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Safe crossing over to Holy Island - St Cuthbert's and St Oswald's Way

8th Feb 2016 by Jon Monks

On both St Oswald’s Way and St Cuthbert’s Way you will walk over one of my favourite three miles in the world, this is the route across the Pilgrims Causeway onto Holy Island, is one of the best walking experiences you can ever imagine. The sense of isolation is very different than countryside walks.

It is a stark contrast to the other sections of both these long distance trails.

Here at shepherds Walks Holidays we plan your crossing in the greatest detail so you will be safe and you can relax and enjoy the experience, but what are the main rules to make a safe crossing that we use when planning your Shepherds Walks holiday

Only cross the Pilgrim’s Route during the times we advise on the pre-holiday information and do not attempt to cross the causeway at any other time as the tide comes in very rapidly and is very dangerous.

The safe crossing times to Holy Island provided by Northumberland County Council are for those people who wish to use the causeway road to access (or return from) Holy island.

The crossing times to Holy Island should also be treated with caution, as local weather conditions (such as high wind) can change everything.

As a walker I personally prefer walking the pilgrim’s route across the sands to Holy Island. It gets you away from the traffic which at busy times of the year can be very busy along the road. The road can get very busy, especially during the summer months and it frankly would be dangerous to walk on this road.

The perfect situation when looking at the tide times is to walk to or from Holy on an outgoing tide. During this tidal state the route will be getting better, but practically this is not always possible.

One thing I always say to people when walking the pilgrim’s route to Holy Island, if you don’t feel happy when walking if you veer off to the road causeway (off to your right when walking off Holy Island or to your left when walking onto Holy Island) you will get yourself into a better situation. This gives you plenty of confidence.

Usually walking onto or off Holy Island takes a couple of hours so the ideal situation is to look at the Holy Island crossing times and start a couple of hours before low tide (i.e. half way between the times give you as ‘safe crossing time’). But I appreciate this is not always possible so realistically don’t start walking 4 or less hours before the causeway road closes. When walking at this tidal state (i.e. four hours or less before the causeway closes) I would always walk the road route.

Therefore when we are planning your walking holidays along St Cuthbert’s Way or St Oswald’s Way don’t worry we will give you great advice and then you can relax and enjoy your holiday. As we meet you at the start of your holiday we will go through the safe crossing to or from Holy Island with you.

We look forward to welcoming you onto our holidays. You can view all our holidays here.

© Shepherds Walks Holidays 2021
Muckles Yard, Bridge Street, Rothbury, Northumberland, NE65 7SG

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