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Holy Island: Berwick to Lindisfarne

Janet H.  Holy IslandRoute Details

  • To - From: Berwick upon Tweed Station to Lindisfarne Priory
  • Distance: 15 miles
  • Terrain: Medium, a mixture of on and off road paths - no hills.  The section at Spittal can be rough in bad weather.
  • Access: Train station at Berwick
  • National Cycle Network: National Route 1

Route Description

Berwick-upon-Tweed is a fantastic, historic town that is definitely worth exploring. Berwick’s town walls, built to keep out invading Scots, are still intact and you can walk almost their entire length.  With beautiful views over the River Tweed estuary you can admire the Royal Border Bridge, built by Robert Stevenson.

The route starts at the train station where you follow signs for Route 1 that take you through the town and out to the quay side.  Using the old bridge across the River Tweed you travel along Dock Road through Spittal - here you pick up the coastal path along the cliffs to Cheswick.  Take care here crossing the railway line.  From here you travel past the Golf course and out towards Beachcomber House and travel on a stony path to the causeway road that takes you to Holy Island. 

The Island has some fascinating history.  The Castle was built to defend a harbour sheltering English ships during skirmishes with Scotland and you can explore the rooms which remain largely unchanged. Ransacked by marauding Viking raiders in the 8th century, the stunning ruins of Lindisfarne Priory includes the famous ‘rainbow bridge’ which spirals skywards. The area is a National Nature Reserve and a great place to see wildlife including grey seals and a wide variety of migratory birds. 

Useful Information

  • Young and inexperienced cyclists - We suggest taking care getting through Berwick town centre, in Tweedmouth and crossing the mainline railway in Cheswick.
  • Weather - The route is exposed so this ride may suit older children and is best done in dry and settled weather
  • Reaching Holy Island - The Island can only be reached via a 3 mile causeway which is closed two hours before high tide and until three hours after.  Make sure you check the tide tables found in local newspapers before setting off.  Information on tide times is usually also displayed at the causeway.

Extending the route

For a longer journey try Berwick upon Tweed to Alnmouth.  This route is approx 45 miles and takes you past the fantastic scenery of the Coastal AONB and a number of fantastic castles including Bamburgh and Dunstanburgh. There is a train station at Alnmouth to take you back to Berwick.

Things to see and do

  • Berwick upon Tweed Castle
  • Berwick upon Tweed Ramparts - you can walk a circuit of the whole town
  • The Barn at Beal, Beal Farm
  • Haggerston Castle
  • Lindisfarne Priory, Holy Island
  • Lindisfarne Castle
  • Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve
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Map shows the National Cycle Network and local routes in this area.


This route takes you from the historic town of Berwick-upon-Tweed to Holy Island, which lies just a few miles off the Northumberland Coast. Both an island and a picturesque village, Holy Island has a wealth of fascinating history and provides stunning coastal views.  For a longer ride, you can extend the route to Alnmouth, further down the coast.

15 miles