Frequently asked Questions

What is a retreat?. 2

Who can stay at Cambridge House?. 2

Can I have a holiday at Cambridge House?. 2

How do I book?. 2

Do I have to pay a deposit?. 2

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

Can I Giftaid my donation?. 2

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

How much does it cost to stay at Marygate or Cambridge House?. 2

How long can I stay?. 2

How do I get there?. 2

Tell me about the tides?. 2

Do you provide meals?. 3

What time are meals?. 3

I know you have set menus, but what about my medical diet?. 3

Is there a cash point on Holy Island?. 3

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

What time can I arrive?. 3

When ought I vacate my room?. 3

What should I bring with me?. 3

Can I have visitors at Cambridge House?. 3

Can non residence eat at Marygate?. 4

Do I have to share a room?. 4

How do I travel to Holy Island?. 4

Can I walk the pilgrims way (the poles) on to the island?. 4

Can I 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

Can a non-Christian stay at Marygate?. 5

Can I do voluntary work at Marygate?. 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 Cambridge House?

Anybody can stay for religious, educational or cultural reasons.

Can I have a holiday at Cambridge House?

Marygate is a retreat house it is not a hotel or guest house, there are other more suitable places on Holy Island to stay if you are on holiday.

Can I book Cambridge House for a group?
Cambridge House is for individuals, but we do welcome couples. Marygate House is more suitable for groups.

How do I 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 completed booking form.

Do I have to pay a deposit?

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

Can I Giftaid my donation?

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

How much does it cost to stay at Marygate or Cambridge 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 Cambridge House which reflects our costs is 45 per person per day.

How long can I 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 people to no more than 14 days in a year.

How do I get there?

By car or train.  Arriving by car, turn east of the A1 at Beal about twelve miles south of Berwick upon Tweed.  Only cross to the island at the safe crossing times.  Marygate House at the west end of Marygate. (SatNavTD15 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 provided, we do not offer self-catering facilities..

What time are meals?

Individuals help themselves to breakfast, at their convenience.

Lunch for all guests is at 1:00pm in Marygate Houses Library

Dinner for all guests is at 6:15pm in Marygate Houses Library

For individual guests staying Monday to Sunday on the Friday we provide a packed lunch on the Friday.

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

We can prepare meals for people with medical diets and for vegetarians, but we are not able to cater for likes and dislikes.  We need to know about dietary needs well before your visit.

What about car parking?
We have space for up to four cars at the back of Cambridge House.

How can I 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 bank with you may be able to get cash from the Post Office.

How long can I stay, how often can I 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 people to no more than 14 days in a year.

What time can I arrive?

We ask that you arrive after 2pm on the day of arrival.  
Please check in at Marygate House between 2pm and 6pm.
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 I vacate my room?

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

What should I bring with me?

Any clothes you need for your stay, towels, toiletries and any medications you might need.  Remember you are coming to an island in a relatively remote location.

Can I have visitors at Cambridge House?

Cambridge House is a retreat house and we discourage guests having any visitors in the house during their stay at Cambridge House, visitors distract you from your valuable retreat and it invades the space of other retreatants.  We would encourage you to entertain visitors somewhere else (in a hotel, tea room or public house perhaps) respecting the nature and quiet ambience of the house.

Can non residence eat at Marygate?

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

Do I have to share a room?

Individual guests staying in Cambridge House each have their own room.

How do I 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 I walk the pilgrims 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 begins.  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 I bring a dog or other pets?

Unfortunately we cannot accommodate any pets in our guest accommodation.

Can children stay?

Cambridge House being a quiet retreat house, is not a suitable place for children or young people. Children are welcome as part of organised groups at Marygate House.

Can I play a musical instrument?

In Cambridge House, we ask people to respect others space and silence therefore to refrain from playing music, or musical instruments in the house or garden.

Do you have Wifi?

We do not have wifi in either house. We believe this helps leave the outside world behind and aid the retreat dynamic.

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 Marys Church

9:30am House Prayers in Marygate Library

5:30pm Evening Prayer in St Marys Church

Is there a set programme?

No guests and groups are free to arrange their own time around our set meal times.

Can a non-Christian stay at Marygate?

Yes, everyone is welcome.

Can I do voluntary work at Marygate?
We are always pleased to accept help. Perhaps with a little gardening in Cambridge House or assisting with the washing up. Some people volunteer with us for a few weeks or up to a year, becoming part of the team.