In our infinite wisdom we decided to go camping on a child-free evening up the coast towards Holy Island. I’ve wanted to visit for some time but crossing times have always put me off. Staying in the area meant we could get up early and head across, affording us plenty of time to take in the historic sights.
When booking the campsite the weather seemed to be good. Unfortunately the reality was different! Our tent doesn’t seem to be particularly waterproof and Gavin spent the night dodging puddles. I slept sounding throughout. Clearly one of us is easier going and more outdoorsy than the other. Anyway.. We got dried off, had a cup of tea we were ready for our adventure. The weather seemed to ease off which made walking round the island so much more enjoyable.
Once parked on the island we headed straight into the town with rumbly tums. Thankfully I was armed with info that Pilgrims Coffee House had vegan food available. In the cabinet vegan-friendly desserts were labelled but I wasn’t so sure about savoury. We were told that the soup was suitable and the Texas BBQ Ciabatta. I wondered if they didn’t mark the sandwich as SFV in case it deterred people from trying it, something I hear from many restaurants and cafes.
Their hot chocolate made with almond milk was also fine, so Gavin ordered this alongside his sandwich. I had a soft drink with my filling soup. I commented on the fact the snack boxes for kids they sell are vegan by default, something you don’t often see. To visit such a small island and find a cafe committed to providing decent alternatives was fantastic. It then makes you ponder why city centre establishments find it so difficult!
The food was good and reasonably priced to boot. Our lunch cost around £14 for the two of us. We didn’t try out their coffee, which is roasted on-site in a yurt, but we’ve heard good things about it. I know some Newcastle-based independents like Camber Coffee serve it and it is available to buy online.
Gavin’s sandwich contained a meat substitute – we thought Oumph, perhaps? – and a dairy-free cheese. Both were good quality and it was nice to see something other than falafel or veggies as an option.
We decided to visit the Priory and then walk up to the Castle. It was at this point the weather became glorious and we thoroughly enjoyed taking in the beautiful scenery and learning more about the history of the island. Because of the crossing times we were ‘held captive’ until the causeway had re-emerged from the sea, but this meant we could enjoy the sunshine in a beer garden with a drink.
We’d highly recommend a visit to Holy Island, especially if you’re interested in the history of the North East. I’m pleased we persevered with the weather and were able to find vegan food to eat there without resorting to a picnic or chips. Here’s a few more photos of our day trip.
Thanks for reading,