After the drama of the crossing to get onto Holy Island, we decided to be grateful that God got us there safely and remembered that this was a pilgrimage route.
A quick stop for coffee at Pilgrims Coffee House and Roastery (which was very good incidentally) we then carried on to the end of the walk. Although before we could do that, we had to work out where the end of the walk actually was, we decided likely with the statue of St. Cuthbert. But we didn’t know….
This was also when Susanna told me that I had beautiful eyes when my face was tanned, which I took to mean that they weren’t beautiful when I wasn’t sun-burnt. Luckily Andy managed to change the subject by asking Gordon, “can I asked what happened to your hair?”. Gordon didn’t seem particularly pleased, but he tried to hide his complete anger. Susanna was busy at this moment on Facebook, claiming that her phone had changed ‘Holy Island’ to ‘Horny Island’. I expect the predictive text is used to what she normally types, but I didn’t say anything.
This is the statue of St. Aidan in the grounds of the priory, with our hotel visible in the background (and our evening meal in the background on the right).
These things look peaceful, but is the rest of the group faffing about with photos again. I didn’t say anything and I don’t normally show this behind the scenes activity that went on when we saw anything interesting.
Inside the parish church, of which more all about this this in separate posts.
A sculpture of the monks carrying the coffin of St. Cuthbert.
Steve and Andy had a very good idea to try and get into Lindisfarne Priory without paying, which I thought showed great ingenuity. A staff member let us in to look at the statue of St. Cuthbert, which we wanted to see as it’s the end of the pilgrimage route (well, it might not be, but it’s the one that we decided on).
And here it is. The end of the trail for us, in the grounds of the priory.
The helpful member of staff from English Heritage took a photo of us with the statue.
After this we went to check-in and this is my room at the hotel, one of the most expensive I’ve stayed at, but I did want to stay on the island and the options were limited. It was a peaceful stay and although I didn’t have the fancy view over the castle that Steve had, it was a quiet and comfortable room. I was though told at check-in that my towels weren’t quite ready, but fortunately Sarah had excess ones that I could borrow so that I wasn’t late for our venturing out to the pub. I had worried about an Andrew style towel moment as he experienced in Seville.
We were hoping to try some mead, but the tasting bar at the nearby Lindisfarne Mead was closed. Instead, I bought some decadent crisps (which were bloody lovely) and some decadent beer (which was nice, but not world class).
We’ve had this all week. Gordon wants photos of him to send to various people and our group has willingly obliged. No wonder we took so long to complete the walk on some of the days…..
Lindisfarne Castle, which was booked up months ago so we didn’t get to see inside.
The view from the island along its coastline.
The Holy Island lime kilns which were constructed in the 1860s.
More photos from our little walk around the island’s coastline.
The Gertrude Jekyll Garden and I’ll pinch the National Trust description about this:
“Jekyll was a friend and frequent collaborator of Edwin Lutyens, who’d transformed the Castle into a holiday home: he called Jekyll ‘Bumps’. Using the site of a vegetable patch which once provided the soldiers in the Castle with food, Jekyll designed a garden – with a dropped wall on the Castle side – that would flourish into a riot of colour in the summer for Edward Hudson’s guests to admire from the Castle. The combination of hardy annuals, colourful perennials and heritage vegetables provide glorious sights and scents in the summer and a leafy, sheltered oasis all year round.”
Gordon was feeling quite lethargic at this point and I helpfully commented he was like a pensioner. This then annoyed some nosey woman who complained to Steve that she was a pensioner (which I didn’t see was of any relevance to me), but she shouldn’t have been listening in. Gordon agreed that he did feel like a pensioner, so I was right on that anyway. Gordon did come up with what became the quote of the week:
“Normally I have a kip on these trips in the afternoon, but Steve is showing no mercy this week”.
A quick couple of halfs in the Ship Inn, but we had to go as my battery was down to 4% and there’s no way that I can enjoy being out if my phone doesn’t have any charge. Both fine, although nothing overly exciting.
This was where we were staying, the Manor House Hotel, and here we are leaving for the evening meal at the Crown and Anchor pub.
The barman at the pub was jovial and the England match was taking place when we were there. I don’t much follow football, but when we were 1-0 down he said we shouldn’t worry as “Denmark haven’t done anything since they conquered Lindisfarne”. I think that’s quite an impressive line and was nearly a contender for our quote of the week.
On the food, I rated this highly as the batter was light, the fish flaked away, the chips had a firm edge and the portion size was generous. Susanna and Gordon said their fish batter was greasy, but I didn’t care, mine was delicious. It’s a delight not to have a little whinge at the food.
Here’s the happy group, just before Gordon managed to win the most offensive quote of the week, which I can’t of course repeat. Not wishing to go on about Gordon, but he was showing the group photos of when he was a boy (and some were in black and white). Susanna told everyone that “he used to be cute”, which caused more offence for Gordon as he thought that he still was. Sarah didn’t entirely help by adding “life changes people”.
After that there was a quick walk around the island, which by now was much quieter given that the majority of tourists had left. It’s a spiritual place and it’s a useful time to think about life, the world and what I would be eating for breakfast the next morning. I’ll write a separate post about my reflections about the whole trip, just in case people are now a little bored about hearing about Gordon.