Walking around the village near the harbour I wondered what life on this small island would be like? Surely the present islanders would be touched by past inhabitants, the beauty of the place and be influenced by the ebb and flow of the tides?
The stone cottages with the red tiled roofs are typical of those in the area.
Our sandwich lunch was at The Ship Inn.
The iconic image of Lindisfarne Castle. It was built in Tudor times as a military garrison high on the whinstone rock formation of Beblowe Hill. It's now a National Trust property. It was renovated by Sir Edwin Lutyens for Edward Hudson, owner of Country Life magazine at the turn of the 20th century and became a holiday home with a garden designed and landscaped by Gertrude Jekyll. Naturally I would have liked to have walked over to it, but it was too far, quite a climb up to the castle itself and there was a need to spend time with our group in the afternoon.
The up-turned old boats in the harbour are now used as huts.
On the Harbour Road is the important facility of the Holy Island Coastguard's Station.
On the same road is a new Education Centre called Window on the Wild with information about the National Nature Reserve on the island and a lookout window.
On the opposite side of the road is the harbour area. Lindisfarne's geology of hard dark rock, dolerite, known in Northumberland as 'whinstone' formed back in 'the mists of time' and the thin layer of soil content means that many plants unique to Northumberland grow on the rocky outcrops. Different types of protected flowers such as the wild orchid and marsh helleborine grow in the wet grassland area.
Even the white campion growing on the stone walls was interesting to see.
The silhouette of the 'rainbow arch' in the Priory Ruins also gave one a sense of history whilst walking around. It was also a reminder to return there to meet up with the group and the guide at St. Mary's Church.
St. Mary's Church by the Priory is believed to be the site where Aidan built the first wooden church on the island. In this place of worship there are many reminders of his ministry, the radical spiritual life of the monastic community and of Cuthbert, the man of prayer and faith as well as the continuing ministry (together with the other island churches) to the small community of islanders and to visitors who come to Lindisfarne.
Contemporary Christian art
The illuminated Gospels (replica)
The monks' journey with Cuthbert's coffin on the way to Durham:
a sculpture made from 35 pieces of elmwood carved mainly with a chain saw
by Fenwick Lawson.
Then it was time to leave the island and head back to our evening meal provided by the Franciscan Brothers in the Friary by the sea at Alnmouth. Our time away continued, but the visit to Lindisfarne remained a special part of that long weekend in Northumbria.