Lindisfarne Priory

Holy Island TD15 2RX

The glorious island ruins of Lindisfarne Priory – once home of St Cuthbert and the Lindisfarne Gospels – provide a dramatic backdrop to any visit to Holy Island. From the grassy banks and surviving walls, the distant views are magnificent – all-encompassing enough to have given the monks who once lived here terrible early warning as the Viking hordes descended in 793 AD in search of booty. The priory was eventually abandoned in the 9th century, as Viking raids became too threatening, though it was later recolonised by Benedictine monks. The ruins you see today date from that later medieval period. It's a gorgeous site, especially when the sun shines on the worn sandstone, and it's easy to step out of the modern age for a while and soak up the atmosphere. The small museum is really good, while summer events and activities showcase ancient crafts and terrifying Vikings in equal measure.