and is very pleasant and interesting. There is a market held here on Wednesday and Saturday. The whole area has miles of sandy beaches, rocky islands, and inland views of the Cheviot Hills.
Sheffield, United Kingdom