On the Saturday of our trip our group drove along the coastal road to spend the day on Lindisfarne (Holy Island). The plan was for some of the group to walk across the sands to the island when the tide was out and the rest of us to drive over on the causeway.
Since the tide wasn't going to be out until late morning we stopped off at Bamburgh for a coffee and a visit to St. Aidan's church.
Bamburgh was once the home of the ancient kings of Northumbria and Bamburgh Castle set on its promontory overshadows the village and is an impressive sight from every vantage point. One day we might get to visit the castle and walk the sandy beach beside it. The last time we came to Bamburgh it was pouring with rain so this time it was good to spend a little longer in the village on a beautiful sunny day.
Carter's is a renowned butcher's shop
There's a grove of trees on the village green with a long-standing 'rookery'. There's a saying in the village that if the rooks go elsewhere that will be the end of Bamburgh!
Bamburgh was also the home of Grace Darling, the young woman who at the age of 22 years rowed across perilous seas in 1838 t0 rescue survivors from a ship that had wrecked against Big Harcar Rock in the Farne Islands. She was not only brave, but unassuming. Soon this young girl who had been brought up on two remote lighthouses became a national heroine. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution's Grace Darling Museum is well worth a visit (we did so last time we came to Bamburgh). It provides an opportunity to learn more about Grace, her family and the area where she lived.
Opposite the museum is St. Aidan's Church where on this site Aidan of Lindisfarne, an Irish monk and missionary built a wooden church and is the place where he died in 651 AD. The present church is 800 years old.
In the churchyard is a memorial to Grace Darling which has been placed some distance to the north of her grave so that it might be within view for those who pass by the church by boat.
There are many beautiful relatively modern memorial windows in the church and an interesting embroidered piece of work made by members of the local Women's Institute depicting landmarks and sights around Bamburgh including those rooks and the puffins of the Farne Islands.
By the way, there's a new ITV television series, Inside the National Trust, that has just started on a Sunday just after mid day. The work of the wildlife wardens on the Farne Islands who look after the bird colonies there is also being featured. The Farne Islands Blog is also an interesting look at the behind the scenes life of the National Trust Wildlife Rangers there.
More about our time on Lindisfarne next time. Until then, hope your week goes well!