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Holy Island, Northumberland, England--Where Heritage, History and Religion Come Together, By Jim Stanwick, England

 

 Lindisfarne Priory, 8th Century, AD

 Holy Island, aptly named for its fame as the birthplace of Christianity during early Anglo-Saxon times, is a place like very few others in England.

 

 

Lindisfarne Castle, 16th Century, AD

 

It is located 50 miles from Northumberland, in NE England. It is also known as Lindisfarne and is famous for introducing Christian religion that replaced the pagan religion on the island in the 9th century AD. However, the first monastery on the island was built by St. Aidan in 635 AD, and its most famous religious leader, St. Cuthbert who established early Christian religion on the island. There seems to have been a break of about 200 years when Vikings occupied the island in a brutal invasion, but left the island in early 9th century at which time the Irish monks saw to it that Christianity took firm roots in the Holy Island. There are electronic version of the famed Lindisfarne Gospels written in the early settlement period of the town, 7th century.

 

Its rich history aside, Holy Island is also home to some spectacular scenery, hiking trails and bird watching. Briskwalkers will be kept busy with some of the highlighted hikes here.

  

Anglesey Coastal Hike

This takes most of the day so start early at Holyhead , off of Victoria Road and follow the Anglesey Coastal Path around Holy Island via Holyhead Mountain, South Stack, Trearddur to finish at Rhoscolyn; this is a 24 km (15 mi) walk maximum ascent is 750 meters (2,500 feet) so may be a bit of a slog for some.

St. Oswald’s Way Hike

 

This is a longer hike—162 km (102 mi): Start at the Hadrian’s Wall in Hexham and make your way NE to Holy Island. You will pass through the lower coastal towns of Northumberland like Warkwurth and Craster. Highlights include spectacular coastal view, St. Cuthbert’s cave and St. Oswald’s Church. Grade is moderate so you can hike comfortably.

 

Ynys Llanddwyn Hike

 

There are more than 10 miles of footpaths crossing Llanddwyn Island and Newborough Warren, including the Anglesey Coastal Path, and along the way you will encounter some of the best sand-walk. Llanddwyn island was awarded the prestigious Blue Flag Beach award by the Foundation for Environmental Education, a 60 country foundation that sets stringent standards for beaches for their ecological and scenic values.

 

 

 St. Cuthbert's Way Trail

Bird Watching and Nature Preservation

 Bird lovers may be interested in knowing that St. Cuthbert, close to being the founder of the Christian religion via the Holy Island monastery, is considered the “First Warden of Nature Preserve” by many. In fact, late August each year, there is a festival in which three iconic National Nature Reserves and three major national organizations - Lindisfarne NNR (Natural England), Farne Islands NNR (National Trust), and St

Abb’s Head NNR (National Trust for Scotland) – come together around the figure of Cuthbert, celebrating the ‘Fire of the North’, a week-long festival featuring lectures, walk/talks and teaching the importance of nature and wildlife preservation.

 

TO GET THERE

 Nearest airport is Edinburgh or Newcastle---respectively 70 and 58 miles from Lindisfarne.

 You can get lot of information by going to any of these sites:

 

http://www.lindisfarne.org.uk

 http://www.visitnorthumberland.com/holy-island

 http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lindisfarne-castle

 

 

 

 

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