Choosing the right type of solo trip destination for you
Like couples and groups, solo travellers head away for different reasons. Sometimes it’s to get away and recharge or find peace and quiet in nature. Other times it’s to find exciting destinations and experiences. Writers and artists take themselves on their own personal retreats, and pilgrims walk ancient routes for religious reasons, or to spend time in nature with the rhythm of their footsteps and thoughts.
For all of the above we recommend Holy Island in Northumberland, which is a breathtaking, beautiful, peaceful destination.
The Holy Island of Lindisfarne as a solo traveller destination
If peace and tranquility in a magnificent natural setting is what you’re after, the Holy Island of Lindisfarne in Northumberland is a perfect destination for you, is easy to get to – by public transport or car – from anywhere in the UK, and is very used to a large number of solo visitors, some wishing to be left alone and others wishing to take advantage of the locals’ friendliness.
There are beautiful coastal walks, lovely cafes and great places to eat. The Island takes on an eerie desolate feeling when the tide cuts it off from the mainland, and suddenly you have this area of outstanding natural beauty almost to yourself, with skies that go on forever (with lots of stars on clear nights, for lack of light pollution).
Visitors to Holy Island often comment on how peaceful it is. There’s something about the place that’s different and nourishing for the soul. It’s what drew the monks to build Lindisfarne Priory here, and why it is referred to as a ‘thin place’, where the heavens are closer to earth.
Getting to the island is easy from most of the UK
You can get to Holy Island by public transport or by car, and as long as you read our information about how to cross the causeway safely, you should have no trouble. Parking is at a premium on the Island, but if you’re staying with us, there’s dedicated free guest parking at the front of our guesthouse.
Trains from London, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh run to Berwick-upon-Tweed, and from there you can get a bus or taxi.
Read our Visitor Information page for everything you need to know about getting to Holy Island and what you can do whilst here.
Holy Island: peace, nature and creativity
The best places to visit as a solo traveller are those where you won’t feel out of place. Holy Island is visited by many people travelling individually and so no one bats an eyelid if you’d like to read your book at lunch or you reserve a table for one for dinner. Since we moved here from London and opened a guesthouse, we’ve seen solo walkers, bird-watchers, photographers, pilgrims, writers, nature-lovers, high-flyers looking to decompress, people on a short staycation break, religious scholars, archeologists and people who kept themselves entirely to themselves (Which we welcome. People don’t have to tell us why they’re here).
I’ve written this post following conversations with some of our solo guests, each here for different reasons, but with many common concerns when they first arrive. These concerns evaporate, once they realise that Holy Island in general, and our guesthouse in particular welcome them just as they are, and allow them a respectful space to define what kind of visit they’d like to have, on their own terms.
If you’re staying in one of our studio rooms that include a kitchenettes and breakfast table, you can eat in your room, and a lot of the stress of ‘where to eat solo’ disappears. We would recommend eating at least one meal in one of the two island pubs (where the food is excellent), but if you’re on your own personal retreat and want to go for long walks, visit the beaches and sights and keep to yourself, then staying in is not a problem. This is also why we’ve instigated a ‘hands off’ approach, where we would welcome our guests when they first arrive talk them through what they can do on the island, and leave them in peace and quiet without them having to feel like they are staying in someone else’s house.
For information about the island, getting here and things to do, read our visitor information pages.
photo credit: Rod Long