Holy Island (Lindisfarne) on TV, Radio, Video and Film

This page contains TV, Radio video and film programmes about the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. I will be adding more with time. Note that some of the content is time-limited.

TV Programmes about Holy Island

1. Villages by the Sea: Holy Island (aired Dec 2019)

Lindisfarne Programme

BBC iPlayer (may be limited to UK viewers only, limited time)

>>> Link to Programme

Archaeologist Ben Robinson visits Holy Island in a programme that combines history and archeology with a view of the secular village, discussion of life in Anglo-Saxon Northumbria during the reign of King Oswald Interviews with archeologist Richard Carlton, and a discussion of Aidan of Lindisfarne and the life of monks on the island. There are interviews with fisherman Richard Ward and farmer Alison Brigham and with pilgrims walking the Pilgrim’s Way to the island. Professor Richard Gameson of Durham university discusses the pigments used in the Lindisfarne Gospels and Susan Harrison from English Heritage talks about the name stones found on the island. The presenter discusses the Viking raid on Lindisfarne, Saint Cuthbert and the priory and the modern village’s footprint as reflected in archaeological findings. There is an interview with reverend and local historian Kate Tristram and with islander Sarah Nesbitt. Finally, the presenter discusses tourism to the island and has a chat with Shane Wilson of Saint Aidan’s Winery.

2. Saving Lives at Sea (aired: Nov 2020)

Holy Island Causeway Rescue

BBC iPlayer (may be limited to UK viewers only)

>>> Link to programme

Includes an RNLI Lifeboat callout to an incident where a couple and their young child’s car gets caught out by the spring tide on the Holy Island causeway. The callout was for a submerged vehicle with the water already reaching the car doors.

3. A year on Holy Island (1995)

A year on Holy Island opening shot

>>> Link to programme

BBC programme, giving a flavour of life on Holy Island in 1995. Directed by island resident Max Whitby.

Radio Programmes about Holy Island

1. Ramblings: Northumberland – St Oswald’s Way: Holy Island

Holy island radio programme: St Oswald's Way

>>> Link to programme

BBC Sounds (may be limited to UK listeners)

Clare Balding walks the first leg of St Oswald’s Way to Holy Island, starting at Lindisfarne Priory. She is joined by the Reverend Michael Mountney who was the inspiration behind the route and by Jenny Walters, Features Editor at Country Walking Magazine.

The relevant OS grid map for the walk is: OS Explorer 340 (Holy Island and Bamburgh).

2. Holy Island: Should I Stay Or Should I Go? (April 2015)

>>>Link to programme

BBC Radio 4

Part of the Radio 4 Lives in a Landscape series, Alan Dein meets locals and discusses the impact of tourism on the the island. Includes Gary Watson, Alison Brigham, Andrew and Stuart Johnson, Brian Paterson, Molly Luke and Joel Rain.

3. Holy Island Radio

Holy Island Radio Logo

>>> Link to site

Holy Island Radio, the brainchild of Kevin Archer, provides a taste of Island life, interviews with locals and community news broadcast during the Covid-19 lockdown. It kept the community informed and entertained during a difficult time.

Videos of Holy Island

1. Delivering the post to Holy Island (1951)

Post car drives across the sands to Holy Island

>>> Link to programme

BBC Archives

A newsreel film from 1951, showing the postman driving over the sands (pre-causeway) to get the Christmas mail to Holy Island. The postman from Berwick-upon-Tweed delivers the mail to postmistress Louisa Kyle, who in turn delivers post to Jack (‘Wheeler’) and Hannah Lilburn at Lindisfarne Castle.

2. Holy Island in Lockdown, Easter 2020

Holy Island during lockdown

>>> Link to programme

Every Easter, thousands visit the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. In 2020 the island was closed to visitors in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. This video shows an eerie walk through the deserted village.

Films that include Holy Island, or are shot on the island

Cul-de-sac (1966)

Cul de Sac - Film - Holy Island

>>> Link to film

Cul de Sac is a psychological comic thriller, written by Roman Polanski and Gérard Brach and directed by Polanski. It was shot on the island in 1965, with Lindisfarne Castle serving as the set for the home depicted in the movie. It was awarded the 1966 Golden Bear at the 16th Berlin International Film Festival.


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