Holy Island Hikes
Guided Walks on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne
Holy Island Hikes offers guided walks and tours on Holy Island which lies off the coast of Northumberland. This island, which is accessible by car on a metalled causeway over the sand at low tide is a nature reserve of international importance and is also famous for its celtic christian priory which produced the priceless artwork of the lindisfarne gospels in the eighth century.
The island has a vibrant community of about 150 residents and the village is well equipped to welcome visitors with a selection of cafes, pubs and shops.
The walks are led by Mary Gunn, a member of one of the local fishing families. With her knowledge of and passion for her island home you are guaranteed a good experience of Holy Island!
Privately booked walks are available all year round. There is always something to see here whatever the season.
Latest News from Holy Island Hikes
The first walk of 2019
I've led my first pilgrims way walk of the 2019 season today. This is a very popular walk in the summer and occasionally I'm asked to guide people in the winter. With winter storms and big tides you never know what is going to change or pop up from the sand. There were no major changes today but there was one surprise which made me smile.
There's a very muddy patch on the pilgrims way where you can sink knee deep. It's at least a metre wide so a bit too much to leap. I always guide my walkers around it. I have seen people turn back at this point or try to leap it invariably sinking in the mud. Today we saw the tops of a pair of boots sticking out of the mud! What happened to the walker?
It just goes to show - to walk the pilgrims way easily and safely and learn so much about the island en route use Holy Island Hikes.
Mary Gunn, 26/01/2019
Review of the 2018 Season
With dull November days and my last booked walk of the year behind me it seems an appropriate time to draw a line in the sand under the 2018 season.
We've experienced the coldest and hottest weather this year. The Beast from the East struck hard in March cutting us off from the mainland for four days. I saw some pretty sorry birds then, notably some song thrushes and a cormorant. My walk was cancelled that week not because the walkers couldn't get over - they were stuck on the island for longer than they expected - but because the snow was too deep to walk easily and the wind too biting. We got the summer heatwave though not for as long as the south - I certainly didn't get sick of it!
Two archaeological digs in the summer looking for St. Aidens priory found some promising walls and skeletons. We await news of their analysis and testing.
Walking the pilgrims way remains ever popular as more long distance walks pass through or close to Holy Island. My walkers are a truly international lot and its a pleasure to meet so many different people. The sand dune flowers burst into bloom as usual not being affected by the earlier cold weather. The same could not be said of the insects whose numbers remained low.
October and early November proved a good time for migrating birds and the accompanying birdwatchers. Big flocks of Brent geese were a delightful feature of my walks at this time.
With bookings coming in for next year its time to look ahead to the 2019 season. Please can we have another heatwave.
Mary Gunn, 19/11/2018