lindisfarne To Durham

Tweed to Tyne

Route length: 100 miles

By Road

Return to the A1 (remembering to check if it is a safe time to cross the causeway). Turn left. Continue south until turning left on to the B1342 for Bamburgh. From Bamburgh take the B1340 down the coast to Seahouses. Then stay on the B1340 until rejoining the A1 at Denwick. Now stay on the A1 until, approaching Newcastle, you turn left on to the A19 and left again on to the A1058 to reach Tynemouth and the priory. From here you can take the metro into Newcastle, or drive, in order to walk around the The Cathedral Church of St Nicholas, The Church of St John the Baptist and St Mary's Cathedral. Otherwise, go back as far as the A19, turning left to cross under the Tyne through the tunnel. Turn left on to the A815, and then left for Bede's World (http://www.bedesworld.co.uk/).

Rejoin the A19. Turn left on to the A184. Join the A1018. Turn to the left in Monkwearmouth to reach St Peter's, Monkwearmouth.  Now go back to the A1018 and cross the river. Go right at the first roundabout, straight over the next and left at the third one. Now turn left for the Minster Church of St Michael & All Angels and St Benedict Biscop, Bishopwearmouth.

Leave Bishopwearmouth and Sunderland on the A690. This takes you to your destination – Durham.

By Cycle

Follow NCN 1 southwards (remembering to check if it is a safe time to cross the causeway). Coming into Bamburgh follow this route or take the B1342 from Warren Mill. Carry on down NCN 1, making the half mile detour in to Seahouses. NCN 1 now takes you all the way to Tynemouth, and its priory.

From Tynemouth you can cycle in to Newcastle on NCN 72, or leave your cycle in Tynemouth and take the metro, in order to walk or cycle round The Cathedral Church of St Nicholas, The Church of St John the Baptist and St Mary's Cathedral.

From Tyneside the route given is to cycle towards Newcastle on NCN 72, and then turn left for the Tyne tunnel, which brings you to NCN 14 and Bede's World. Alternatives are:

  1. If you cycled to Newcastle you can return on NCN 72 until turning for the Tyne tunnel, or cross Gateshead Millennium Bridge and come along the south side of the Tyne on NCN 14.
  2. You can cross the Tyne on the passenger ferry from North Shields to South Shields.

Follow NCN 14 eastwards until you turn south on NCN 1. Follow this to Sunderland. Detour in Monkwearmouth for St Peter's, Monkwearmouth. Rejoin NCN 1 which takes you over the river, and right past the Minster Church of St Michael & All Angels and St Benedict Biscop, Bishopwearmouth.

Continue south on NCN 1 until it intersects with NCN 14 outside Haswell. Take NCN 14 through Haswell and on to Durham.

By Foot

St Oswald's Way (http://www.stoswaldsway.com/) goes from Lindisfarne (remember to check if it is a safe time to cross the causeway) to Heavenfield, on Hadrian's Wall. It follows the coast, and our route, as far as Warkworth. You could continue on foot from here to Amble, a little over a mile further on.

In Newcastle, walk  the mile around The Cathedral Church of St Nicholas, The Church of St John the Baptist and St Mary's Cathedral.

By Public Transport

There is a bus service between Morpeth and Berwick which stops at 'Beal Holy Island rd end'. It is a 3.5 mile walk across the causeway from the priory.

There are bus services from Warkworth to Newcaste, direct or changing at Alnmouth.

There are rail stations at Berwick, Alnmouth, Newcastle (with Metro links to Tynemouth and Whitley Bay, North and South Shields, Jarrow Sunderland), and Durham.

For information on the seven minute crossing of the Tyne from North Shields to South Shields, see http://www.nexus.org.uk/ferry

Public transport information can be found on the Traveline website.

Lindisfarne, with the Priory ruins and thriving pilgrim Church of St Mary, is a highpoint but not a conclusion. From here the heritage ripples out, and even the destruction of the Priory by Norse raiders, only served to spread Cuthbert’s influence. The subsequent wanderings of the saint’s body covered the whole of northern England, ending finally at Durham, where the massive Cathedral owes its origins to the humble shepherd pastor.

But at Bamburgh, Newcastle, Tynemouth, Jarrow and Wearmouth, we encounter not just the influence of the saint but a wave of culture and Christian civilisation. Whether in the pages of the Lindisfarne Gospels, the lucent writings of the Venerable Bede, Anglo Saxon carving, or the ecstatic visionary poetry of Caedmon, we are bathed in a light of spiritual inspiration. Moreover, the harmonious presence of Celtic patterns in this artistic upsurge, belies the idea that divisions about the dating of Easter are the main story. In St Peter’s at Bamburgh, on Inner Farne, or Durham itself, you realise that St Aidan and St Cuthbert are in unbroken communion, undisturbed by Synods of Whitby, or supposed doctrinal divisions.

At Durham, the final destination, you can still visit Cuthbert’s shrine and see the precious cross, Gospel of John, and portable altar which were placed in his coffin. Though his devoted labour was in Jarrow, Bede was also later moved here, his bones united with Cuthbert’s. This is appropriate since it is through his graceful storytelling that we know so much about Cuthbert.

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