An Easter(n) escape – part 3 – More Northumberland

It was an early start Thursday morning – far earlier than could be considered appropriate for a holiday – even as many as we get – , but we had been promised good weather and wanted to make the most of it.

Out initial plan had been to shoot straight up the A1 to Berwick-upon-Tweed, then work our way  back down the coast calling in at as many places as time allowed. One that was pretty high up on the list of priorities was Holy Island.

I’m sure I WAS aware that it was connected by a causeway and that ingress and egress to the island was at the mercy of the tides but Susan, the landlady provided a timely reminder when we discussing our plans one night in the pub – tides are published in one of the local rags.

So, it was for this reason that we turned off for Holy Island first although the decision was to prove opportune for another reason later on too.

We arrived around 9:30am, crossing the causeway and on to the Island with sand dunes to side of the road. It already had the feeling of being somewhere special.

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Having parked up we approached the village, then headed first for Lindisfarne Castle, about a half hour walk away. The early mist was clearing and the sun was making it’s presence felt. To our right was the harbour with boats beached due to the tide. A more idyllic scene you’d be pushed to find. It really was beautiful.

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We decided against ‘doing’ the castle – despite the fact that it was a National Trust property and we could have got in from free thanks to our new membership. Conscious of the incoming tide we wanted to see as much of the island as possible. You could already see some of the boats in the harbour starting to float.

Back in the village we picked up the obligatory fridge magnet then headed over to the old priory and a walk around the church before returning to the village for coffee.

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With caffeine levels restored we headed back across the causeway to the mainland. We’d been on Holy Island a mere couple of hours but had already fell in love with it and pencilled it in for a return visit. If you come – and you really should – bring a picnic, a chair and a good book. Watch the tide come in and enjoy the peace and tranquillity as the crowds scuttle back to the mainland.

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So, it was back on the A1 for about 10 miles to Berwick-upon-Tweed, a town that’s spent it’s time under both Scottish and English stewardship it is the only town in England who’s football team play in the Scottish League.

Unusually for us we had done some research and had a bit of a plan. Well, by research I mean listening the advice of the aforementioned Landlady who said that while you could take or leave the town, a walk around the ramparts is a must. We weren’t to be alone either. On the outskirts of town, some friends, who were staying just south of Edinburgh called and we agreed to meet up. They arrived just a little after us which couldn’t have worked out much better. We found car parking – free with a re-usable parking disc which costs just a quid – and set off.

Well, it was certainly good advice, the views from the walk are just fantastic – although I guess that the fact that it was bright sunny day helped. The views across to the river and the three bridges were just wonderful and there was some really attractive properties to nose at on the way.

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It’s a little over a mile all the way around and it took us about an hour and a half including a few photo stops on the way. Clearly all this exertion meant some refuelling required and we found a lovely little cafe just off the high street called Sinners which was good to the belly and kind to the wallet too.

With calories  and caffeine consumed we said our goodbyes and headed off to the A1 – in opposite directions of course.

After a late dinner in Ristorante Patsy we adjourned to the pub for a debrief – oh and a couple of beers too.

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