Category Archives: England

Lindisfarne & Bamburgh Castle

I made a trip to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne and Bamburgh Castle about a week ago. I had been looking forward to visiting Lindisfarne in particular since before I left for Scotland as I had studied it quite a bit the previous semester in my Independent Study course on Anglo-Saxon England. It was a cute place that reminded me a bit of Tangier Island in the Chesapeake. The monastery which existed on the island during the time of St. Cuthbert, the writing of the Lindisfarne Gospels, and the viking raid 793 no longer exists as it was made of wood. Stone ruins of the priory built under the Normans (I really hope I’m getting my history right here) still exist though and a friend and I were able to explore those.

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I was also able to visit the castle, which is about a mile away from the village.

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Extra special side note – there were seals just across from the shore of the island that you could see basking in the sun! Cuties!

Later in the day I visited Bamburgh castle, which was also amazing! You could see Lindisfarne from the castle (and you could see Bamburgh from Lindisfarne). They’re just across the water from each other. I didn’t get the chance to meander all the way down to the beach but was able to walk a short trail which was lovely.

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Lindisfarne was my favorite of the two stops and I’d love to go back and explore it some more.
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Durham, England

I was so excited to visit Durham, England this past weekend. Such a lovely city! It’s about a three-hour drive from Edinburgh, but totally worth it. (Probably shorter by train.)

The flecks in this picture - yeah, that's snow!

The flecks in this picture – yeah, that’s snow!

I visited Durham Cathedral, which was absolutely amazing! As both a history nerd and a Harry Potter fan, I loved the place. The history buff in me geeked out over the fact that I was, you know, strolling through a gorgeous Norman cathedral built in 1093. Two major historical figures, which I studied last semester, were buried in the cathedral – St. Cuthbert and Bede – so it was pretty cool to see those!

The door to the cathedral.

The door to the cathedral.

Left: Shrine of St. Cuthbert/St. Cuthbert's Grave, Right: The Venerable Bede's Tomb

Left: Shrine of St. Cuthbert/St. Cuthbert’s Grave, Right: The Venerable Bede’s Tomb

The Harry Potter fan in me nerded out over the cloisters. This served as the courtyard at Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter films! So not only did I get to visit a cathedral, I also got to visit the wizarding school of my childhood dreams.

This screen cap and the one above it show scenes from Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone which were filmed at the Durham cloisters.

This screen cap and the one above it show scenes from Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone which were filmed at the Durham cloisters.

While we were able to see the castle from the outside, my friends and I were not able to get tickets to tour the inside. Instead we strolled through the streets and shops in the city. Could not get over how cute this city was!

So yes, I would definitely recommend making a trip to Durham, perhaps for more than one day as there is a bunch of awesome stuff outside the city which would be great to see. (Escomb Church – look it up!)

P.S. On a completely irrelevant note – the sun is the weirdest thing here. When I arrived in Edinburgh it was completely dark by about 4:30. I would leave my last class (which ends at 5) and it would be dark out. I leave class now and the sun is still shining. There’s become about an hour difference in sunset time in only about three weeks. It’s so disorienting, I thought I was losing my mind. Apparently, by the time I leave Scotland in late May, the sun won’t set until about ten o’clock at night! (Thought this was interesting enough to put on the blog, but not enough so to get it’s own post, so I’m tacking it on here.)

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I don’t really want to make a lengthy post about anything quite yet, as I still want to settle in a bit. But here, have a picture from my flight from London to Edinburgh.

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January 14, 2014 · 3:59 pm