Off the coast of Northumberland, lies the beautiful island of Lindisfarne. Rich in history, the small Island has a lot to offer to those wanting to learn more about my home-region of the North East. Whether it be trying some of the best fish dishes and centuries old mead recipes, or taking in the gorgeous surroundings and views – Lindisfarne has something for all of us!
I visited Lindisfarne back in April 2019 with my partner and his family who are from Manchester, and knew little about the wider region outside of Newcastle and Sunderland. Keen to impress them, Lindisfarne seemed like the perfect destination to introduce them to the history of the North East. Throughout our day trip to the lovely Island, we tried various local foods and drinks, and were able to soak up the Islands views and plethora of exciting historical attractions.
Speaking of food, I’m not a seafood eater; I don’t even eat fish fingers! However, if you’re travelling along the Northumberland coast, it’s really a must that you try some of the famous seafood it has to offer. For our lunch we decided to stop at The Ship Inn; a wonderfully quaint, maritime themed pub and B&B at the heart of the Island. It was there that I tried the most amazing fresh, battered haddock! Still to this day, no haddock has come close in flavour or tenderness, so it’s an absolute must-try if you’re planning on visiting the Island. Another great thing about The Ship Inn was it’s outdoor beer garden, where we happily ate our food out in the beaming sun, with three very greedy dogs at our feet (one of three caught in action pictured left, I couldn’t resist!).
The monks who once occupied the Island had to make a living in order to keep-up their monastery – this is where Lindisfarne’s famous mead comes in! Distilled with honey and a variety of herbs, this delicious fortified wine is a treat to the tastebuds. You can sample some of the many flavours at St. Aidans Winery, and try other Lindisfarne curated drinks such as their cream liqueur (absolutely delicious – cannot recommend more!). If you’re perhaps looking for something less alcoholic and more artisan, Pilgrims Coffee House do amazing freshly roasted coffee and coffee beans to take back home as gifts to yourself or loved ones. Normally, I struggle to find nice-tasting decaf coffee, but Pilgrims decaf blend takes the cake! Smooth and rich, if you’re a coffee fan you’re bound to enjoy this scrumptious treat. Being such a warm day, it was only right to have some ice cream too. Pilgrims Fudge Kitchen and Gelateria had some of the nicest gelato, at really great prices and a wonderful range of flavours to suit everyones tastes.
Image Credit: lindisfarne_meda on Instagram
My final recommendations for when visiting the Island is to visit Lindisfarne Castle, and Priory. Even if you’re not a history buff, or interested in the birth-place of British Christianity (which can be enjoyed by Christians and non-Christians alike!), simply the views from atop the castle make visiting the Island worth every penny. Photos do not do the views here any justice – you just need to see it yourself. Take this time to unwind; the sound of the sea crashing below you, and the sights of endless ocean are enough to make anyone understand why the monks all those years ago chose Lindisfarne as their home.
I adore Lindisfarne, and hope that you enjoy it as much as I did. Do make sure to visit the Island just once whilst you’re in Newcastle as it’s such a beautiful and calming retreat. If you do chose to visit, make sure to watch out for the crossing times as you don’t want to get stranded on the Island (no matter how beautiful and serene it is!)
Feature Image Credits: Joshua Faulkner, and Beth Robson (made using Canva)
Last modified: 16th February 2020