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In English they are called ‘Seals’
Attractions in Holy Island in general
Member Name: Flibble
Attractions in Holy Island in general
Date: 15/05/02, updated on 15/05/02 (94 review reads)
Advantages: Plenty to see and do, Friendly locals
Disadvantages: A little dependant on nice weather
Do you live somewhere that has a kind of ‘tourist hotspot’ but you’ve never actually been to yourself? It would be like living in London, but never going to Trafalgar Square I guess?
Well for me, I’ve lived near to Holy Island for about 3 or four years now, but I’ve never actually been to the place – I’ve driven past it loads of times (you can see it from the A1 as you drive North from Berwick toward Edinburgh) but just never gone there – until last week.
A couple of months ago I went to France as part of a ‘town twinning’ thing we have here – the family that we stayed with were really nice people and the guy who we stayed with is a coach driver for a local company. Anyway – he came over last week with some pupils from the local (to him) High School. He came round our house one evening and said that they were going to Holy Island for the day and wondered if I wanted to go along with them – well a day off from work is a day off isn’t it? So I jumped at the chance.
I live in Greenlaw, making Holy Island around 50 minutes drive by coach from my house – or maybe half an hour from Berwick. So, I met up with everyone and off we went. In order to enjoy Holy Island I think you’d need some pretty good weather – a wet and windy day out is always a pain, but the drive to the island is pretty pleasant as you meander through the countryside. We soon arrived at the road to the island.
Now, the fact that it’s called ‘Holy Island’ kind of indicates that it is an island, but to get over there you just drive across when the tide is low – it’s really weird, you have the beach with a road going right through the middle of it all! Really strange! Before you start to go over this road you will see signs warning you about tidal times etc. so it’s well worth making a note of them – otherwise you could fin
d yourself stranded on the island!
The island is far from being a barren little place though – it’s a thriving little community with plenty to interest the visitor. First up there is Lindisfarne Priory – although all that remains of this ancient priory are the ruins it really is worth taking a walk around. Tours are often available during the peak summer season too.
Just a short walk from the Priory is the Lindisfarne Castle. You can see this old building for miles around and it certainly looks very imposing – the type of ancient castle you might expect to see in a movie like Braveheart! Now, you can take a look around inside the castle and entrance is free to members of the national trust otherwise you will have to pay an entrance fee. Personally I love old buildings, but due to time constraints I only had time for a quick look at the outside of the building - but I’m determined to go back in the future!
What else does Holy Island have? Well there are plenty of little craft shops, many of which sell celtic-inspired objects such as candles, wind chimes etc. (basically the type of ‘faff’ that my mum loves!) and also a little tourist centre. This centre is pretty good actually – there are plenty of local guides and maps available as well as detailed booklets about the history of the island and it’s buildings.
Before we headed off I popped into the local pub for a quick coffee. It’s a really nice place – big open fire, oak beams etc. and served a fair variety of meals as well as drinks – the staff were really friendly too, so well worth popping in for a quick pint.
Now to explain the title of the opinion – we decided to meet up with the rest of the party on the beachfront just near the harbour, now, when we got their there were a group of old biddies (no offence to any old biddies reading this!) and all the French schoolkids were there too
. In the harbour were a couple of harbour seals swimming about. Now, the French for ‘Seal’ is ‘Phoque’ which is pronounced, erm – how shall I put this? It rhymes with ‘muck’ apart from one letter. So the sight of a load of teenage kids pointing at the harbour and yelling ‘Phoque! Phoque!’ was hilarious (yes, my sense of humour really is that low). The look on the faces of all the locals was pretty priceless too!
Going to somewhere like Holy Island does depend on the weather – the beach was pretty cold with the wind coming in off the sea, but on a warm sunny day I imagine it’s a great place to go to for a day out. If you think that Holy Island is the type of place you’d like to visit, why not check the website below?
This is a great website – it gives links to everything you’ll need to know – including those vital tide times! A quiet, peaceful place – I’m really glad I had the opportunity to visit the place and I’d urge you to do the same.
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