Friday, 15 July 2016

Are you ready Ted we're of to THE HOLY ISLAND of LINDISFARNE

But let's have lunch on the beach at Bamburgh Castle.

Once home to the kings of ancient Northumbria, Bamburgh Castle is one of Northumberland's most iconic buildings.

The sand dunes were filled with wildlife and wild flowers including Pyramid Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis) , Drinker Moth Caterpillar, Remains of a baby seal :( and sandy beaches as far as the eye can see.

We didn't have long here today as we were just waiting for the tide to go out on the estuary, so we could drive over to Holy Island.

Lindisfarne Castle
This is the second time I have visited Holy Island, the first time was many years ago when the boys were very little. It was March and snowing sideways ! It was so cold we walked up one street towards the Post office, not even seeing the castle or the Priory, bought a post card and went back to the car..

Today was a little warmer, and the place took my breath away, what with all the lovely houses and gardens in the village ( would be nice to see it with out so many cars). There is so much to discover and see, full of history as well as wildlife. I could spend a whole week here and be happy not to leave...

Viewing window onto the Lough


In the North East of England,  fishermen would use redundant herring boats as storage sheds for their nets and other equipment. As the fishing industry has changed and evolved over the years the places where these traditional huts survive has diminished but Holy Island is one of the few places where they remain in abundance. There are two main sites on the island where you can see the Lindisfarne boat sheds.

In the sheltered harbour where the traditionally the boats were pulled ashore onto the beach.
 The sheds are still used by the fishermen.(link)

Castle and Harbour

Bar-Tailed Godwit 


Red  Valerian (Centranthus ruber)

All round the coast there were beautiful flowers, one of them been Sedum's , they came in different colours and shapes, as yet I have not had the time to I.D them all, but I think this one is called  
White Stone Crop

The lime kilns at Castle Point on Holy Island are among the largest, most complex and best preserved lime kilns in Northumberland. These kilns produced quick lime for a variety of uses such agricultural fertilizer, mortar for buildings and whitewash (LINK)


At the sea edge there was a bank of stones, how it started no one knows, but for me it was a wonderful sight.
Hundreds of visitors to the Island had contributed over the years by adding more stones, the photos don't do it justice. It felt very spiritual adding your mark at the edge of the sea.

A cairn is a human-made pile (or stack) of stones. The word cairn comes from the Scottish Gaelic: càrn (plural càirn).Cairns have been and are used for a broad variety of purposes, from pre-historic times up to the present.

Gertrude's garden

Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932), created some 400 gardens in the UK, Europe and America.

Gertrude's garden

The garden occupies the site of a vegetable patch which once provided the soldiers in the Castle with food. Gertrude’s combination of hardy annuals, colourful perennials and heritage vegetables provide a riot of colour in the summer and a leafy, sheltered oasis all year round.

Lindisfarne Priory

Founded by St Aidan in AD635, the site owes its fame to St Cuthbert, the greatest of Northumbrian holy men, who lived and died there.The original home to the Lindisfarne Gospels, was one of the most important centres of early Christianity in Anglo-Saxon England.

St Aidan

Statue of St Aidan designed and carved by an island resident Miss Kathleen Ophir Parbury, situated to the north side of the priory.

St Mary's Parish Church

Church of Saint Mary the Virgin' is reputed to stand on the site of the original monastery founded by Aidan in 635ad. Parts of the structure date back to the 7th century, several hundred years before the appearance of the Priory.
Whilst its main role is to serve the small Island community it is also a year-around focus for tens of thousands of visitors and pilgrims - Christian and others.

Aidan Window

West Window in memory of Mr Edward & Miss Gladys de Stein (former owners of Lindisfarne Castle)

Cuthbert Window

West Window - the Haggerston Window

"The Journey"

The Journey sculpture in elmwood by Fenwick Lawson.It shows six monks taking St. Cuthbert's body from the Island on a journey across the North during Viking raids.

The Lindisfarne Gospel Gardens

As you can tell from this longer post than normal, 
I loved it here.

One thing to note we missed a lot of things as they had closed, depending on the tide times I would go in the morning, or stay a week !

Friday, 8 July 2016

Every morning and every night Salty walks....

Male Stonechat

Dunes develop where windblown sand becomes trapped by specialised dune-building grasses such as Marram grass. From windswept ridges to damp hollows (slacks), the range of conditions supports a surprisingly rich variety of wildlife (LINK)

The dense tufts of spiky Marram Grass are a distinctive feature of this plant. Its leaves are rolled and dense flower spikes appear in July and August.

Wood Tiger Moth  (Parasemia plantaginis)
Sea Rocket (Cakile maritima)
Young Female Stonechat

Young Male Stonechat

Sedge Warbler 

Ringed Plover


on a night when it was not raining we got to watch Starlings murmuration

Look who came to say hello.... 

Common Toad (Bufo bufo)

I'm doing just one more post from our holiday, 
Bamburgh and Lindisfarne-Holy Island.