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Lindisfarne, England
Causeway - View of Holy Island with the road down to the causeway
Causeway - Tide tables
Causeway - Warning sign
Causeway - The causeway
Causeway - Refuge for stranded walkers

Causeway Lindisfarne Reviews

Toonsarah Toonsarah
533 reviews
Heed the warnings – don’t get stranded Aug 21, 2012
The very thing that makes Holy Island special is also the thing that visitors need be most aware of – the tides. The island is connected to the mainland by a causeway several miles in length. This is covered for about five or six hours each high tide, i.e. twice a day. As the tides vary, so do the safe crossing times. It is essential that you consult the tide tables ( before your visit and plan accordingly. And don’t trust your eyes – the causeway may look clear but if you are already past the advertised safe crossing time, don’t start to cross – the tides here are unpredictable and can sweep in very suddenly indeed. It is not for nothing that a small refuge is provided halfway across the causeway – many drivers have been caught out in the past and forced to abandon their vehicles and seek safety here while the waters inundate their car!

Tables are also displayed throughout the village and in eating and drinking establishments. Locals may warn you too if the tide is due to turn – we were once asked before being served food in a pub if we knew that the safe crossing time was almost past, but as we were staying over that night it was not a problem for us on that occasion.

It’s worth asking locals about the tides too. On the day we were to leave the island, with a lengthy drive in front of us, we mentioned to our B&B host that we would have liked to have got away sooner than the 11.00 AM advertised opening of the causeway for that morning. His advice was that as tides were currently fairly low, it should be clear sooner than that. Sure enough, by 10.30 it was safe enough to cross, if still a bit wet in places. Don’t take any risks like this when the tide is coming in, as I said, but on its way out the situation is naturally different and local advice can be helpful.

If arriving on foot, and as an alternative to the causeway, there is a shorter, more direct, walking route across the sands. However the tide tables for the causeway do not apply to this! Please only attempt the walk in the company of a local or expert guide. Again, a refuge is provided halfway across, but it’s a long way to swim.

These are serious warnings. Every year visitors do get stranded, and although usually rescued, it’s traumatic for them and an expensive mistake too – not to mention the costs to the local community of providing the rescue service. According to Wikipedia, a sea rescue (by Seahouses lifeboat) costs approximately £1,900, while an air rescue by the RAF costs more than £4,000.

But don’t let this put you off visiting – check the tide tables and you will arrive safely.
The causeway
Refuge for stranded walkers
View of Holy Island with the road …
Warning sign
Toonsarah says:
Essential! Not everyone takes the warnings as seriously as they should, unfortunately
Posted on: Feb 12, 2017
wabat says:
Good advice.
Posted on: Feb 12, 2017
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