Friday 20 May 2016. My 65th birthday on 30th June is drawing ever nearer but, for me, today has more significance as it marks the 11th anniversary of my retirement from work. I was extremely lucky to be able to retire at just 53 but feel that I’ve put the time to good use in pursuing my passion for walking in the countryside. For today’s walk I made the short drive to Lindisfarne or Holy Island. The tide times were such that all visitors had to be off the island by 1:10pm or risk being stuck until the tide changed and the causeway became driveable again.
I made an early start and was off walking by 8:45am. I did a 5-mile route with just 200ft of ascent which took me north across the middle of the island to the coastline at Coves Haven which could almost be mistaken for a desert island. I walked for over 4 miles before seeing anyone else and I seemed to have the whole place to myself. Mine were the first footsteps across the tide-washed Sandham Bay as I headed for the pyramid-like structure on Emmanual Head. The next stop was Lindisfarne Castle, £7.30 entry but free with SNT. This was a homelier and more liveable castle than many that I’ve visited and you can read more about it here.
I needed a coffee after my early start and then went to look at Lindisfarne Priory which is managed by English Heritage with an admission price of £6.00. Needless to say I didn’t pay but took a quick picture from the outside before returning to the car to complete my walk.