You don’t need to travel too far this summer to experience one of the UK’s most sacred islands. Just off the coast of Northumberland you’ll find Holy Island – a unique location, rich in history. Prepare to be greeted by singing seals and a warm, friendly atmosphere for an extraordinary experience a little closer to home.
• Holy Island, also known as Lindisfarne, was one of the most important centres of early English Christianity. The priory was founded in the 7th century by St Aidan, and St Cuthbert later became the Bishop here.
• It is believed that St. Cuthbert scattered fossil crinoids, also known as ‘Cuddy Beads’, across the shores of Holy Island, with many tourists still visiting the island in hope of sourcing one of the sacred beads.
• The monks on the island made honey wine, known as mead. The monks have long since gone but mead is still made using the exact same recipe.
• The coastguard are contacted numerous times throughout the year due to motorists getting caught out on the island’s causeway which is submerged at high tide. Be sure to check the safe crossing times and leave plenty of time to beat the swift sea and avoid causeway chaos.
Where To Stay
The Manor House
Nestle between the tides at the culturally-rich Manor House Hotel. Offering 10 cosy single, double and family rooms, there’s space for everyone – even four-legged friends. As well as exuding coastal charm, with views over Lindisfarne Castle, the in-house restaurant boasts locally-sourced scampi and hearty homemade steak pies to savour after a jam-packed day exploring the island.
This charming coastal cottage offers the perfect retreat for family and friends. With three bedrooms, overlooking Lindisfarne Priory, you can truly immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere Holy Island has to offer. The cottage provides local and English Heritage produce on arrival and is also dog friendly.
What To Do
Celebrate, escape and let loose at the ultimate end-of-summer party on this stretch of scenic Northumberland coast. The Lindisfarne Festival brings fun and flair with an all-star line up and eight stages hosting genre-hopping performances. Taking place from 2nd–5th September on Beal Farm, the festival offers a liberating opportunity to reconnect with arts, culture and entertainment after the suspension of events during the pandemic. Tickets are selling out fast, so be sure to secure yours to avoid disappointment.
Despite an inevitably unpredictable year for National Trust sites, the ancient walls of Lindisfarne Castle still stand tall against the breathtaking backdrop of the North Sea. Closing its gates during the pandemic, visitors were forced to admire the timeless estate and its striking external architecture from a distance. Yet, with plans to reopen this summer, a visit to this 16th century gem will allow you to embrace the history of Holy Island. Take a stroll through the castle grounds and take in in the sights from the rocky crags before diving into the castle’s historic past.
Where To Eat
Pilgrim’s Coffee House
Offering the perfect pit-stop, Pilgrim’s Coffee House provides fuel for exploring the island with tasty coffee, freshly-baked cakes and homemade pastries. Enjoy a spot of lunch in the garden, with a serving of their delicious soup-of-the-day or maybe a lamb gosht ciabatta. All Pilgrim’s Coffee House’s packaging is biodegradable too, making this the ideal spot to indulge while staying environmentally conscious.
The Crown and Anchor Restaurant
Enjoy a memorable meal at The Crown and Anchor, just a stone’s throw away from the idyllic Holy Island beach. Serving a creative menu, this timeless pub-style restaurant offer an impressive three courses of fun dishes, with plenty of locally-sourced seafood as well as vegetarian options. Or you may just want to enjoy a selection of local ales in the scenic beer garden overlooking the castle and the endless North Sea beyond.
Falling into the UK’s Common Travel Area, Jersey is ready to reconnect with the mainland Britain. The sunniest summer spot in the British Isles, and oozing with opulence and natural beauty, Jersey offers a little piece of paradise for everyone.
• Jersey is nine miles long by five miles wide – a smaller radius than Greater London.
• Tides play a pivotal part in Jersey’s size, with the island almost doubling in size in low tide.
• Jersey was once known as a knitting-crazed island, with men being banned from knitting during the peak fishing season in the 1600s – the prohibition was known as ‘The Great Knitting Ban’.
Where To Stay
The Atlantic Hotel
The Atlantic is owned by Patrick and Treena Burke and recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Boasting four AA Red Stars and four AA Rosettes for its Ocean Restaurant, the hotel is set in a unique position on the island’s west coast – commanding breath-taking views over the five-mile golden stretch of St Ouen’s Bay and the Jersey National Park - and guests will enjoy some of the finest sunsets in the British Isles.
Durrell Wildlife Camp
Tucked away in the north of the island you’ll find this five-star luxury glamping retreat. With 12 unique pods to choose from, you’ll certainly feel at one with nature while staying in one of the secluded woodland yurts. Wake up to the sound of neighbouring wildlife before revelling in al fresco dining on your very own sundeck. Each pod comes equipped with a private kitchen and bathroom facilities, WiFi access and your very own wood burner.
