Lindisfarne and Berwick-on-Tweed, England Week 47 30th March 2012
There are at least two ways to get to Lindisfarne.

There's a 20th century causeway for vehicles.

And the Pilgrim's Way for pedestrians.

Marked by tall poles and a couple of platforms for those unfortunate people who set out without checking the tide times.

Its really not as bad as it looks.

A trifle soggy underfoot but just surface water and the occasional softer muddier patch.

Its probably where people drove their horse and cart before the causeway was built.

The not so good bits were patches of grass. A bit muddy as they held the water.

There was also a patch of deeper (ankle deep) water to cross where it was still draining.

It takes about 90 minutes to walk.

On the way back we "raced" a couple who walked along the causeway - longer but they walked faster.

We lost, but not by much, and had a good laugh when we met at the other end.

Some of the dunes that partly fill the gap between the island and the mainland.
St Mary's Church in the foreground and the ruins of Lindisfarne Priory in the background.

The Priory is where the Lindisfarne Gospels (now housed in the British Museum) were written. Illuminated copies of the biblical gospels.

A remaining arch in the Cistercian priory.

This is from where St Cuthbert spread Christianity, we think around 7th century. After the synod of Whitby?

One would think that if places are closed on one or two days each week, and there are seven days in a week, then the chances of us arriving on a closed day are relatively low.

Not so. Maybe we should buy lotto tickets. The museum and priory were closed because it was Monday. 

We heard them before we saw them.


Lots of colonies around the Farne Islands.

We decided against a boat trip from Seahouses. Landing on the islands isn't allowed at this time of year. 

The Priory from the west.

Apparently pillaged by the Vikings. It didn't survive to the reformation that destroyed Whitby Abbey.

The bit you've all been waiting for!

Lindisfarne castle.

Built as an Elizabethan fort it later became an Edwardian holiday home.

Apart from its being closed because it was Monday of more interest to us was the hard Whin Stone outcrop its planted on.

The same dolerite we encountered at Hadrian's Wall.

We walked a bit further round the island, watched the birds and the sea, failed to find more seals, then walked back across the mud flats.


The campsite is a couple of km from the beginning of the causeway.

Beal is just a few houses on top of a small hill, almost all tourist accommodation, restaurant, or farm.

Just outside is this building sans roof.

Possibly an example of real pigeon holes!

We invaded Berwick-on-Tweed by driving through the city walls.

Plenty of room.

We knew exactly which (free) car park we were headed to and our gps would do the rest. 

This is the other side of where the gps came to grief.

Fine for ice cream vans but not for Tardis (even though its smaller on the outside than the inside).

We retraced our wheelmarks to the outside of the wall and took a few side roads until the gps saw sense and directed us on a route we could follow.

There are bits of the original medieval wall remaining but this is the Tudor wall built 1558 - 1570 when the English and the Scots were in conflict (as they say).

There is a bastion at each corner, so the guns can be trained along the wall as extra protection. The walls also have an angled earthen top so cannon balls don't bounce and do lots of damage.

We wondered how the grass was cut.

A bastion.

The guns would be pointed through those windows.

The tunnels to allow access to the bastions were never completed, as with other parts of the walls.

At the time it was England's largest infrastructure project and ran out of funds.

The powder store.

Just far enough away from the barracks to avoid damage in case of an accident, but close enough to be accessible when required.

We lost track but the house in the background had some association with Lowry. A lot of his pictures were painted in this area but he didn't buy the house because of advice about rot.

If anyone is interested there is a house somewhere in England that I didn't buy!

Berwick was a bit of a surprise to us really.

We'd noticed the stone buildings and walls in other parts of the country but weren't expecting the various shades of pink in the sandstone here.

Very pleasant.

The Tweed river.

Old sandstone road bridge in the foreground.

Concrete and steel road bridge in the middle.

Sandstone rail bridge behind.

Out of character steel clip on posts to hold the electric cables for the trains sticking up. 

The north gate from inside the town.
Since we are nearing Scotland Berwick has a golf course. Magically situated between the town and the sea.

Golf is a strange game.

Hit that little white ball with a big stick.

Then walk to where it lands and hit it again.

Hopefully getting closer and closer to the little hole in the middle. And the obligatory discussion about how close is close and how many hits is too many.

We couldn't decide who had the better deal, or who was sillier. 

The golfers driving their golf balls towards the hole or ourselves driving our truck towards a wedding.

A beautiful day for either.

This peculiar looking formation lies just below the golf course.

Most of the rock formations north and south of here are aligned straight out to sea.

This bit is concentric circles.

A bit like a hill with the top chopped off. Presumably the hill had been pushed up to bend the rock.

PS By chance, in Feb 2018, I came across a photo of the formation atop an invite by the Edinburgh Geological Society for a day trip to the coast of Berwick. A very quick reply to my query (many thanks) and I now know it is Ladies Skerrs Dome. 

Formed by the interaction of two perpendicular faults, then eroded. 

Skerrs from the Norse Sker - which I should have known because I used to fish off a rock called "The Sker" at the entrance to Port Erin (Isle Of Man) bay. Ladies origin unknown.

The Vikings did a bit more than pillage the priory on Lindisfarne. 

Another day at Beal.

We took a short drive and walk to St Cuthbert's Cave.

St Cuthbert, of Lindisfarne Priory fame, became a bishop then legend has it retired to a simpler life style.

There are apparently two St Cuthbert's Caves. We didn't find the other one.

Beyond the cave there's a circular walk (one where we get back to the beginning without retracing our footsteps).

This tree is in a hollow.

The hollow is an old pit from which coal was removed.

There are a number in the area and still one hole being worked.

Its also another of those Ramsay Wetland areas, an old dam in an area of peat bog.

Everywhere in the forest signs of spring.
And just in case of a forest fire ...

Flappy things used for beating the flames out.

I knew that!

East Neuk of Fife, Scotland Week 48 5th April 2012

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