The Holy Island of Lindisfarne is, as the full name implies, an island. Well, up to a point. Lindisfarne, or Holy Island is a tidal island, which is accessible without resorting to a boat for roughly half the time, and inaccessible without one for the other half.
Most people reach the Holy Island of Lindisfarne using the causeway which links the western end of the island, The Snook, with mainland Northumberland near Beal. If you are travelling to Lindisfarne, it is simply a matter of turning off the A1 at the slightly inappropriately named Lindisfarne Inn, and travelling down a minor road that crosses the East Coast Main Line railway before going through Beal and across to the island.
Only, it's not actually quite that simple, and people who have thought it was have ended up with their cars submerged in seawater while they themselves are returned to dry land by helicopter. No visit to Lindisfarne should be contemplated without first checking the tide tables to see when the causeway will be open, and no attempt should be made to cross when the causeway is closed: especially when it is closed by a rising tide. The link on the right takes you to a site carrying detailed information about the times during which the causeway will be open and closed.
Of course, its status as a tidal island is one of the (many) things that makes Lindisfarne such a special place. But it still helps to plan your visit so you can arrive and depart during a single open period, or be clear about how you are going to spend your time if you commit to at least six hours, plus or minus an hour or so, on the island when it actually is an island. The footer picture on this page was taken fully half an hour before the published reopening time for the causeway, showing that however wonderful somewhere may be (and this was on a sunny summer afternoon), after five hours many people are ready to leave, even if it's not yet really safe to do so.
And it's not just the actual causeway that is covered by the sea. Parts of the road leading along the shore from a point only a little north of the main village car park are also submerged by the tide. When the tide is in, this effectively becomes a place that is best explored on foot.
The observant might notice a line of stakes heading out towards the mainland from the point on the island mentioned in the previous paragraph. This marks the line of the Pilgrims' Crossing or Pilgrims' Way, the traditional pedestrian route linking the Holy Island of Lindisfarne with the mainland. Crossing the main causeway on foot is tricky because of the narrowness of the road. But those unfamiliar with the island are strongly advised against attempting the alternative Pilgrims' Crossing unless accompanied by someone who knows the route well. It is also worth noting that safe crossing times are not published anywhere, and cannot be assumed to be the same as those for the main causeway. Above all else, this is not a route that should be attempted on a rising tide, or in the expectation of keeping your feet dry.