Lindisfarne - Farne Islands - Bamburgh Castle Coast Guide 

Lindisfarne (Holy Island) is situated just off of the Northumberland coast in the north east of England, just a few miles south of the border with Scotland. The island is linked to the mainland by a causeway which twice a day is covered by the tide - you should check the tide tables before venturing out. The Farne Islands lie just offshore from Bamburgh.

                                                         Lindisfarne Castle

The first building on the island was a monastery built by St Aidan around 635. This was repeatedly attacked by the Vikings however and was deserted by the monks in 875. A priory was re-established in the eleventh century and it is the ruins of this building that can be seen today. Lindisfarne Castle was built in 1550 and was converted to a house by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1907 - today it is owned by the National Trust and is open daily during the summer, times depend on the tides. See Links page for National Trust website.


Today the island is a thriving community, with a busy harbour, shops, hotels and inns.  There is much to see on the island and on the mainland.  Bird watching, fishing, golf, painting and photography are just some of the activities to be enjoyed on Holy Island and the surrounding area. 

Farne Islands 

There are 28 small islands in the group, half of which are covered at high tide. The islands form part of the North Northumberland Heritage Coast and are managed by the National Trust as a bird sanctuary. The area is reckoned to be one of the most important bird sanctuaries in Britain and up to 23 varieties of bird can be seen. These include puffins, terns, guillemots and eider ducks and there is a large colony of grey seals as well! You can visit by boat from Seahouses - there is also a visitor centre and toilet facilities - a great day out!  

Lindisfarne - Holy Island      Bamburgh Castle Northumberland Coast

                   Lindisfarne Castle                                                                         Bamburgh Castle

Bamburgh Castle

Fortifications have been built on this site since Viking times but have then been destroyed - the existing castle was started by The Normans at around 1060 and then added to by Henry II. For many years the castle was managed by the Forster family of Northumberland who eventually gained ownership from the Crown. It is currently owned by the Armstrong family and is open to the public daily between Feb and Oct and at weekends from Nov to Jan. The castle has featured in many films including Robin Hood and Elizabeth starring Cate Blanchett.  

"Bamburgh - the finest castle anywhere in this country" Time Out Great Britain 

Well worth a visit 

Places to visit around Lindisfarne

Lindisfarne Castle and Priory

Farne Islands - bird sanctuary 

Bamburgh Castle - magnificent coastal castle

Seahouses - seaside village

Map of the Lindisfarne area

View Larger Map

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Ukcoastguide 2019