When we stayed at Paxton House in 2014 we took a walk across the causeway to Holy Island. It was a memorable day out but our plans of visiting Lindisfarne Castle were curtailed by a rainstorm. So a visit to the castle is on Lynnie’s list of things to do this trip.
Visiting Holy Island is not straightforward. You do need to check the tide times first because the causeway is only clear at low tide and only the foolish would think about crossing outside of the advised times.
We park in the main car park and it is packed. We are not used to crowds on our days out and whilst it is good to see so many people visiting the island it does make it difficult to walk at our normal pace as families and large groups spread across the pavement.
Eventually we get more space as we walk to the Castle, there is still a steady stream but the path is wider and some of the earlier throng have stopped for some refreshments in the various cafes (they must have walked at least quarter of a mile from the car so it is perfectly reasonable to think they would want to set up base camp before making the arduous attempt to reach the Castle!).
Visiting the Castle with the dogs is not an option. So Lynnie pops in whilst I take the boys for a wander around. In 1542 Henry VIII ordered the fortification of the site against possible Scottish invasion. Later in 1570 Elizabeth I had work carried out on the fort, strengthening it and providing gun platforms.
In 1901, Edward Hudson purchased the castle, he was a publishing magnate and the owner of Country Life. He commissioned Sir Edwin Lutyens to refurbish it in the manner it remains today. The National Trust has maintained it since 1944.
Castles are interesting but I prefer my history to be more recent and industrial so it is with great delight that I discover that there is a set of limekilns just beyond the castle. These are not just ordinary limekilns they are absolutely stunning.
The information board says that the lime industry on the island had been going on for thousands of years, but when it started becoming an industrial activity the need to build a large kiln was identified. Castle Point was chosen for its proximity to the sea and it was easily connected to the limestone quarry on the north of the island.
Permission was granted in 1860. The kiln is made of six pots and once inside it is a maze. I am the only person in here, which is amazing given the number of people that are just a few hundred yards away at the castle.
When I’m rejoined by Lynnie she looks at the kilns and then we go for a bit of a wander around the island. My knee is still playing up so we take it easy and also keep an eye on the time. We don’t want to be caught by the incoming tide!
We have plans to wander around Berwick-upon-Tweed, but the sky is black and it looks like a storm is on its way so we head back to the Coachman and start preparing for moving tomorrow.
Later, just as it is getting dark we take as stroll around the grounds of Paxton House in the hope of spotting the Otter again. As we walk past the children’s adventure playground Lynnie spies the zip wire and is desperate to have a go. It would be unfair of me to divulge Lynnie’s age, but she is not a child (although she does qualify for concessionary rates to enter most places). She is also much lighter than the average fourteen-year-old boy, so there is no real reason why she shouldn’t have a go!
Crosby just watches on in disbelief!
22nd May 2016
[To follow this walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 340 – Holy Island and Bamburgh]
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2016)