Friday, 13 August 2010

Great North Fun Day 16


Lindisfarne Castle

As the saying goes "Tide and Time wait for no man".  Well today the tide was covering the Lindisfarne causeway and the time was 8am.  Not a time we're used to getting up on this trip but the causeway opened at 10am and we wanted to be there to make the most of the whole day on the island.  As we crossed and splashed through the remains of the retreating sea I made a strong mental note to leave plenty of time for the return journey, I've a healthy respect for Mother Nature and in a Tide -v- Delores battle I know who'd win.

First stop was the castle which I can strongly recommend and, as newly joined up members of the National Trust, it was free for us.  Each room had been well laid out and there were laminated sheets and National Trust staff around if you had any additional questions.  The even had a couple of different levels of treasure hunt style puzzles for the kids.

A rather camp Knight of Old...
After that it was off to The Priory and I have to say not such good value at all.  Due to there being a 'special event' which we had no interest in the entrance fee was higher - £11 for 2 adults. (English Heritage own the priory).  Once inside there were a number of display boards explaining a bit about the history of the place but that was it.  My advice would be to read up on the history before you go and not pay to go in.  Instead take the path to the right of the church next to the priory, this will lead you up onto a bank behind it and give you all the views you need.

After a spot of lunch we explored the island a little more and were already becoming mindful of the now incoming tide.  For every tourist there is of course the trip to sample some of the 'world famous' Lindisfarne mead.  Ever since Jesus turned water into wine there has been a close link between Christianity and alcohol with monks seemingly capable of fermenting just about anything. No wonder they all had so many visions.  Still it's left a useful legacy as all the wine is now being turned into profit.

The Causeway
We left the island in plenty of time and parked up somewhere very safe to watch the tide come in - definitely worth doing.  Nothing happened for an hour or so after the causeway has technically closed but then the tide suddenly arrived and covered it at a truly amazing speed.  You couldn't stand near the water for more than a few seconds before it was over your feet again.

Happily reassured that Lindisfarne was once again an island and now safe from marauding tourists for the next 6 hours we headed for the campsite.  This time a very nice CL just up the road from the CCC site. This place is cheaper, still has showers and loos but has the added advantage of EHU.  If you're in the area I'd certainly recommend staying here rather than at the main site.

As we were soaked to the skin we popped the heating on, made a couple of coffees with large doses of Irish cream liquer and curled up to watch some silly comedy on TV. Have to say that apart from the torrential rain, it's a day I'd struggle to find fault with.