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Border Collie Rescue - On Line - Lindisfarne Island
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Over 500,000 people visit the Holy Island of Lindisfarne every year and the island community of around 160 permanent residents is dependent for much of its income on the trade the visitors bring. There is much to attract the visitor to Holy Island. The Priory is owned by English Heritage, the Castle by the National Trust and much of the uninhabited section of the Island is a Nature Reserve run by English Nature. In addition to these attractions there is a Heritage Centre with exhibits dedicated to the turbulent history of the island and the famous Lindisfarne Gospels. This centre is own by the islanders through a Community Development Trust and it is here that the copy of the Gospels will reside and be displayed.

The disproportionate number of visitors in relation to the size of the island means that we all need to be very aware of the potential damage we may cause to the environment and landscape if we do not take care. The only village has narrow streets and only one road goes anywhere - that is the one to the mainland - the rest are all loops or dead ends. When you visit for the day, it is best to leave your car in the large well sited public car park on the road in, and walk into the village - or use the locally run, circular bus service that connects to the village and castle.  But don't despair, nothing on Holy island is far from anything else and even the most exercise shy amongst us will not be over exerted.

The village is a thriving and vibrant community with all the facilities you would expect. There are craft, gift and food shops, a post office, tea rooms, cafes and restaurants, pubs and hotels and many guest houses and bed and breakfast establishments as well as three churches, St Mary's (C of E), St Aidans (RC) and St Cuthberts (URC). The small harbour gives sanctuary to a small flotilla of fishing boats and farming still plays a part in the islands future. All aspects of life are here, on one small island, cut of from the mainland twice daily.

There are many reasons to visit Lindisfarne and many more to justify going back when you have left for home. The island has a compelling spiritual presence. An atmosphere of peace and tranquillity.

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The Priory.

The original Priory was established in 635 AD and abandoned in 875.

What can be seen and visited today are the remains of the  re-founded Priory which was established in 1082 and lasted until the dissolution of the monasteries, when the remaining monks left in 1536.

Separate from the Priory is the Priory Museum with exhibits showing Anglo Saxon and Medieval Monastic life.

The Priory and museum are run by English Heritage and admission is subject to a fee. For details see - http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/lindisfarne-priory

The remains of the Priory stand adjacent to St Mary's church (below) which was built in 1122 and has wonderful architecture and stained glass windows. There are daily services and admission to the church is free.

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View to the mainland from St Mary's Churchyard - a brief history of the Priory can be seen here.
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The Castle

Lindisfarne has a Fort and a Castle. The former, known as Osbornes fort was built in 1670 but the original castle pre-dates it, being built on the only high point of the island in 1549.

In spite of its remoteness from the mainland, the castle has seen some action in its time and was once captured by two local Jacobite supporters in the rebellion of 1715. Reinforcements from Berwick soon re-took the castle.

In 1902 the castle was purchased by Edward Hudson, the founder of Country Life magazine and restored by Edwin Lutyens.

In 1944 it was handed to the National Trust who run it today. For details of admission fees and opening hours contact - www.national-trust.org.uk

The castle and mount are the most prominent features on the island and can be seen for many miles away. See below.

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Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve

Lindisfarne Island has some fine examples of maritime and coastal wildlife environments. Here you will find a wide range of resident and visiting bird life and fascinating plants in an area of great natural beauty.

The island is an essential wintering place for 6 internationally important species of wildfowl and attracts many migrating birds due to the variety of foods available.

There is a 3 mile clearly marked circular nature trail with marker posts and hides to aid you in your leisurely pursuit of unusual and common sightings.

The sand dune environment covers much of the island and the North Shore boasts a flat sandy beach with sheltering overhanging dunes.

This Reserve is administered by English Nature and is one of 200 such sites in England. For more information call 01289 381470..

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Admission to the reserve and nature trail is free.   If visiting the reserve it should be noted that mountain bikes, camping, fires and egg collecting are not allowed.
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Lindisfarne Heritage Centre
 
In 1996, the Lindisfarne Community Development Trust was created to initially provide affordable rented accommodation for young people who wanted to live and work on the island. The Trust has grown and widened its aims and now seeks to improve the general infrastructure of Holy Island for residents and visitors alike.
As part of its program, the Trust has opened a community resources and information centre in the village on Marygate called the Lindisfarne Heritage Centre.
The facility is open all year round and has a visitors information centre and gift shop, an internet access centre and also hosts exhibitions of the Lindisfarne Gospels, Archaeology, Local History and the Natural Environment.
Here they can advise you on accommodation, events, services, access times, bus times and other aspects of local life and interest. They can also put you in touch with other organisations that may offer the services you require. The Trust and Centre are owned and run by the island community. To find out more go to -  www.lindisfarne-heritage-centre.org
To contact them, Telephone -  01289 389004 or - e.mail to - enquiry@lindisfarne-heritage-centre.org
Remember that Holy Island is cut off from the mainland when the causeway is flooded twice daily.
It is dangerous to cross when there is water on the causeway, so consult tide tables or phone before visiting to avoid disappointment.
Make sure you are off the island in time or you may end up stranded.
On the other hand - there are many worse things that could happen.
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