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The Holy Island of Lindisfarne

Celtic centre of learning and mission

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne
December 10, 2015 Lynne Ling

Lindisfarne lies off the coast of north-east England between Bamburgh and Berwick-upon-Tweed and within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is a tidal island, 3 miles east to west and 1.5 miles north to south, and can be accessed by a causeway at low tide. There are 160 inhabitants, but 650,000 visitors per year, attracted by the Celtic spiritual heritage of the island or the quiet beaches and unique natural history.

A monastery was established on the island in 635 AD by Aidan and fellow monks from Iona and became a centre for mission and learning. A celebrated prior and bishop was Cuthbert some years later. The Lindisfarne Gospels, an illustrated Latin copy of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John date from the early 8th century.

Visitors need to consult the published tide times in planning their visit, and to book well ahead for overnight or longer stays as accommodation is limited. Information is available from Northumberland tourist information and

For details of an annual Easter pilgrimage to Lindisfarne see

For details of the Saint Cuthbert’s Way, a 62 mile route from Melrose in the Scottish Borders to Lindisfarne, see The route is clearly waymarked in both directions by the Saint Cuthbert’s Cross. A certificate of completion may be obtained.

The Lindisfarne Scriptorium is worth a visit to see or buy Mary Fleeson’s artwork – calligraphy, illumination and illustration inspired by the monastic scriptorium tradition.



Information about tide times and accommodation is available from:
Northumberland Tourist Information
and also from the local community website






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