Holy Island Accommodation Survey (March 2022)

Holy Island accommodation survey – map of the island

Hospitality Accommodation Survey 2022 (Holy Island/Lindisfarne)

This year, we’ve had significantly more reliable data than last year’s, thanks to our work on the new Holy Island tourism site, Visit Lindisfarne. This means we have accommodation-owner verified data for most of the properties, and as a result we’ll not be drawing any conclusions from comparing the two data sets (2021/2022). Airbnb properties are also included in full, and capacity numbers now account for properties which have an option for extra guests (e.g. sofa beds in holiday-let lounges).

High-level summary of findings

  • During high season, when all accommodation providers are open, Holy island has a capacity to host 262 visitors a night in guest accommodation (or 288 if the capacity for retreats is included). Note that capacity does not mean occupancy, as some bookings will have fewer guests staying than the property/room actually caters for. If we estimate occupancy to be 85%, the actual number of guests staying would be 223 (excluding retreats).
  • There are nine short-stay providers (36 rooms, 78 guest capacity), 37 holiday lets (184 guest capacity) and four retreat properties (26 guest capacity).
  • There are seven dog-friendly short-stay rooms (19%) and 19 dog-friendly holiday lets (51%).
  • There is only one short-stay wheelchair-friendly room and five wheelchair-friendly holiday lets.
  • 63% of short-stay rooms can be booked instantly online, while the figure for holiday lets is 51%.
  • Holiday lets make up 22% of dwellings on the island. This does not mean that the remaining 78% of dwellings are lived in, as there are also second homes on the island. When up-to-date 2021 census data is released later this year, it will provide more clarity on this point, as we currently have to rely on the 2011 census.

The survey in detail

Total overnight guest capacity for the entire island (all accommodation types)

If all accommodation on the island is fully booked and all accommodation is open (which is increasingly common in high season), the total guest capacity is:

Rooms/bedrooms: 125 (138 with retreats)

Overnight guests: 262* (288 with retreats)

* Note that the number of actual guest will be lower, as some short stay rooms will be taken for lower occupancy (e.g. single occupancy in double room), and holiday lets will have fewer guests staying than their maximum capacity (e.g. three people staying in a holiday let that has a capacity of six). At a guesstimate, this would be 85% occupancy, which would make it 223 visitors (245 with retreats).

Serviced accommodation / Shorter stays (Hotels/B&Bs/Guesthouses/Other)

Number of properties: 9

Number of rooms: 36

Guest capacity: 78 (bedrooms vary: 1-4 guest capacity)

Wheelchair accessible rooms: 1

Dog friendly rooms: ~7

Properties with instant online booking: 5 (55%)

Number of rooms available for instant online bookings: 23 (63%)

Holiday lets / Longer stays

Number of properties: 37*

Number of bedrooms: 89

Total guest capacity: 184 (bedrooms vary, 1-4 guest capacity. Some holiday lets have extra sofa beds)

Dog friendly properties: 19 (51%)

Wheelchair accessible properties: 5 (14%)

Properties with instant online booking: 19 (51%)

* A search for all holiday lets on Visit Lindisfarne will only show 35 listed. This is because two of the listings have two cottages each.

Holiday let share of overall housing

Overall dwellings on the island: 168*

Holiday lets proportion of dwellings: 22%

Important note: this does not mean that 78% of the rest of housing is lived in by residents. In addition to holiday lets there will also be second homes. In 2011, about 40% of dwellings were not permanently lived in. We will get a clearer picture when demographic data from the 2021 census are released later in 2022.

* The overall dwellings figure is based on 2011 census numbers. They may be slightly skewed by properties that have become commercial (e.g. shops), though this is likely offset by those that have gone the other way (e.g. pub to dwelling etc.). There will also be changes to housing stock and its use over this period. Again, we will have better data once we have 2021 census demographics.

Retreat Houses

In 2022, there is one retreat house for groups, two for individuals or small groups and one flat for an individual.

Number of properties: 4

Number of rooms/bedrooms: 13

Total guest capacity: 26


The SVP Ozanam Camp house will sometimes take adult groups during term times. It has 8 dormitories, each with 8 beds (total occupancy of 64). As the camp is occupied for a good part of the high season, and the children in the camp do not have the same impact on local services (pubs/cafes/shops/parking) as adults do, its numbers are not tallied in the overall totals above, but it is included here for completeness.


– Percentages are rounded to the nearest decimal point.
– Some properties can be categorised as either holiday lets or short stays. They are assigned to one of the two categories only (the one closest to their purpose) to avoid double-counting.
– There are a couple of properties for which there may be a change in use/closure this year, but for the purpose of this survey, any property that is still advertising for bookings is considered open. In any case, their share is not statistically significant.

Image source: Google

Citation (permalink): https://holy-island.uk/holy-island-accommodation-survey-march-2022/

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