Lindisfarne Pilgrims Way
Fri 5th September 2014
Lindisfarne Pilgrims Way or A walk across the sands, clarts and water.
The group meet at the car park on the mainland just at the start of the tarmac causeway to the Island of Lindisfarne. The first problem was that they! Have blocked off half the car park and now it can only take about 10 cars. As we were waiting for the last person the local service bus pulled up and our last member turned up and having dumped her bags in Mikes van we were off.
The first part of the Way is some 10 to 15 meters from the road and runs parallel to the road for a while before heading directly to the main part of the Island. While waiting for the group to assemble we had watched a couple of people trying to walk by the poles but they very quickly gave up as it is very clarty mud flats.
We walked along the road until we reach a bridge that crosses the stream South Low, here mike pointed out another good reason for following the road the stream being in the region of 3 or 4 feet deep. Having crossed the bridge we left the road and started to follow the poles that mark the route across the sands.
The sand quickly gave way to a very thin layer of mud which was very slippy, it was like walking on an icy pavement. The going under foot now regularly changed for mud to sand to large areas of sand under shallow water.
By now the sense of isolation is quite strong even though way in the distance cars could be seen using the road to get to the island. A strong westerly wind was thankfully blowing on to our backs and helping us on our way. Some were in the middle we came across the first of two shelters for those caught out by rising tides. I use the word shelter loosely as it is four poles sticking upright with a stout open wooden box like structure on the top with a rough vertical ladder to help you get to the box.
As we continued walking we could hear then see seals on a sand bar much closer to the sea and well away from any people. The next issue to impede our progress was an area of mud flats with lots of deep holes filled with black water. The final hazard was just a few hundred meters from reaching dry land this was a fast flowing stream, fortunately it was not too deep and failed to fill one of the group who had wellies on much to Mike’s disappointment.
At last we had made it we had reached Holy Island, to be met by lots of cars and then crowds of people. After such an inspiring and sense of space it was surreal to be hemmed in by some many people. Eventually we arrived back at the cars after a bus ride of less than five minutes.