“Lindisfarne is said to be ‘a thin place’ – a place where the gap between heaven and earth seems almost bridgeable”
Over the past 18 months I have been in training to do a long distance walk in the UK. St Cuthbert's Way is a 100km trek that starts at Melrose and finishes at Holy Island (Lindisfarne). St Cuthbert was an Anglo-Saxon monk who started his ministry at Old Melrose, and later followed in the footsteps of St Aidan to become prior of Lindisfarne. Cuthbert travelled widely (known as one of the Striding Saints), visiting people in remote areas, and he also spent much of his time by the sea. Legend has it that sea creatures such as seals and otters were unafraid of him and came to him for a blessing. Whilst on Lindisfarne, he became famous for his saintliness and healing powers. The life and progress of Cuthbert provided inspiration for the walking route, and it has been on my "bucket list" for many years.
People who know me are familiar with my line of work and my interest in the physical preparation actors have to commit to, in order for them to prevent injury in the roles they play. RA has recently shared quite a lot of information on this topic, and I have been particularly interested in this given not only the work I do, but the preparation I have had to put in, in order to be strong enough (hopefully) to complete the Way. We leave on Monday for Edinburgh, and start walking on Saturday week.
All going well, we will arrive at Lindisfarne after seven days (St Cuthbert used to walk the route in three!!). We will then explore a little part of Northumberland before flying to the west country in England. We finish our trip in Paris where I hope to do a Monet tour. It only occurred to me recently that not only was I looking at St Cuthbert's life, but I was also going to be visiting locations for three of RA's works - namely Edinburgh where some scenes of North & South were filmed, Bamburgh Castle, namely Bebbanburgh, Uhtred's Castle; Durham, where St Cuthbert is buried (also Dunholm in Lords of the North); and finally hopefully Monet's Garden .