Frequently asked Questions
A retreat is exactly what it sounds like — the chance to step aside from life for a while, to rest and just 'be' in a welcoming, peaceful place.
Groups can use Marygate religious, educational or cultural reasons.
people can we bring?
Up to fifteen people normally stay at Marygate, eighteen if we use sofa beds.
How many bedrooms are there?
are 6 rooms laid out to sleep 15 people
Room 1 3 single beds (plus additional sofa bed if requested)
Room 2 2 single beds (plus additional sofa bed if requested)
Room 3 1 single bed (plus additional guest bed if requested)
Room 4 3 single beds
Room 5 3 single beds
Room 6 3 single beds
We have four toilet/shower rooms and two further toilets
Marygate is a retreat house it is not a hotel or guest house, there are other places more suitable places on Holy Island to stay if you are on holiday.
Enquire initially by email or telephone to check on availability, then confirm the booking in writing. All bookings must be confirmed in writing by return of a booking form.
Marygate House is a charity and as such there is no charge to stay. Note that we rely totally on donations from guests, our suggested donation for individuals at Marygate House which reflects our costs is £540 per day.
You can stay up to one week in any one stay. Most visits are Monday to Friday, Monday to Sunday or Friday to Sunday. We limit organisations to two visits per year.
By car or train. Arriving by car, turn east of the A1 at Beal about ten mile south of Berwick upon Tweed. Only cross to the island at the safe crossing times. Marygate House is in the village opposite the Post Office. (SatNav TD15 2SD). By train to Berwick upon Tweed and the take a taxi to Marygate House on Holy Island.
The road on to the island is closed twice each day for about five hours when sea water crosses the road. It is quite safe to cross during the published safe crossing times. There is an added danger from other road users and pedestrians who sometimes behave irrationally and without thought. It is advisable to drive with great caution if crossing in the dark. Likewise in the winter when there can be standing water on the road, which can be crossed with care.
Yes, all meals are provide.
Individuals help themselves to breakfast, whenever they like.
Breakfast for groups is in Marygate Dining Room at 8:45am.
Lunch for all guests is at 1:00pm
Dinner for all guests is at 6:15pm
We can prepare meals for people with medical diets and vegetarians, but we are not able cater for likes and dislikes. We need to know about dietary needs well before your visit.
What about car parking?
Visitors to Marygate use on street parking. There is usually on street parking available immediately outside Marygate. We ask in as far as is possible that you park there.
How can we make a donation?
You can leave a cash donation during your visit, or by cheque from a UK Bank, or online via BT Mydonate.
No there is no cash point service on the island, but dependant who you can with you may be able to get cash from the post office.
You can stay up to one week in any one stay. Most visits are Monday to Friday, Monday to Sunday or Friday to Sunday. We limit groups to two visits per year.
We ask that you arrive after 2pm on the day of arrival. Your first meal will be served at Marygate at 6:15pm and we would ask you to plan your journey making allowances for the tides to arrive before that meal. Our staff go off duty at 7:30pm and we are not able to receive guests after 7:30pm. If your plans go wrong please telephone us and inform us of your expected arrival time.
We ask that you vacate your room and leave by 10am on the day of your departure.
Any clothes you need for you stay, towels, toiletries and any medications you might need. Remember you are coming to an island in a relatively remote location.
Marygate provides meals to resident guests only, other are other places on the island which do provide meals to visitors to Holy Island.
Sharing is part of the Marygate experience and we do not offer single occupancy of rooms at Marygate.
By car is the easiest. By train to Berwick upon Tweed and by Taxi is quite convenient. There is a bus to the island but the service is infrequent and can be unreliable.
Yes, but you must take precautions. NEVER cross by the poles in the dark. You ought never to cross alone and it is advisable to cross with somebody who has done it before. You would be well advised to start to cross about two hours after the published safe crossing time for the causeway opens. It takes up to two hours to cross. You must wear suitable clothes and footwear remembering you will be walking on wet sand and mud.
Guide Dogs and other assistance dogs are always welcome.
unfortunately, we cannot accommodate any pets in our guest accommodation.
Also note we strongly disapprove of people who lock their pets in cars whilst being on the island. Note that residents on the island do report this to the police where dogs are locked in parked cars.
Children are welcome as part of an organised group staying in Marygate House, but Cambridge House being a quiet retreat house, is not a suitable place for children or young people.
Marygate House have a Safeguard Policy?
Yes, Marygate House does have a safeguarding Policy which all users must adhere to.
“Preferably, all non-parental supervision should be by people who have recently been DBS checked. However, as a minimum, we require that all groups using Marygate House, or associated facilities, where there are children or vulnerable adults included within the group to have a minimum of one adult member of the group to have undergone an enhanced DBS check within the last three years. The sex of the adult(s) is to reflect that of the children, young person(s) or vulnerable adult(s). Where this is a mixed sex group (boys & girls), there should be a minimum of two responsible adults one female and one male, both having undergone a DBS check within the last three years.”
Yes, you can play a musical instruments in Marygate House between 8am and 10pm. However, do respect the peace of the island.
No there is no wifi at Marygate House.
Generally the mobile signal on the island is very poor.
We would encourage guests to attend prayers, but it is not obligatory.
7:30am Morning Prayer in St Mary’s Church
9:30am House Prayers in Marygate Library
5:30pm Evening Prayer in St Mary’s Church
No, we have no set programme and strongly recommend groups arrange a programme that needs their needs and requirements.