The final day of walking St. Cuthbert’s Way had us walking only 5 km from Beal to Holy Island Lindisfarne, finishing the last 3 km along the Pilgrim’s Path, marked by tall wooden poles, across the sands. Holy Island is a tidal island and so it is only safe to walk or drive to it during low tide. This safe time is obviously different each day so it is important to check tidal charts for safe crossing times. The safe time Sunday May 28, 2017, was from 9:20 a.m until 3 pm, so the timing as well as the weather were perfect for us. We left Beal at 9 am and started crossing the sand about 10. Our guide book suggested wearing welly boots or walking bare foot because areas will still be very soggy and others still have ankle deep pools of sea water, but we started out with our hiking boots, since that’s all we had. Once the water had seeped in over the top of my boots and through the lace holes I finally succumbed and walked bare foot and it was actually quite wonderful and added nicely to the experience, so I wish I had removed my boots sooner. My boots would be dry this morning if I had!
The walk was magical as the sunlight sparkled on the water rippling in the slight breeze making everything seem to sparkle.
Once we were over the sands we sat to let our feet dry and looked back over where we had walked and celebrated by eating a stash of cookies we had squirreled away in our back packs.
The above pictures are from inside St. Mary’s church on Holy Island, and I was especially drawn to the lovely display over a side altar which looked like it must have been decorated to honour fishermen. I hope it is clear in the picture how there are fish in the netting draped around the altar.
Before a grand dinner of fish and chips to mark the end of our walk we ambled down to where the road off the island was now submerged under a high tide. We looked back over where we had walked earlier in the day, glad to be settled in for the evening and looking forward to moving on the next morning to pick up a rental car and make our way more quickly by automobile for a few more days of holiday, probably now involving shops, tea rooms and manicures, in Robin Hood’s Bay, Whitby and York, with a little less walking each day.
But what a lovely view.