Off the Northumberland Coast AONB, Holy Island of Lindisfarne rises out of the sea.
It is one of the most beautiful panoramas on the Northumberland Coast AONB and it is best known as a place of Christian pilgrimage.
For over 1,000 years, worshippers have travelled to the island on foot across the mud and sands.
This tradition continues today by following a line of posts that steer walkers around dangerous quicksand.
On a cold and windy day we followed the Pilgrims’ Way across the tidal mudflats.
It took around an hour to walk the three miles from the mainland to the island.
If you are planning to walk towards the island across the Lindisfarne Causeway, then be sure to pay attention to the safe crossing times.
When you have reached the island there is just one thing left to do: continue walking!
Beyond the grasslands and dunes on the north side of the island are some of Northumberland’s finest and whitest sandy beaches.
Walk along the perimeter of the island in a clockwise direction, slow down and enjoy the view.
It will take you a couple of hours to complete this 5-mile circular walk.
Eventually you will reach Lindisfarne Castle, Lindisfarne Priory and Lindisfarne Harbour.
In AD635 a monastic community led by St Aidan was established on Lindisfarne under the instruction of Oswald, King of Northumbria.
50 years later St Cuthbert left the Farne Islands to become Bishop of Lindisfarne.
On Cuthbert’s death in AD687, his body remained perfectly preserved and this ‘miracle’ inspired thousands of pilgrims to travel to the island.
At one point the monks fled the island carrying Cuthbert’s coffin and the Lindisfarne Gospels.
They roamed the region for 100 years and finally his remains came to rest in Durham Cathedral.
Nowadays you can trace the footsteps of St Cuthbert and St Oswald.
St Cuthbert´s Way
These modern day pilgrimages are immensely popular.
Ridging the national border between Scotland and England, the St Cuthbert’s Way links Melrose in the Scottish Borders, where St. Cuthbert started his religious life in 650AD, with Holy Island.
These 62,5 miles offers an ever-changing variety of scenery and spectacular views with a unique and truly memorable finish along the Lindisfarne causeway.
St Oswald´s Way
From Lindisfarne, the St Oswald’s Way follows the stunning Northumberland coast, before heading inland across beautiful countryside to Heavenfield and Hadrian’s Wall in the south, a distance of 97 miles.
You will find castles, coastline, islands, scenic river valleys, hills, attractive villages, forest, and farmland on your walk.
Northern Saints Trails
For a shorter pilgrimage you can choose one of the six Northern Saints Trails.
These are based on ancient pilgrimage routes and portray the region’s Saints and their stories.
St Cuthbert’s resting place at Durham Cathedral is a keystone of all these routes.