On Saturday, 15 June a small group of walkers, twelve in all, set off to walk over the Pilgrims’ Way to the beautiful island of Lindisfarne.
Fortified by coffee and scones (at least for some!) at the excellent Barn at Beal, we set off soon after the causeway was safe for crossing. It was a beautiful sunny morning and although rain showers had been forecast, none arrived so we had a dry walk – except for our feet!
Although the tide was out, a lot of residual water remained and a number of people decided to remove shoes and boots and, using the wonderful Northumbrian word, ‘plodged’ over the sand.The problem was that it isn’t all sand – there’s a good deal of mud and bog and at one point Sharon Artley sank so deeply she emerged looking as if she’d just put on a pair of black wellies. Still, we thought, it will be easier walking back because by then, a lot of surface water will have evaporated.
Wrong again! The surface was certainly better but a strong westerly wind got up and it was quite an effort walking back over to the mainland. Just as well the Barn at Beal was still open!
Having made our way to the island in under two hours, we then had time to eat (sorry, we did do rather a lot of eating and drinking!) at the aptly named Pilgrim’s Café (another recommendation) and then going our separate ways to explore the island - some to the castle, some to the Lindisfarne exhibition, some to watch thousands of seals sunning themselves and some just to wander.
We left the wide open seascapes of Northumberland, a little weary and windswept but inspired by the natural beauty and the long history of one of Britain’s most important religious and cultural sites.