I stayed in Castle Cottage in November with my husband, parents, two small children and two Labradors. We had a fantastic week, cosy and warm by the wood-burning stove in our perfect little farm cottage.

We had it in our minds that we were staying in Scotland but soon realised that the Northumbrian coast was just a few miles drive away. So on cold crisp autumn morning we set off for Holy Island, also known as Lindisfarne.

It’s a tidal island off the North East coast of England just south of Berwick-upon-Tweed. John had warned us about the tide timetables and we looked them up online. Apparently they are for locals in a four wheel drive vehicles and should be taken seriously. Lots of people every year think they can get away with it and have to watch their cars get submerged as the tide comes in. So we took no chances and made sure we had time to spare.

In November sunset is at around 4pm and the tides were in our favour so we made a day of it. We walked the dogs on the miles of white sand at the Causeway and also visited the Priory and the visitor centre. The island has so much history including raids by the Vikings and the life of the monks of the early Christian church. After a good pub lunch, we visited the Castle which is magnificent but not nearly as big as it looks in photographs – some sort of optical illusion going on there! The children were captivated by the upturned fishing boats which they thought looked like whales. It was a great day out but the best bit of it all was as the sun set and we saw the island bathed in a glorious pink, orange and purple light. Absolutely magical.

By Isabel W, London