This film is part of Free

High Days and Holidays

From holy days to holidays on the magical Northumbrian island of Lindisfarne.

Documentary 1986 26 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


Lindisfarne is a haven for saints, wintering birds and a once exotic breed – the tourist. The monks have long since vanished, but the world famous island-brewed mead still fortifies the spirit of these modern pilgrims. Magnus Magnusson, better known as the presenter of TV quiz show Mastermind, guides us around the island and its majestic castle, once a Tudor fort, restored for the founder of Country Life magazine by the Arts and Crafts architect, Edward Lutyens.

This is the second of a two-part Tyne Tees Television documentary, first broadcast on 5 January 1986. Lindisfarne featured in Roman Polanski’s darkly humorous and menacing film ‘Cul-de-sac’ in 1966. Its star-studded cast descended on the island for the shoot, including Jack MacGowran and Lionel Stander as stranded gangsters, their car marooned in rising tides on the causeway (a fate that still besets visitors to the island). Donald Pleasance and Françoise Dorléac played the oddly-matched couple whose home was in the fairy tale castle perched on Beblowe Crag.