A – Z of Locations: L is for Lindisfarne

During this year I shall be posting photographs from places around the UK, many of which have not been published before. Where I have previously blogged about a location I will provide a link to the post, though you won’t be able to comment on it as I restrict comments to six months.

L is for Lindisfarne

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne is situated off the coast of Northumberland. The island is cut off from the mainland by the tide twice a day. Possibly the holiest site of Anglo-Saxon England, in 685 Lindisfarne was founded by St. Aidan, an Irish monk, who came from Iona, the centre of Christianity in Scotland.

Disused Priory and the fascinating boatsheds in the harbour.

The island is a thriving community, with a busy harbour, shops, hotels and inns and still a place of pilgrimage for many although the priory is now in ruins

Ruins of the Priory and the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin

Lindisfarne is also famous for its castle (that’s not a castle) on an island (that’s not an island).

From the 1550s up until 1893 the castle was garrisoned by the government, at one point mounting 21 cannons.

The castle was strategically vital during the Scottish Wars of the mid-1500s and later saw action in the Civil Wars and the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715.

In the first decades of the 20th century, famed architect Sir Edwin Lutyens renovated the castle into a private holiday home for Edward Hudson, founder of Country Life magazine, while Jekyll made a planting plan for the garden and the castle surrounds.

Jekyll’s first plan was for a vegetable garden but it was her second plan – a summer flower garden – that was planted in 1911.

This tranquil garden was created by Gertrude Jekyll on the site of a vegetable patch that once provided the castle’s soldiers with food. Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932) is well known in the gardening world. A talented painter, photographer, designer and craftswoman; she was much influenced by Arts & Crafts principles and often worked in collaboration with the English architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens.

Jekyll designed the garden to have a wealth of colour during the summer months and to be especially prolific in August. Flowers include eight varieties of sweet peas, two of which are the delicate ‘Miss Wilmott’ and the deep crimson ‘Queen Alexander’.
Jekyll’s original planting scheme was restored by the Trust in 2003. With its geometric layout of paths and beds, the garden is always interesting to look round.

Outside of the castle, there is a lot to explore. There are walks through the grass fields to the sand dunes where you can fly kites (it is an exposed place) visit the industrial Lime Kilns, look for seals and birdlife and enjoy the quiet beaches on the north side. Most visitors visit the castle and the priory and photograph the unique fisherman’s sheds made from old upturned fishing boats, one of the symbols of Holy Island.

Castle views and Lime Kilns
Lindisfarne Castle

It’s essential to check the tide times as the island is accessed via a long causeway which is impassable once the tide comes in. Though there is accommodation available on the island if you want to stay a little longer.

WPC: Mirror

There are lots of ways to interpret this challenge and I have used mirror reflections such as images reflected in an actual mirror; shiny metallic objects; glass and probably the most common – reflections in water – before.

Beth Chatto Gardens
Beth Chatto Gardens

But yesterday I was fortunate to be able to visit the famous Beth Chatto Gardens in Essex and although she is best known for her gravel garden, there is a lot more to see including the lovely feature pools.


Following on from Paula’s challenge last week which was all about lines, the WP challenge this week is about curves. Curves and lines are important ways in which to compose an image, and draw the viewer in. Curves are also fun to photograph.


A curvaceous entrance in to the walled garden leads you to all sorts of curves

Outside the walled garden is a pathway lined with mounds of neatly clipped yew


and a very curvy bird bath


Taken at Berrington Hall in Herefordshire last October. What curves inspire you?