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Lindisfarne Castle fron the Priory gardens
Lindisfarne Castle from the Priory gardens

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Route No 135f - Thursday 21 April 2005
Fenwick to Holy Island - 9km.
St. Cuthbert's Way
Northumberland

Map: OS Explorer 340 Holy Island & Bamburgh at 1:25000
Note: the route is marked on the OS maps and is well signposted

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Old farm machinery store near Fenwick
Old farm machinery store near Fenwick
This was it - the last short leg to the finish. We had breakfast at 7.30am to allow us an early start. We needed to walk across the tidal causeway, have a look around the island and meet our lift for home all before the tide closed the causeway at around midday until around 5.00pm. We left our B&B just after 8.00am and crossed the A1 - lots of very fast traffic, and made our way across the fields to the next hazard, the east coast main railway line with trains traveling at 125 miles an hour. After a good look and listen we scuttled across as fast as we could and continued to the start of the causeway near Beal. We started our crossing at 9.00am. It was a lovely day and the sunlight across the wet sands looked absolutely beautiful. There was a heron stalking through the reed grass near the causeway as we set off, and a little farther on a young woman was getting her horse out of a trailer. She mounted up as we approached and rode off across the sand until rider and horse disappeared as a tiny dot in the haze across the sands.
It seemed easy going across the causeway with its flat even surface, or maybe it was just that the end was in sight. Anyway whatever the reason we crossed the 5km of causeway in just an hour and by 10.00am were passing the car park where we had arranged to be picked up a little later. We continued into the village to the ruins of Lindisfarne Priory and had a look round the ruins. The the next priority was a coffee shop. We left our boots and rucksacks in the porch and went in. Large cappuccino and large slice of coffee and walnut cake. A funny mixture of modern and traditional coffee shop fare, but very tasty. There was a very vocal group of elderly ladies in the coffee shop, out on a day trip and my wife volunteered my services to take a group photo for them. This took about as much organising as a wedding group, but eventually everyone was in except for one abstainer and all was well.
Heron stalking through the reed grass near the causeway
Heron stalking through the reed grass near the causeway

The start of the causeway near Beal
The start of the causeway near Beal

Then we set off back to the car park. My daughter and son-in-law were coming to meet us and were already waiting when we arrived. We set off back across the causeway at about 11.15am after a wonderful week's walking. The strange thing was in the whole week we had not encountered anyone else walking the St. Cuthbert's Way route in either direction. In fact the only other walkers we had seen were local dog walkers. We had had the wonderful hills all to ourselves. As well as getting us much fitter the whole experience does your mind good too.

Looking along the Pilgrims Path across the sands
Looking along the Pilgrims Path across the sands

Statue of St. Cuthbert in the Priory Gardens
Statue of St. Cuthbert in the Priory Gardens

Rider setting off across the sands
Rider setting off across the sands


Me at the first refuge point on the causeway

Lindisfarne Castle fron the Priory gardens
Lindisfarne Castle from the Priory gardens


The ruins of Lindisfarne Priory - journey's end

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