It is not the most obvious location for a thriving pub: the site is cut off by the tide twice a day and the locals are soul-searchers hoping to find the meaning of life in the bible rather than at the bottom of a pint glass.
But for well over a century the Crown and Anchor on Holy Island has fed and watered its less abstemious visitors. From the beer garden, patrons can sip a lager or wine and admire the ruins of Lindisfarne Priory, the home of early Celtic Christianity, and monitor archeologists excavating a 7th-century church.
Now there is a chance to run one of England’s hardest-to-reach pubs, accessible only at low tide via a three-mile causeway. For £65,000 you can become the Crown and Anchor’s new landlord or lady after the current licensees decided to pack up and travel the world in their camper van.
It is not a gig for last-minute merchants. Forget to check the tide timetables and that beer delivery will end up stuck on the Northumbrian mainland until long after the lunchtime rush. The bonus is the number of patrons who will have nothing better to do than have another drink when they mistime their departure and have to wait at least four hours until the exit route is no longer underwater.
“You can’t complain about the tides,” warns the outgoing landlord, Kyle Luke, whose family have been innkeepers on Holy Island, sometimes known by its Celtic name of Lindisfarne, for at least five generations. “The place would be pointless without tides. If it was just a peninsula I doubt people would come. The tide just becomes the rhythm of the day. You know about them a year in advance so you shouldn’t really get taken by surprise.”
Luke insists it is a profitable business, with an annual turnover of £378,000. He met his Czech wife, Zuzana, in the pub 10 years ago, and they want a break. Both keen surfers, they had intended to spend…