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Things to see and do in the garden

Family looking at flowers in the garden below Lindisfarne Castle, Northumberland
Exploring the Gertrude Jekyll Garden below Lindisfarne Castle | © National Trust Images/John Millar

The Gertrude Jekyll Garden is a small yet perfectly formed jewel in the landscape.

Autumn wildlife

As the days grow shorter, the winter wildlife begins to arrive. Large flocks of Brent geese circle over the island and settle on the sand flats next to the causeway,creating quite a spectacle. If you're lucky you might spot something rare in one of the trees around the village, as Holy Island is an important stopping off point for birds making their long migration journeys.

Listen out for the sound of the seal's ghostly "singing" drifting across the water from Ros Sands; on a foggy autumnal day to hear this is particularly atmospheric.

In the garden

As the blaze of summer colour begins to fade in the Gertrude Jekyll garden, the dahlias become the stars of the show. A peaceful spot to sit and enjoy the warm days in the sunshine, and watch the queen bumblebees buzzing around the flowers before their winter hibernation.

As autumn arrives, the island takes on a slower - paced, more mellow feeling, with beautiful golden sunsets more than making up for the slipping away of the long summer days.

A sunrise photograph of Lindisfarne from Holy Island harbour with a silhouetted figure and a bench in the foreground
Autumn provides a great chance to enjoy sunrise on Holy Island | © NT/John Millar


This tranquil garden was created by Gertrude ‘Bumps’ Jekyll on the site of a vegetable patch that once provided the castle’s soldiers with food.

It’s a peaceful place to sit and admire the view and listen to the bees buzzing from bloom to bloom in the summer, or watch the flocks of wading birds and geese flying past the castle during the winter months.

If you spot a plant that you love and would like to take home with you to your own garden, the chances are we will have it in the plant section of the shop in the village.

Preserving Jekyll's vision

Jekyll's original planting scheme was restored by the Trust in 2003. With its geometric layout of paths and beds, the garden is always interesting to look round.

The combination of hardy annuals, colourful perennials and heritage vegetables provide glorious sights and scents in the summer and a leafy, sheltered oasis all year round. It's green, sustainable and wildlife friendly.

View of the rocky crag and causeway below Lindisfarne Castle, Northumberland, taken at low tide

Things to do outdoors at Lindisfarne Castle 

From Gertrude Jekyll's Garden to fascinating boat sheds and lime kilns offering a window into Holy Island's industrial past, there's plenty to explore around Lindisfarne Castle.