The Royal Yacht
For a more urban escape, The Royal Yacht offers a boutique-style hotel getaway. Unwind in the tranquil spa by day, before exploring the super-sleek town centre by night. The hotel is situated in the beating heart of Jersey’s capital, St. Helier, with views over the marina and popular restaurants and bars on your doorstep. Wine and dine in one of the hotel’s three restaurants, where you will be treated to opulent fine-dining in Sirocco, brasserie-style servings in Zephyr, or chargrilled classics at The Grill.
What To Do
Battle of Flowers
Experience the flower frenzy of Jersey’s renowned Battle of Flowers carnival this summer. Taking place from 12th–13th August this year, the annual event is back and bigger than ever after hitting pause in 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions. With organisers extremely optimistic about making this year’s battle the most blooming year yet, you wont want to miss out on the parades, flower floats and energetic performances that take over a sublime stretch of St. Aubin’s Bay.
Jersey War Tunnels
Delve into the compelling history of Jersey’s five long years of occupation by Nazi Germany. This informative and moving location is dug deep into the hillside of St. Peter’s Valley, providing a museum visit like no other. On arrival, you will be handed a period passport of a real Jersey resident who endured the Occupation, before making your way through the winding tunnels that hold so much of Jersey’s striking past.
Where To Eat
This five-time AA Rosette and Michelin-star winning restaurant offers a fine-dining experience like no other. Bohemia reflects the lavish and contemporary lifestyle that St. Helier offers, boasting à la carte dining and surprise tasting menus, with extensive pescatarian and vegetarian options. The luxurious restaurant also offers a Chef’s Table experience, roof-top terrace and club bar, so you can fully indulge in the hum of Jersey’s vibrant capital.
Thai Dicq Shack
Head south from St. Helier to the Thai Dicq Shack, situated on the spine of the Le Dicq slipway. This quirky hut provides a vibrant pop of colour against its dramatic coastal backdrop, with lively picnic tables providing a relaxed and unique dining experience. Be sure to try the crab spring rolls and delectable Thai chicken satay with coconut rice.
We are all dreaming of escape – and Scotland’s sublime Isle of Skye offers just that. This slice of Highland heaven has been described as one of the most beautiful places on earth – so why not tick this off your bucket list this summer?
• Skye has a population of around 10,000 people. Skye’s sheep population? One-hundred thousand – meaning you are 10 times more likely to bump into a sheep than a human on your island explorations.
• The island has become known as the ‘stomping ground’ of the Jurassic period, so you’re (hopefully) likely to stumble across dozens of footprints and fossils as you explore.
• Folklore on the island is rife – with hundreds of places named for Skye’s fictitious fairy community. Be sure to keep a look out for nods to the mythical creatures that make up so much of the island’s tales.
Where To Stay
Kinloch Lodge Hotel and Restaurant
Experience the magic of the Highlands in the Isle of Skye’s most historic hotel. This family-run, 16th century hunting lodge turned hotel nuzzles below the rugged hills of Skye’s commanding landscape. With tasteful decor and newly-refurbished bedrooms overlooking Loch na Dal, you can truly immerse yourself in the wilds of Scottish culture here. Be sure to indulge in the local produce from Kinloch’s Michelin-starred restaurant before unwinding under the starlit skies.
The Cottage Stein
If you’re looking for something more quaint, head north to The Cottage Stein. This modest bed and breakfast in the village of Stein boasts a not-so-modest view over the striking loch. The cottage’s two bedrooms offer floor-to-ceiling windows and bi-fold doors, allowing you to immerse yourself in nature and soak up the dreamy surroundings. Take a trip to the nearby Stein Inn for a hearty Highland pub lunch, a mere three-minute walk along the lane, or enjoy a chilled glass of wine out on the cottage’s patio.
What To Do
The Skye Museum of Island Life
Give a little love to the The Skye Museum of Island Life, reopening this May. Situated on the coastal cliffs of Kilmuir, the museum takes you on a conservational journey through time to experience the lives of residents on the island in years gone by. The museum itself is made up of seven charming thatched cottages, offering an exclusive glimpse at the completely preserved township that stood there more than 100 years ago.
Looking to take the plunge and try something a little more adventurous? Submerge your body and mind in the enchanting Fairy Pools at the foot of the Cuillin mountains, south of Skye’s Museum of Island Life. Embark on a winding 2.4 km trail from Glen Brittle car park, before casting your eyes on the crystal clear waters of the Fairy Pools. We recommend arriving early to beat the crowds and experience the magic of the pools in their entirety.
Where To Eat
The Three Chimneys
Contemporary fine dining meets tradition at The Three Chimneys, right in the heart of the village of Dunvegan. Enjoy loch-side dining while indulging in the award-winning restaurant’s nine-course taster menu. Reflecting their idyllic coastal location, the restaurant offers sophisticated dining while embracing local ingredients, with servings of Dunvegan crab and signature marmalade pudding with Drambuie custard.