As you walk from the village towards Lindisfarne Castle, you’ll see the harbour to your right. Its most famous feature is the old upturned herring boats, now serving as storage huts. You’ll also see the local boats moored here and those on-land for storage or maintenance.
Above all, this is a great spot to soak in the atmosphere of the island, look across to the castle and back towards the priory, and observe the occasional seal. The area within the harbour that can be reduced to mud at low tide is called the Ouse. The enclosure of houses behind the harbour are called the Herring Houses, because they were used to prepare and oak-smoke the fish.
This is a working harbour, from which the island’s fishermen go out daily, coming back with crab and lobster, mostly. If you eat these on the island, they are likely to be fresh and locally caught.
During the industrial revolution, the harbour was used to ship lime from the lime kilns, and you can still see the rotting remains of the old jetty towards the castle, the subject of many atmospheric photos taken here.
The harbour is owned and managed by the island’s Development Trust, and mooring, storage and launching fees are paid to the Harbourmaster or at the Heritage Centre (details here).
As this is a working harbour, please be careful of vehicles and machinery when you visit.
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