Holy Island – The heart and soul of Northumbria

Holy Island – The heart and soul of Northumbria

Getting on the train at Kings Cross on the 1st day of August I was filled with anticipation – we were off to explore, discover and get under the skin of a new client. The “Discovery” stage is key to our projects; we must develop a real understanding of a new client so we can tell the story behind their product or service and bring it to life.  This stage is also my favourite part of a project – the anticipation, the sense of adventure and possibility.

This time, Nick (Creative Director) and I were on our way to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, set on the border between Scotland and England, to start the process.  We’re working on a top secret project, with clients who are based in this little-known, and magical place.

We arrived in Berwick-Upon-Tweed after a productive train journey we travelled the 15 minutes towards the Island.  The Island’s unique location is served by the causeway road which is approximately 3 miles long as you leave the mainland, and is only accessible at low tide.  It felt slightly like a scene from “The Woman in Black” as we drove across the deserted road – I half expected a horse and carriage to crash out of the sea and spook us, but this was only in my imagination. Thank goodness.

After arriving, we walked around the island and were truly blown away by the beauty, tranquillity and peace. As we wandered along the seafront, past Lindisfarne Castle, we immersed ourselves in the historic background of the island, uncovering the stories and legends that have made Holy Island the place it is today. The views are truly breath-taking, you really could be anywhere in the world, and it is without a doubt one of the UK’s most unspoilt, beautiful spots.  The heart of the island touches your soul and leaves you with the sense that you are home from home. Peace, tranquillity and calm around every corner.

We struck up a lively conversation with some locals, including fisherman, who have been fishing on the North Sea all their lives, following in the footsteps of their fathers and their fathers before them. They had a tremendous sense of community, a simple life without chaos.

In the evening, Andy and Sophie at beautiful and historic The Ship Inn, hosted us for dinner where local fish, real ales and local produce were on the menu. Over drinks, we caught up with Andy and Sophie, discovering why they chose to move to Holy Island, how their project was born, and uncovering intriguing stories and insights that will inform and inspire our creative direction as we progress through the project.

The following morning was quiet with very few people on the island due to the tidal times. We experienced parts of the island most tourists will never see, including North Shore, a beach just outside the village where we only saw 2 other people.  After our meetings, we left the Island with a sense of tranquillity but also a real understanding of the essence of the place and the people. We are also really looking forward to working with our new friends Andrew, Andy and Sophie on their project – helping them bring their ideas and passion to reality.

One thing is sure though, both Nick and I were truly amazed that a place as magical as Holy Island exists in the UK, and is such a well-kept secret.  We agreed that we’d both love to return with our families, as Holy island is one of those places where pictures and descriptions can’t do it justice, it really must be experienced first-hand.

Holy Island you were magical. Thank you – we will return!