Frequently asked Questions

What is a retreat?. 1

Who can stay at Marygate House?. 2

Can I have a holiday at Marygate?. 2

How do we book?. 2

Do we have to pay a deposit?. 2

As a charity we do not charge, we rely on donations and do not take deposits?. 2

Can we Giftaid my donations?. 2

Yes, we encourage those who can to giftaid any donations made. 2

How much does it cost to bring a group to Marygate House?. 2

How long can we stay?. 2

How do we get there?. 2

Tell me about the tides?. 2

Do you provide meals?. 2

What time are meals?. 2

We know you have set menus, but what about my medical diets?. 3

Is there a cash point on Holy Island?. 3

How long can we stay, how often can we visit?. 3

What time can we arrive?. 3

When ought we vacate my room?. 3

What should we bring with me?. 3

Can non residence eat at Marygate?. 3

Do we have to share rooms?. 3

How do we travel to Holy Island?. 3

Can we walk the pilgrim’s way (the poles) on to the island?. 4

Can we bring a dog or other pets?. 4

Can children stay?. 4

Can I play a musical instrument?. 4

Do you have Wifi?. 4

What is the mobile phone signal like on the island?. 4

Do I have to attend prayers?. 4

What times are prayers?. 4

Is there a set programme?. 5

 

What is a retreat?

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.

Who can stay at Marygate House?

Groups can use Marygate religious, educational or cultural reasons.

How many people can we bring?
Up to fifteen people normally stay at Marygate, eighteen if we use sofa beds.

How many bedrooms are there?

There are 6 rooms laid out to sleep 15 people

First Floor
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)

Second Floor
Room 4  3 single beds
Room 5  3 single beds
Room 6  3 single beds

How many bathrooms are there?

We have four toilet/shower rooms and two further toilets

Can we have a holiday at Marygate?.

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.

How do we book?

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.

Do we have to pay a deposit?

As a charity we do not charge, we rely on donations and do not take deposits?

Can we Giftaid my donations?

Yes, we encourage those who can to giftaid any donations made.

How much does it cost to bring a group to Marygate House?

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.

How long can we stay?

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.

How do we get there?

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.

Tell me about the tides?

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.

Do you provide meals?

Yes, all meals are provide.

What time are meals?

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 know you have set menus, but what about my medical diets?

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.

Is there a cash point on Holy Island?

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.

How long can we stay, how often can we visit?

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.

What time can we arrive?

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.

When ought we vacate my room?

We ask that you vacate your room and leave by 10am on the day of your departure.

What should we bring with us?

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.

Can non-residents eat at Marygate?

Marygate provides meals to resident guests only, other are other places on the island which do provide meals to visitors to Holy Island.

Do we have to share rooms?

Sharing is part of the Marygate experience and we do not offer single occupancy of rooms at Marygate. 

How do we travel to Holy Island?

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.

Can we walk the pilgrim’s way (the poles) on to the island?

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.

Can we bring a dog or other pets?

Guide Dogs and other assistance dogs are always welcome.

However 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.

Can children stay?

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.

Does 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.” 

Can I play a musical instrument?

Yes, you can play a musical instruments in Marygate House between 8am and 10pm.   However, do respect the peace of the island.

Do you have Wifi?

No there is no wifi at Marygate House.

What is the mobile phone signal like on the island?

Generally the mobile signal on the island is very poor.

Do I have to attend prayers?

We would encourage guests to attend prayers, but it is not obligatory.

What times are prayers?

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

Is there a set programme?

No, we have no set programme and strongly recommend groups arrange a programme that needs their needs and requirements.