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Series 1: 15. Farne Islands to Berwick-upon-Tweed



Michael’s journey along the coast of Northumberland continues towards the Farne Islands, takes in the holy island of Lindisfarne, and finishes in England’s northernmost town, Berwick-upon-Tweed.\n\nOn the largest of the Farne Islands, Inner Farne, Michael pitches in to help rangers clear a toxic plant which is invading the island. It’s so prolific that it’s threatening the native plants upon which seabirds depend for nesting.\n\nFrom the mainland, Michael sets off on a two-mile pilgrimage along a single-track causeway, which twice a day is covered by the North Sea. His destination is the holy island of Lindisfarne. Michael discovers that the island was chosen in the seventh century by St Aidan as the site for a monastery. Northumbria’s patron saint, St Cuthbert, later became bishop there. The vicar of the island today shows Michael a full-sized reproduction of the beautifully illuminated Lindisfarne Gospels, the originals of which are held in the British Museum.\n\nBack on the East Coast Main Line, Michael hugs the North Sea coast, crossing the River Tweed on Robert Stephenson’s Royal Border Bridge to reach Britain’s most northern town, Berwick-upon-Tweed. Struck by the variety of accents and dialects in the north east, Michael learns what distinguishes a Geordie from a Smoggie.\n\nOnly two-and-a-half-miles from Scotland, Berwick-upon-Tweed has a turbulent past and an intriguing custom, dating back to the 15th century. Michael begs permission from the town’s mayor to join horses and riders in a ceremony to mark the border between Scotland and England along a line agreed in 1438.

Source: BBC 2

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