WATCH: Pilgrims complete their walk to Holy Island, Northumberland, in driving rain

Pilgrims from all over the country had to endure some miserable weather as they completed their annual trek across the causeway to Holy Island today.

Around 80 Christians completed the final leg of the journey, the culmination of the 40th Northern Cross walking event.

Four groups have spent this week hiking from different locations, Dunbar, Melrose, Carlisle and Bellingham, covering between 70 and 120 miles and each carring a large wooden cross.

They met at Beal this morning and began the traditional Good Friday finale in driving rain. But spirits remained high as the pilgrims all arrived safely on Holy Island.

“Walking 70 to 120 miles in a week is physically challenging, but not beyond the capabilities of most people,” said Northern Cross organisers. “Not everyone necessarily walks all the way; there are jobs for car drivers, shoppers and cooks.

“The friends you make on Northern Cross are life-long friends. The community spirit that is built up with a small group, roughing it, sleeping on cold hard floors, experiencing physical and emotional pain and pleasure together, experiencing all that northern British weather can through at you in spring, is a fantastic experience.”

The pilgrims on their walk across the Holy Island causeway in poor weather this morning. Pictures by Jane Coltman.

The pilgrims on their walk across the Holy Island causeway in poor weather this morning. Pictures by Jane Coltman.

Find out more about the Northern Cross pilgrimmage here.

Click here for details of other north Northumberland Easter services.

More Easter pictures in Thursday’s Gazette.

The pilgrims on their walk across the Holy Island causeway.

The pilgrims on their walk across the Holy Island causeway.

The pilgrims on their walk across the Holy Island causeway.

The pilgrims on their walk across the Holy Island causeway.

The pilgrims on their walk across the Holy Island causeway.

The pilgrims on their walk across the Holy Island causeway.

Some of the pilgrims walked barefoot and had boots waiting for them on the island.

Some of the pilgrims walked barefoot and had boots waiting for them on the island.