To the Island of Tides

A Journey to Lindisfarne

Alistair Moffat

Names tell stories, especially place-names, and sometimes they even move, taking their history with them.
To the Island of Tides by Alistair Moffat (Paperback ISBN 9781786896346) book cover

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This journey to Lindisfarne is a meditation on the power of place, from the historian and award-winning author of The Hidden Ways

In To the Island of Tides, Alistair Moffat travels to – and through the history of – the fated island of Lindisfarne. Known by the Romans as Insula Medicata and famous for its monastery, it even survived Viking raids. Today the isle maintains its position as a space for retreat and spiritual renewal.

Walking from his home in the Borders, through the historical landscape of Scotland and northern England, Moffat takes us on a pilgrimage in the footsteps of saints and scholars, before arriving for a secular retreat on the Holy Isle. To the Island of Tides is a walk through history, a meditation on the power of place, but also a more personal journey; and a reflection on where life leads us.

”[To the Island of Tides] is often beautifully evocative of places, the past and the landscape … compelling and revealing”
the Times

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“Written with both wisdom and love … This is a wonderfully rich and consoling book … and it is very good indeed”

“Extraordinary … a triumph … This book is an intriguing account of St Cuthbert and his times, a lyrical testimony to the wonder of nature and a beguiling account of the power of place in all lives. But … it becomes something more, something sublime in the realm of memoir … There is a powerful, natural beauty in Moffat’s writing”

“This is a book written by a living bard of the Borders, who has walked his way into knowledge and found real magic with his eyes wide open”
country Life

“This pilgrimage incorporates local lore and biblical references, touching self discovery and a Saint’s life. Above all it is a homage to the importance of family and of belonging”
wee Review

Alistair Moffat

Alistair Moffat was born in Kelso, Scotland in 1950. He is an award-winning writer, historian and Director of Programmes at Scottish Television, former Director of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and former Rector of the University of St Andrews. He is the founder of Borders Book Festival and Co-Chairman of The Great Tapestry of Scotland. He is the author of The Hidden Ways: Scotland’s Forgotten Roads.

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